Spoiler-Free Film Reviews: “The Becomers” and “Omen” (Boston Underground Film Festival 2024)

April 3, 2024

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at josephperry@gmail.com. He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

The Becomers (2024)


Writer/director Zach Clark’s science-fiction comedy The Becomers is one of the more unique offerings in the subgenre of alien-body-snatchers cinema. It follows the travails of two genderless extraterrestrial lovers who have left their home planet for hopefully better lives on Earth. They must inhabit human bodies, with plenty of reasons to change them, as they try to grasp the language, mannerisms, and mindsets of Americans. The film touches on a variety of current social issues in the post-pandemic United States while avoiding becoming overly didactic, and the cast members — led by Molly Plunk, Mike Lopez, and Keith Kelly — give earnest performances that give the proceedings a grounded yet humorous feel. Bonus points from me for the fact that the film is narrated by Russell Mael, vocalist for one of my all-time favorite rock bands, Sparks.



Omen (Augure; Belgium/The Democratic Republic of Congo/Netherlands/Germany/France/South Africa, 2023)

Omen deals in magical realism and African mysticism, with horror-adjacent elements such as Congolese protagonist Koffi (Marc Zinga) being subjected to an esoteric trial for being a possible demon while his pregnant partner Alice (Lucie Debay) is forced to look on helplessly. The pair lives in Belgium but travels to Koffi’s hometown of Kinshasa to discuss their upcoming marriage with his family. Subplots involving Koffi’s sister Tshalia (Eliane Umuhire) — who, like Koffi, is also estranged from their family — and a young person named Paco (Marcel Otete Kabeya) who is a member of a gang that wears pink tutus interweave with the plight of Koffi and Alice. Director Baloji, who cowrote the screenplay with Thomas van Zuylen, has crafted a visually wonderful work that focuses more on presentations of themes than strong narrative, resulting in an at-times mesmerizing film that works best if viewers simply give in to its unusual scenarios and focus on Congolese belief systems and cultural aspects.

Omen will be released on 4/12 in New York, 4/19 in Los Angeles, and expands around the U.S. in the subsequent weeks.



The Becomers and Omen screened as part of the 2024 Boston Underground Film Festival, which ran March 20–24. For more information, visit https://bostonunderground.org/


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