Review: Black Sheep (2007)

Black Sheep.

A guy with a sheep phobia returns to the family farm (in New Zealand) just as his brother’s genetic experiments unleash a horde (flock?) of carnivorous sheep on the surrounding countryside.

Let’s see… you’re probably guessing that I hated this movie, right?

Wrong. I loved it!

My expectations have a lot to do with whether I like a movie or not. I knew going in that this one wasn’t going to be straight horror, but an odd mix of horror comedy. Thus, I was expecting to laugh and I was expecting to see some decent gore. Well-met on both counts. This is a horror film that doesn’t take itself TOO seriously, but at the same time isn’t a flat-out satire ala “Scary Movie” and the like. The plot is extremely simple and unpretentious… they aren’t trying to make Silence of the Lambs here. There isn’t much in the way of plot twists or surprises… the objective of this movies plot is to stay out of your way. It does that.

The effects were done very well… not excellent or award-winning, but better than I expected. There were a couple of times when I KNEW I was essentially watching someone being attacked by a sock puppet… but that was part of the humor of the movie and it worked. On the other end of the spectrum, when hundreds of carnivorous sheep descend on a gathering of people and literally tears them apart, the amount of time and money they spent making that look right was easily apparent.

For the most part the characters are unremarkable. The older brother manages to come off as disturbed right from the very beginning, and just gets even more so as the movie progresses, right into the realm of outright silliness. His chief scientist had some potential, but they shuffled her off before she could even aspire to anything other than sheep-fodder. The cab driver was memorable. Even though he didn’t actually DO anything in the entire movie, I distinctly remember laughing at him several times during the film. Everyone else is just sort of there. Decently acted, but one-dimensional. That’s fine… I wasn’t expecting Shakespeare.

And so:

+10: Evil Carnivourous Sheep
+10: WEREsheep!
+10: Good gore (when it counts).
+2: This is a movie about farmers and sheep, so the obvious joke gets made. And yes, its funny.
+1: The genetically engineered super-sheep was disturbing.

But;

-10: The “meddling environmentalists unleash monsters” plot has been done way too often.
-5: The ending was a bit too quick and convenient.

Bottom line: Rent it.


1 Comments

  1. nate, December 15, 2008:

    My wife and I both liked this one, and so did two of our older kids. I too thought the Weresheep was great. I kept thinking of the lambchop puppet.

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