“Like his debut feature, the straightforward-yet-mega stylized Ritual, Mickey Keating’s Pod is mostly an overnighter. The young, excitable director injects energy into his movies, clearly interested in the propulsive snowball of an extreme situation that only grows more so. Riffing on another classical genre style, Pod switches out Ritual’s desert motel dilemma for the frozen Northeast and paranoid sci-fi horror to unfold like a 75-minute argument. The kind that you’re afraid won’t end unless someone dies. They do.
Pod strobes and smash cuts and pushes in on TVs, both escalating the sense of unease and discomfort, but also enjoying the ways it creates such atmosphere as only film can. Ritual had a similar preoccupation, with the viewer and the film itself aware the characters are increasingly in a situation purely from movieland. Later in Pod, a third act entrance from indie horror legend Larry Fessenden—draped in trenchcoat and fog—only pushes Pod’s movie-ness.”
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