They Look Like People (2015 film)

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Summary

Suspecting that those around him are actually malevolent shape-shifters, a troubled man questions whether to protect his only friend from an impending war, or from himself. A genre-bending story of love, loyalty, and living nightmares.

Details

  • Release Date: 2015
  • Country/Language: US, English
  • Genres/Technical: Drama, Thriller, Horror
  • Setting: Modern US or Canada
  • Runtime: 1 hr 20 min
  • Starring: MacLeod Andrews, Evan Dumouchel, Margaret Ying Drake
  • Director: Perry Blackshear
  • Writer: Perry Blackshear
  • Producer/Production Co: Perry Blackshear, Kim Parker
  • View Trailer: (link)
  • Film Website: (link)
  • TVTropes: (link)
  • IMDB Page: (link)

Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: (not rated) (equivalent to a PG-13 or R for Violence, Adult Content, and Profanity)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • Ss___ (One and a Half Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian; vaguely similar in tone)

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

This would normally be a standard-issue sci-fi/horror story loaded with paranoia and body horror, except that the unreliable narrator/viewpoint-character is explicitly revealed to be exactly as delusional as he sounds, and the story actually has an unusually happy ending: a sort of "subversion" of a Lovecraftian horror story....


Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • (review needed)


Synopsis (SPOILERS)

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

A troubled and homeless loner believes that people around him are being replaced by shape-shifting monsters, with only an anonymous and mysterious voice of "the resistance" which only he can hear over his telephone being his only ally against an impending doomsday when the invasion begins in earnest. The man soon encounters and reconnects with a childhood friend who invites him to stay at his house; the childhood friend pretends to have succeeded in life in spite of his embarrassing and geeky youth, but in reality is just as unpopular and unsuccessful as ever, terrified to ask a coworker on a date and gathering what little motivation to continue his life he has from a series of motivational tapes recorded by his ex-girlfriend. Together, the two friends face their own fears and delusions in a tense showdown in which one of the men volunteers to be exposed as one of the monsters and be killed by his friend on the eve of the invasion, while the other tries to decide whether what is happening is reality or hallucination. In the end, the troubled drifter realizes that the phone calls from the resistance and the monsters are all delusion, and does not follow through with the killing, while his friend discovers an unsuspected reserve of strength, courage, and dignity in facing the experience and helping his friend.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements

  • TO DO


Keeper Notes

  • It might take an unusually skillful keeper with a talent for characterization and role-playing to pull this off successfully, but a scenario that starts out like a normal, every-day Call of Cthulhu tale of monstrous alien conspiracies might turn out to be all the product of a delusional character's mind, with the scenario ultimately leading up to the investigators confronting the fact that the trusted friend/relative who hired the investigators is suffering from mental illness and the monsters are imaginary for a change; this might work best with a well-liked and credible character which the investigators have gotten to know and trust after many adventures, and perhaps one whose exposure to Mythos horrors might reasonably have eroded sanity over time.
  • It might also work as an introductory scenario, with the delusional character hiring the investigators as his assistants, only to be revealed as delusional and voluntarily retiring from fighting the Mythos, with the investigators in future scenarios picking up their employer's old case load and left to try to figure out which cases are real, and which are delusion....