Indigenous tells the story of a group of twenty-somethings on vacation in Panama, who one day decide to go against their best interests and venture into the deep jungle to seek out a mystical waterfall. When the group finds themselves in danger and they start getting killed off by a mysterious creature, one of them heads off to find a cell phone signal with the intent to record a video and call for help. When the video goes viral, the world watches as local forces work to rescue the vacationers that are now struggling to survive.
What this movie does is take the familiar story of people going where they don’t belong and immediately paying for it, only to have one or two survivors walk away from the carnage. Indigenous makes an attempt to show its characters in fun and entertaining situations that include partying, surfing and binge drinking to make them seem likable and relatable. The effect of these scenes that are intercut with faux drama and first world problems makes the whole setup feel insincere and each character winds up without any unique or memorable traits. It’s a jungle slasher flick with no real weight to it at all.
The story begins when a young app developer and his veterinarian in training girlfriend head to Panama to meet their friends. They party and lament about their student debts and struggles owning and operating a restaurant and they all have a great time in the process. While bored one night, the app guy Googles Panama and finds out that there is a dangerous area of impassable jungle nearby. Local friends tell the gang that it’s not safe to explore, but because they have nothing better to do, they go and wind up in trouble.
To make things perfectly clear, Indigenous wants to be a creature feature slasher flick that appeals to basic audiences. This is bottom of the barrel entertainment, and if it weren’t for a few decent practical effects this would be completely worthless. This is a Chupacabra movie that has nothing to do with Central American folklore, yet tries to appeal to privileged and entitled audiences. The first act is shot like a cheap cologne commercial mixed with a dream sequence, and every bit of tension in the second half of the film is lost due to bad acting and direction. Indigenous isn’t worth seeing and it most certainly will not go “viral.”
Out of a Possible 5 Stars