Just before the world premiere of Snatchers at SXSW this week, the cast and crew slowly arrived, marveling at the fact their film was on an official festival marquee, and that people were waiting in line to see something that took six years to write, four to film, and was finished just a few days before its premiere.
The wait paid off, as Snatchers is a delightfully quirky, bloody, razor-sharp horror comedy that had the midnight crowd cheering along until the credits rolled.
The film centers on Sara (Mary Nepi), a teenager who's managed to secure her seat at the cool table, but to try and help keep her reputation up to par, she decides to sleep with her boyfriend, Skyler (Austin Fryberger). The next day, she wakes up pregnant with a pair of homicidal aliens who wreak havoc on their small town.
Wanting to keep the whole situation quiet, Sara goes to her former BFF, Hayley (Gabrielle Elyse). Once things get rolling Snatchers reveals itself to be a brilliant mash-up of outrageous teen comedy and '80s-era horror, almost as if a young Sam Raimi directed a Troma film with a David Cronenberg undertone. When you watch the trailer below, this will all make sense.
After the screening, directors Stephen Cedars and Benji Kleiman, who wrote the screenplay with Scott Yacyshyn, credited their older sisters for helping them infuse a sense of empowerment to their female-centric, high school, alien-invasion movie.
"Scott, Benji, and I are all younger brothers to older sisters," Cedars told the crowd, which included SYFY WIRE. "They all had ... tumultuous high school experiences, so I think that was influential. So we were like, 'We have insight, we can do this!' I think everyone still feels they lock into who they are in high school, so we just wrote them as human beings."
"I think that's all true," added Kleiman. "When you start with an idea of a girl who becomes pregnant with an alien, you just gotta go from there. You're not gonna tell a story about a guy."