I went into this film expecting the usual suspects getting eaten by jungle creatures and little substance. Indigenous ended up being a surprise, but not in the way you'd think. Yes, it was the usual suspects, but almost everything else was different from expectations. There was a bit of substance hidden in an innocent introduction, a lack of creature exposure for the type of film, and a stronger sense of script cloning than I saw coming.
As far as Chupacabra horror films go, Indigenous isn't bad. As far as blatant rip-offs of The Descent go, it's terrible. There are so many elements to this film that seem too similar to one of the best horror movies of the century. The cave-dwelling humanoid creatures, the broken leg-setting scene, the corpse-filled feasting room...It was like cliche teen scream characters dropped into The Descent setting. The jungle environment was a decent distraction at first, but the eventual revelations of the plot and creature treatments looked all-too familiar to me. But the film's ending did allow some wiggle room for originality, and the final moments sandwiched with the opening statements of the movie allowed for a fun message that I'll dive into later.
I commend this film up and down for having a perfect opportunity to merely do found footage and avoiding it. This film could have been thrown into the myriad of found footage garbage that has plagued us of late, but instead it can be respected for at least attempting a quality production on a limited budget. As far as effects go, the film holds strong. It houses some decent gore and creature effects, but the creatures were perhaps a bit too absent, accept when it made the least sense for them to be so.
I believe the eventual point of this film was that social media and the reigning power of media in general has brought us to the cusp of shedding light on cryptids once and for all. But sadly the inevitable conclusion won't be similar to the climax of this film. What we are discovering is that the more widespread our media technology, the fewer excuses we have at the lack of evidence. "It's only a matter of time before one of these shy creatures shows itself in the open with a camera phone readily available." Sure, but with every passing year, we have more and more hi-res cameras and fewer and fewer evidence. If anything this film concludes on a parody of itself saying, "if we haven't seen anything unmistakable to this point, there probably isn't anything." And if you think about it too long, it'll start to make you sad. The 12-year old in me still wants to see a Nessie corpse wash up on shore and have signs of decomposition that could have only taken place over the course of a couple of weeks. But as our technology is advancing, reality is setting in and my 12-year old self dies a little more.
Horror Qualifier: 9/10
Horror Quality: 6/10
Film Quality: 2/10