October 14, 2019 The Drone (Movie Review)
Normally, one might say thank god for electronics, but what do you do when your drone is trying to kill you? From the producer of 2014’s Unfriended and 2018’s Searching comes The Drone. Lionsgate deliver the Horror Comedy to DVD, Digital, and On Demand on Tuesday, October 15th, 2019.
Few things are more exciting in a couples’ life together than buying their first home, and Chris (John Brotherton: Furious 7 2015, Fuller House series) and Rachel (Alex Essoe: Starry Eyes 2014, Doctor Sleep 2019) are moving into their brand new digs in Los Angeles. When their dog Hector (Austin the dog) discovers an expensive-looking drone atop the trash, photographer Chris is perfectly giddy to add the new toy to his arsenal.
As the couple settle in, things begin to get weird. Seemingly with a sentient mind all its own, the UAV flies freely throughout their home, and unbeknownst to the couple records them having sex, watches Rachel in the shower, and even spies on their MILF neighbor Corinne (Anita Briem: Journey to the Center of the Earth 2008, Elevator 2011). When these eerie activities begin to create tension between the couple, and bodies begin to pile up near their home, Chris and Rachel will be forced to ask themselves if their drone is indeed trying to murder them.
Clocking in at 82 minutes, The Drone was directed by Jordan Rubin (Zombeaver 2014, Critters: A New Binge series) and written by Rubin along with Al and Jon Kaplan (Zombeavers 2014, Critters: A New Binge series). It also features the acting talents of Christopher Matthew Cook (Dog Eat Dog 2016, S.W.A.T. series), Neil Sandilands (The Flash series, Coyote Lake 2019), Rex Linn (Cliffhanger 1993, Rush Hour 1998), Harvey B. Jackson (Betrayed series, My Stepfather’s Secret 2019), Gonzalo Menendez (Breaking Bad series, Colony series), former MTV VJ Simon Rex (Scary Movie 3 2003, Superhero Movie 2008), and Travis Geske (The Tax Collector 2019, The Wedding Year 2019) piloting the titular drone.
Billed as a Horror-Comedy, The Drone is neither horrifying, nor particularly funny. Everything here is intended to be taken as satirical—meaning there are no blatant belly laughs—so the bottom line really amounts to whether you find a serial killing drone to be worthwhile and witty or simply silly. If you fall on the side of wit, well, sit back and strap yourself in for a thrill ride that involves a possessed drone with enough sentience to spy on scantily clad ladies and behead the police.
If you choose to stay the course, The Drone is certainly not the worst film that you will see this year. With well-done cinematography from Jonathan Hall (Teen Wolf series, The Walking Dead series), it looks good, even if its screenplay is goofy. It’s hard to say that the idea of a drone being possessed by the spirit of a serial rapist/murderer isn’t unique, but it’s also not exactly a terrifying or particularly amusing idea.
The ensemble cast of the film do their best with what they are given, with Brotherton and Essoe taking the lead throughout. While Brotherton’s Chris is a rather flat character and, to some degree, a bit unlikable, Essoe’s Rachel receives enough backstory to be semi-rounded. However, that backstory is utterly ludicrous, so you’re simply going to have to willingly suspend your disbelief when it comes to the idea of Essoe’s character being haunted by the electronics in her past. Similarly, whether it is intentional or not, Rachel’s breakdown scene earlier on in the film is borderline laughable, leaving one to wonder if Essoe was told to under react to her gruesome discovery.
One thing that is somehow believable is the tension created between the pair by the drone’s nefarious activities. Certainly no one in their right mind would assume their drone was stalking them, and when the fault for said endeavors seems to fall onto Chris’ head, you can’t exactly blame his wife for assuming the worst. In that respect, Brotherton toes a line wonderfully by crafting a husband who is covertly dishonest and suspicious, but never blatantly vile. In fact, when his character eventually does have a dark moment, Brotherton shines in creating an eerie and unnerving vibe.
All of this said, The Drone is a fairly straightforward foray into satirical Horror. Again, if the idea of a sentient drone that surfs Google, torments dogs, and misses its brother intrigues you, then by all means this is a film for you. With some well-done transitions between scenes, solid acting, and vibrant cinematography, The Drone relays its quirky tale in a visually appealing manner. For this, Cryptic Rock give The Drone 3 of 5 stars.