FrightFest 2019: THE DRONE Review – One Of The Best Possessed Object Horror Films We’ve Ever Seen
Starring Alex Essoe, John Brotherton, Anita Briem, Harvey B. Jackson
Written by Al Kaplan, Jon Kaplan, Jordan Rubin
Directed by Jordan Rubin
Although the plot synopsis for The Drone reads like a cheap Child’s Play knockoff, this is actually one of the best possessed object horror films to be released in recent years. If you decide to give it a pass because you think it has too much in common with Child’s Play or because you think it sounds too silly for your liking, you’d honestly be shooting yourself in the foot, because this is not a movie to be missed.
Neil Sandilands plays a serial killer who is eventually found and shot dead by the police, but not before he performs a voodoo ritual to transport his soul into, you guessed it, a drone. The similarities to Child’s Play end there, because from this point the film mainly focuses on a newly married couple as they begin to adjust to life in their new suburban home, with the husband discovering the drone in his back yard and using it to drive his wife crazy.
Focusing on a young married couple was certainly a bold decision on the part of the filmmakers, and John Brotherton and Alex Essoe were both perfectly cast as the amateur pornographer husband and the stay at home wife. Despite the silly premise, both actors managed to keep a straight face all the way through, and you’ll never doubt for a second that these characters deeply love and care about each other.
Because The Drone was mainly a character piece, the actual body count was kept to a surprising minimum, although the few kills we did get were still creative enough to satisfy viewers hoping for a more hardcore horror experience.
It would have been tempting for director Jordan Rubin and his co-writers Jon and Al Kaplan to go the typical slasher route, but instead, they wisely opted for a more sensible approach. The wife slowly starts to realise that something may not be quite right with her husband’s new toy, while her husband naturally refuses to acknowledge the situation until it becomes too much of a problem for him to ignore. Given the absurdity of the situation involving a possessed drone, this was about the most realistic way this scenario would actually play out.
And while it may be a little slow for some viewers, the oddball cast of supporting characters (including two dim-witted police officers, Anita Briem as an eccentric neighbour, and Rex Linn as a dedicated private investigator), and the thrilling climax more than pay off for the slow-pacing of the first two acts. Although the drone itself was just a silent machine for the majority of the film, it does start talking towards the end, and let’s just say you won’t be forgetting what it said anytime soon. It couldn’t convey facial expressions, it was still nice to see it being given its own personality as the story reached its climax.
Yes, it was silly, and yes, it probably took more time than it needed for the plot to really get going, but The Drone is still bound to achieve a well-deserved cult following over the years. We’re gonna go ahead and say it deserves to be named the best film screened at FrightFest 2019, so you definitely need to catch The Drone when it flies onto home video in October.
Despite its silly premise, The Drone was one of the most fun and memorable possessed object horror movies you’re ever likely to see. It absolutely deserves to fly into your home video collection.