The Similars (2015)

If this movie is any indication, Isaac Ezban is a writer and director to watch. He was inspired by The Twilight Zone episode “It’s a Good Life” and the color palette of 2009’s The Box, as this has a muted look that is unlike anything I’ve seen recently. It’s a movie that takes a somewhat silly conceit — every person in a bus station starts to look alike — and makes it amazingly taunt and shocking.

Ulises is stranded in a bus station during a rainstorm and the Tlatelolco riots of 1968. His wife is in Mexico City, ready to give birth and he must get there to see her. However, it seems like the storm is a worldwide phenomenon.

After speaking with Irene, the twosome decides to grab a taxi together. Ulises asks an old woman if she’d like to join them, but she angrily replies in a foreign language. At the same time, a cleaning lady demands that Rosa not leave before succumbing to an epileptic fit.

Meanwhile, as more people arrive, the man who runs the station screams that everything is Ulises’s fault before trying to kill him. And oh yeah — there’s a mysterious child named Igancio who must continually be shot up with sedatives.

At this point, the film reveals its crucial conceit: everyone begins to turn into Ulises, even the women, the magazines, the statues, everything has started to transform into him. Ignacio shows him a comic book about aliens who steal humanity’s individuality without them ever knowing. Somehow, the child has caused this comic book fiction to become fact.

I really don’t want to reveal much more, but suffice to say that this movie really stuck with me. I can’t wait to see what Ezban does next.

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