Foil Poster

Foil (2023) Review

Dexter (Zach Green, Lovers of Hate, Curse of the Siren) left his hometown for Hollywood. Now he’s back for his 10-Year Anniversary, and has to try and talk around the fact that while he has made a movie, Watering Holes, it’s a porno flick he made under the pseudonym Dusty Peters. He’s also got an important meeting coming up, and is desperately trying to come up with ideas to pitch.

Rex (Devin O’Rourke, Happy Monday, Too Much Verb), his best friend back in high school, on the other hand has stuck around town but, coincidentally enough, has just quit his job. He’s planning on skipping the reunion and heading into the desert to find proof of a UFO crash that allegedly occurred sixty years ago and may be connected to the aliens he claims abducted him.

Dexter has heard of a psychic vortex in the area, and, thinking it might provide inspiration, decides to join him.

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Foil is very much a low budget indie film, co-written by its two stars and directed by Green, and sporting a cast of four characters. The first act plays out along familiar lines for a film like this as the two old friends reunite by chance at a bar, and then road trip out to their destination, comically arguing over the wisdom of using the same kind of cup for their drinks and Rex’s spit cup, or whether Rex was really abducted or just hallucinated it all.

For the first hour, aliens and psychic vortexes are more of a red herring than an actual part of Foil’s plot. It’s also, despite being billed as a science fiction comedy, as low on laughs as it is science fiction elements. Instead, it’s a light drama with moments that made me grin, about the way people grow apart over the years and that old adage about not being able to go home again with alleged strangeness in the desert a convenient hook to hang it on.

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This changes after they pitch camp and meet fellow camper Tom (Chris Doubek, The Dark and the Wicked, Blood Fest). He shows them what he claims is a piece of debris from the crashed UFO, a multicoloured piece of foil with some strange properties. This serves to widen the growing gap between Dex and Rex. Something that the arrival of Rambo (Brian McGuire, Alyce Kills, Rabbit Hole) while Tom and Rex are off searching for more alien foil further intensifies.

At that point, Foil finally begins to move into lo-fi sci-fi territory as aliens, the source of the foil and Dexter’s skin flick all come into play. Rex and Dex find themselves forced to put their differences aside if they want to have a chance of not becoming part of the desert’s folklore as events become more and more chaotic in the run-up to the film’s climax, and not the kind that Dexter filled Watering Holes with.

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While it never does get all that funny, or generate much in the way of low budget alien scares, Foil is an entertaining film that makes its points without being overly preachy or on the nose. Unfortunately, it has a tendency to ramble and spoil its pacing, especially in the second act. It also will probably be a bit too low-key for viewers expecting a more conventional tale of alien visitors.

I give the filmmakers credit for making something entertaining out of pocket change, but while Foil entertained me but didn’t blow me away, and I think that will be must viewer’s reaction to it. Fans of this kind of indie buddy film will probably find it more entertaining, but I couldn’t help wish it had been a bit funnier.

Cranked Up Films has released Foil to Digital and VOD Platforms. You can check the film’s website for more information.

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