DREAD Presents is bringing horror fans a variety of new movies to check out this year, and among them is Assassinaut. From writer and director Drew Bolduc, the interestingly-titled movie is a bit of a sci-fi adventure movie with some slasher elements mixed in. Starring Shannon Hutchinson, Vito Trigo, Jasmina Parent, Yael Haskal, and Johnathan Newport, the movie is probably not going to be like any other film you might have seen recently. However, some pacing issues and budgetary concerns seem to keep it from reaching its full potential.
In Assassinaut, an extra-terrestrial species has apparently invaded Earth, and the attack results in mass human casualties. Described as taking place in the near future, a team of four teenage astronauts travel to a presidential space station, which soon comes under siege. The group save themselves by way of an escape pod, crash-landing onto a faraway planet. Unfortunately for them, the Commander from the space station has wound up on the planet as well, and his intentions turn homicidal once his mind is taken over by an alien parasite. This leaves the four kids fighting for their lives on a distant planet with a mutating madman hot on their trail.
To be clear, the movie's low budget is definitely its biggest hindrance. A bulk of the movie is spent on following the teen astronauts on what is described as a distant planet, although it looks exactly like the wilderness here on Earth. Let's just say the setting requires suspending your disbelief to a certain extent. Their colored costumes are often all that signifies you're watching a sci-fi movie, and I would have liked to see some other key differences between Earth and this mysterious new planet located somewhere else far across the galaxy. With that being said, the sci-fi elements do look great when they are shown, such as an alien life form found in the water or the gradual mutation of the movie's antagonist.
That brings us to another area where Assassinaut shines, which lies in its special FX. The FX are truly on point here, and that becomes clear pretty early into the movie when cutting open a person's stomach reveals a giant, hideous eyeball underneath. Along with a few other scenes, horror fans can find some grotesque imagery in the movie to appreciate, and it's with these visuals where you can see the immense creativity on the part of the filmmakers. It just feels that there's perhaps a bit too much bare wilderness in comparison to the genuine sci-fi elements, leaving me wanting more.
In the end, Assassinaut is an interesting movie, but you may get the feeling it just wasn't quite as awesome as it could have been. Simply put, this is likely because of the film's budgetary constraints, limiting the amount of sci-fi elements to be included. A unique premise and some interesting visuals still make Assassinaut a fun watch, and I'll be keeping an eye on writer/director Drew Bolduc to see how his creativity will unfold in his next project. The movie will be available this summer from DREAD Presents, and you can watch the official trailer below from Ultra Fuschia Films on YouTube.