Mashing up sci-fi, horror and comedy, Canaries is a 2017 movie that sees a rural Welsh town being invaded by yellow raincoat-wearing aliens.
The film stars Steve (Craig Russell) who is a London DJ, the 53rd most listened too. He returns home to Wales for New Year deciding to host the party of all parties. He thinks he is a big deal and plans to pitch his new business to one of the attendees.
Unfortunately, his return culminates with an alien invasion heralded by storm clouds appearing first. The party-goers soon come under attack and they are forced to defend themselves, trying to stay alive until morning.
Uninspired story aside, Canaries has plenty of positives. The comedy is solid, dry and very British. It’s not ‘laugh out loud’ stuff but you’ll get the odd chuckle out of it. It fits the tone which is very campy.
Most of the acting is good, the cast have chemistry and a lot of the dialogue is delivered with conviction. It’s pretty clear those involved are enjoying themselves and that shines through.
The sci-fi elements don’t work quite as well though. For some reason, the movie stuffs far too much in. Rather then keep it simple; aliens invading. It throws in time-travel, body-snatching and it constantly clips to a secretive government group that knew this alien attack was coming. It’s so unnecessarily complex and does nothing to help the pacing.
Those hoping for some really good horror will be disappointed. This is played for laughs and not for scares. Only the occasional wound from the alien claws offers up any blood, absolutely nothing worth getting excited about. Each time it seems to be trying to build tension, it will slip away to something else killing any momentum and when characters start getting killed off it comes out of nowhere diminishing its effect.
Canaries isn’t a bad comedy-sci-fi-horror and keeps it short enough that it never overstays it welcome. It just isn’t anything special.