Set in Ybor City’s ‘The Castle’, Parasitic is a low-budget horror film that follows a group of people who find themselves trapped inside of a nightclub after a space parasite crashes their party. The film opens with a scene that shows the space parasite crash-land in the ocean and eventually end up in an order of sushi that is delivered to a bar employee named Val. Val eats the rancid, parasite infested sushi and, as the title would suggest, becomes parasitic, complete with a worm like creature protruding from her chest. Of course, the fact that Val has a space parasite protruding from her chest is bad news bears for all involved, but to make things worse, she also has the only key to the building, meaning there is no escape.
Sounds like an awful situation, right? Well it is, but not so much for the characters as it is for anyone who decides to actually sit down to watch Parasitic. Please, allow me to break down this plot a little further for you:
Even before this proverbial bile hits the fan, there is a full 10 minute sequence of the employees cleaning the bar and, worse yet, cleaning the bar is the topic of discussion between the employees. Of course, things seem as if they might pick up when Val becomes parasitic, however, seeing as she is the only one with a key and no one can leave the bar until Val returns with said key, the entire cast is granted ample opportunity to talk about how Val has the key and they need it to get out. And they do this over and over again for a good 20 some odd minutes, all while sitting around on couches. Fascinating.
Even when things get going – which they never really do – there is no sense of urgency, and these random, poorly fleshed out and completely uninteresting characters just spend time sitting around on couches talking. I suppose they could’ve been trying to bore the parasite to death with their horrific dialogue and lack of acting abilities, but from what I’ve read on the internet, parasites are very patient. I for one am not, because if I was stuck in a nightclub with people like this, I would have crawled right out one of the windows. Oh, did I mention there are windows in this bar? Windows that would normally be a portal to freedom? Well, the windows did have curtains which might have made them less obvious as a choice for escape. I mean, instead of having a scene where they try to get out through a window but can’t, why not just pretend the windows don’t even exist in the first place?
Taking things down a slightly more positive road, I will say that Parasitic does have two things going for it. One, it’s fairly short, coming in at less than 80 min, but even then it still feels way too long due to a lack of substance. The other positive thing I can say about Parasitic is there are some good practical makeup effects, which isn’t a surprise seeing as the film’s writer/director, Tim Martin, is a FX artist with a seriously impressive resume. And I mean impressive in a big-budget Hollywood sort of way.
Rounding things out here, I have to quickly mention that I am, without a doubt, one of the most forgiving horror fans. I absolutely love bad movies, and can often find something to at least laugh about in even some of the worst Z-grade horror flicks. For me, a laugh, intentional or not, can go a long way, but Parasitic, however, is one of the worst low-budget horror films I have seen in quite some time. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about this one, folks, so please proceed with extreme caution if you decide to give Parasitic a whirl.