Infection movies are all the rage again (probably something to do with real world events) and The Spore isn’t exactly doing anything different with its tale. That being said, it has some strong performances, unnerving effects and deep-rooted horror elements. It’s just a shame that it can be quite boring at times.
Written and directed by D.M. Cunningham, The Spore shares much in common with anthology horror movies even though it isn’t one. The tale is told from the perspective of different people as this infection begins, spreads, and eventually dominates. Different people with totally different circumstances but all part of a small Michigan town.
The central theme of all the character’s story is the infection, with focus being on each survival plight. Which is where The Spore immediately becomes exposed as most of these characters lack any kind of actual character. It’s no fault of the actors as there are some great performances here. Even more so when you note how little dialogue there actually is.
In fact, a lot of the story developments come from radio messages and broadcasts. It’s just very hard to care about these character’s plights when so little is known about them.
It’s a notable problem that most can overlooked though as The Spore really goes for a grim and dark stance with this infection story. Early on, it’s clear this is not something that can be controlled and the rate at which it spreads is alarming. However, even more alarming is the effect it has on the human body. This is where The Spore excels.
The effects in this movie are very impressive. Gruesome in a body horror kind of way. That the infection has stages and affects bodies differently allows for some imaginative ideas. If the idea of watching your body deteriorate or having a fungus grow from it and transform it turns your stomach, you might have trouble keeping your lunch down.
These monstrosities are rarely the danger though. Rather it’s the infection that hangs heavily in the air. Later, we do get something more akin to a zombie film, but even that is more implied rather than out and out violence. The Spore aims for tension-based horror and nails a lot of what it is going for. Even if some of its story beats and plot developments do drag on a bit.
Drag enough to weigh it down? When it’s slow, it feels really slow and rarely does the pace pick up to anything but a canter. Good acting, a solid story and fantastic effects have it leaning towards a movie well worth watching though.
The Spore (2021)
The Final Score - 6/10