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Little Joe

2019 / 105m - Austria
Horror, Mystery
Little Joe poster

A nifty little sci-fi chiller that does its best to stand out, but can't quite hack it. There certainly was a lot of potential here. It's not the first echo-horror out there, but Little Joe comes with an intriguing premise and builds up the dread rather well during the first half of the film. But then it starts to wane and the explicit styling can't really make up for it.

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Alice works in a lab where they try to breed a plant that brings joy to its owners. The pressure to deliver is on and Alice resorts to some unscientific methods to speed up the process. Everything looks to be progressing according to plan and the plant appears to be a success, but then subtle behavioral changes in people who have been exposed to the plant are being recorded.

The use of color is by far the most notable aspect of the film, but the camera work and mis-en-scene let the cinematography down. The soundtrack is just plain atrocious and a complete failure at making the film tenser. The performances aren't too great either and the finale fails to pack a punch. A few too many letdowns to make this a great film, but definitely worth a watch for its novel ideas.