Worm Movie Review
Written by Ryan Holloway
Released by Left Films
Written and directed by Doug Mallette
2013, 98 minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD released on 16th January 2017
John Ferguson as Charles
Shane O'Brien as Reed
Jes Mercer as June
Scott Ferguson as Pop
Sarah Shoemaker as Posey Mapleton
Worm is a dark comedy, and obvious drug addiction metaphor, where people are unable to dream but can now buy Fantisites, a new product in the form of a worm that once inserted in your ear will not only make you dream but also help you live out your ultimate fantasies.
Fantasites are the latest thing, constantly highlighted on the news and being taken by anybody who is anybody. That is except for loser Charles (John Ferguson) who lives with his maintenance man father and dreams of having friends and more specifically being best friends with neighbour Reed (Shane O Brien), who can’t stand him, and his lovely girlfriend June played by Jes Mercer.
Happy to be finally joining the world, Charles scrapes together enough money to put in an order of Fantisites, he is however disheartened by his having to buy ‘economy’ and not ‘premium’ like Reed, who mocks him for not having the best.
When Charles notices the couple have a dog he escalates his plan to be part of their lives by buying one of his own so that he and the couple, or hopefully just June, can go for ‘puppy parties’ and walk their canines together.
With Reed increasingly being kept away with work, or so we think, Charles’ tactic begins to work in bringing him closer to June, but in an attempt to get even closer he starts to swap some of Reed’s premium Fantistites for his economy ones upon delivery by the trusting delivery guy, thus putting him on their level and being able to share Fantistite experiences with June.
As June starts to develop feelings towards Charles, platonic at first, she forces Reed to take him out for a drink. Here for some reason, Reed decides to reveal more of himself than one would if you truly hated someone and also arranges to meet a woman at the bar, colleague and local reporter Posey Mapleton, the real reason for Reed’s long hours at work. Charles doesn’t take the hint to get lost and the confused Posey causes a scene and storms out which of course deepens Reed’s hatred for his nosey neighbour.
As the worms’ side-effects begin to create further friction between Reed and June, Charles, angry at Reed’s mistreatment of the object of his affection, sees his opportunity to take her for himself but his own addiction is starting to take hold and the news of the fast growing negative side effects spread, potentially spelling the end for Fantasites.
When the nationwide addiction takes hold and our gang gets to desperation point, Reed and Charles inexplicably team up to get their hands on the now banned magic worms.
The film then totally loses its sense of humour and forgets it was once a quirky dark comedy about worms and instead tries to be a hard-hitting drug-thriller. It doesn’t work at all and instead undoes any good work done in the first two acts.
It feels even more of a shame to completely under develop the earlier dream sequences and a wasted opportunity to marry dark humour with some truly imaginative ideas.
The novelty quickly wears as thin as the plot and although the trio of actors do their very best it’s not enough to lift this work out of the dirt.
“This is your brain on worms” one reporter explains half way through the film. Yes, yes it is.