LFF 2022: The Origin – Review

Release Date – TBC, Cert – N/A, Run-time – 1 hour 27 minutes, Director – Andrew Cumming

A prehistoric group of early humans find themselves attacked by an unknown force whilst searching unfamiliar terrain for a new homeland.

Amongst the details and visuals leaning into the horror genre perhaps the most effective thing within The Origin is the made-up language which forms the dialogue and conversations throughout the film. Yes, there may be subtitles, but because the language itself sounds so authentic instead of a series of random sounds and noises we buy into the world that bit more and engage with the small tribe of early humans which the film centres on. They’re trying to make their way to a new homeland, however their path crosses through dangerous territory seemingly dominated by an unseen threat which attacks from the mist which surrounds the area.

For the opening stages the film is restrained and stripped back before truly launching into any of the well-handled action sequences and horror elements, especially on the low budget with which this was made; making the most of the natural landscape of the Scottish Highlands. For that you have to admire the film. However, there are occasionally points where the style feels somewhat limiting. Perhaps during earlier instances where we’re witnessing the various discussions between members of the group as they discuss their future and authority. Yet, this admittedly eventually pays off in the second half when the idea of tribal relationships comes more into play. Creating interest as it’s developed more.

It’s also within this half where things turn into a more direct survival film. It’s within this genre where the majority of themes seem to lie and emerge through the development of the narrative. While it might occasionally mean a departure from some of what we have seen before – as they film makes it clear who the real protagonists are amongst the potential twists and turns of the plot – there’s still something watchable and engaging about this slightly new form and what it presents.

Perhaps the biggest drawback is the way in which the film slightly shifts and changes with its tones and elements. While there’s a general air and consistency you can occasionally feel the gears moving to try and get from one to the other. It largely comes through in the key developments and reveals which while helping to keep things moving do sometimes add to the more slow-burn nature of certain instances, again the more character-driven scenes of conversation. Yet, while you might be able to see some of the creases and feel things moving from point to point there’s still enough between those moments, and indeed within them, to allow for The Origin to work for its 87 minute run-time. Particularly when it manages to refine itself and find a more direct path forward.

While you might be able to feel some of the moving parts to link certain points The Origin provides enough interest within the situation the key characters find themselves in, with some good developments, that you’re generally kept in place throughout the run-time.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: