There are plenty of body-snatching aliens in Hollywood, but none quite like The Becomers. That’s because, rather than examining the fear that comes with suspecting that those close to you are imposters, Zach Clark’s newest film concentrates on the aliens’ journey as they struggle to fit in as part of a world they don’t fully comprehend.
It’s a fresh perspective on the genre, turning things upside down and continually pushing assumptions. However, as innovative as The Becomers is, Clark’s bold blend of romance, sci-fi, and bizarre humor often feels too fragmented to retain an audience’s attention.
The Becomers, like many other alien films, begins with the advent of an extraterrestrial entity on Earth. The beginning establishes the ground rules for the invading race, emphasizing their ability to seize any human body as their own. For the following half hour, we’ll follow the extraterrestrial protagonist as they transition from one host to the next, gradually acclimating to human voice chords and communication patterns.
As basic as the first third of The Becomers is, there’s something interesting about this reversed trip. We follow the typical villain in body-snatching films and see the invasion from their eyes. There is a nervous atmosphere as the alien attempts to blend in, fearful of being revealed as a phony. It’s a very human experience, which explains why this unearthly journey holds people’s interest despite clear financial constraints.
Following this lengthy prologue, The Becomers transitions into a type of romantic comedy when the extraterrestrial protagonist eventually reunites with his girlfriend from a faraway galaxy. From then on, the film is about these two gender-fluid people trying everything they can to stay together, even while the need of utilizing distinct human bodies threatens to separate them.
The Becomers’ romance is clichéd, but there’s a certain beauty in how the film celebrates the inexorable power of love. It is a power capable of shattering the barriers of space and time that separate soulmates.
The film also has an element of ludicrous humor as the aliens learn their victims may be hiding terrible secrets they didn’t expect to find. Not every joke works in The Becomers, but when it does, the film becomes a strange experiment in which aliens, unaware of who the people they occupy, find themselves in all sorts of bizarre circumstances. After all, because the aliens chose their hosts at random, they can never be certain of what the humans were doing before being taken.
While one might respect Clark’s intentions in The Becomers, the film struggles to maintain a consistent tone. Genre-bending stories function best when their diverse approaches complement one another, making a coherent whole. That is not the case in The Becomers, as many story threads compete for the audience’s attention.
As a result, viewers attempting to follow the central love narrative may be appalled by the horrible violence that might ensue from the shock-humor portions. Furthermore, the film’s early anxiety is swiftly replaced with a more saccharine approach to relationships. So, rather than being a coherent film that draws from numerous sources, The Becomers feels like a patchwork of disparate stories that never quite fit together.
There’s also an annoying narrator (Russell Mael) who comes in between scenes to explain why the body-stealing aliens have decided to visit Earth. While the narrative may satisfy viewers who cannot take ambiguity, The Becomers’ tale is basic enough to be told without explication. Because the script had the ability to deal with the invaders’ histories in a more organic way because so much of the film is dedicated to the dynamics of the extraterrestrial pair.
The Becomers also make it difficult for the spectator to care about its primary characters since their faces are continually changing. While the script requires the extraterrestrial pair to switch bodies every few scenes, the actors struggle to maintain the characters’ individuality. Each performer seemed to have a distinct vision of how a strange outcast extraterrestrial should act, with varying results.
As a result, some viewers may struggle to determine which extraterrestrial we are following in some moments. Clark attempts to make things easy for himself by giving each alien a different color of luminous eyes. Still, the problem persists since the invaders cover their eyes in most scenarios.
Even though The Becomers has flaws, Clark’s newest film has too many excellent concepts to pass up. Yes, it misses a lot of shots. Nonetheless, The Becomers is a film that is entertaining even when it fails, since there is always something weird and strange occurring on the screen. This is not a universally acclaimed film, but those prepared to accept Clark’s film’s homemade nature will discover a fascinating combination of cringe love and Cronenbergian body horror.