McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
by Garon Cockrell
CLONED: The Recreator Chronicles DVD Review
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May 4, 2013 5:20 p.m.

I’m a sucker for films that play with the theme of

identity, and obviously any movie that is about clones is going to fit right in

with that. CLONED: The Recreator

is a science fiction horror film about three friends who go

camping on an island and end up meeting duplicates of themselves, clones that

are stronger, smarter and more arrogant.

The movie begins on a dark and stormy night. Lightning

hits…well, it’s unclear at first just what it hits, but later it turns out to

be some sort of cesspool. Anyway, lightning hits it, and a hand reaches out.

Hey, isn’t that how Jason Voorhees is brought back to life in Friday The 13th Part VI? Not

in a cesspool, of course, but…

The film cuts back and forth between the scenes that

night, and scenes from a later day when the three friends arrive by canoe at

Brewster Island Campground. It’s actually an interesting way of presenting the

information. Tracy, upon arrival, needs to use the bathroom and decides rather

than digging a hole in the ground she’ll go up to the house in the distance. So

her approach to the house is cut with the previous tenants of the house (Frank

and Elizabeth Miller) meeting their fate. By the way, Dr. Frank Miller is

played by John de Lancie (who will be well known to fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation).

Tracy (Stella Maeve) is able to find a hidden key to the

house and uses the bathroom without being disturbed by any occupants. Then that

night it rains. Uh-oh, another storm. In the tent that Craig and Tracy share,

we’re treated to some awful exposition. Craig says, “You did the summer abroad thing. I stayed home and worked in a hardware

.” A little later Tracy says, “I

told you, I’ll go to community college for a year and then we’ll see
.” I

always feel that when characters deliver lines like that, they should just turn

to the camera and say them straight to us. Anyway, when lightning begins

striking near the friends’ campsite, the three decide they’ll spend the night

in the house.

Craig (Alexander Nifong) is the only sensible one of the

three, reminding the others that this house isn’t actually theirs, as Derek

builds a fire in the fireplace and Tracy goes to take a shower.  The next morning they wake inside the house,

in the owners’ beds. And of course the owners return. Or, rather, clones of the

owners return. And though the three friends hide, they are soon discovered.

The clone couple makes Craig and Derek bury the bodies of

the original couple. And we learn that they were not the original owners of

this house. An atomic scientist lived there in the fifties (and of course

performed some of his work there). Ah-ha! When it becomes clear that these

clones aim to kill the friends, they run. And are saved by their own clones.

One thing I like about this film is that once the three

clones show up, it doesn’t become a long, drawn-out fight between them. Clone

Craig tells real Craig to make breakfast. Derek (Jamal Mallory-McCree) takes

off, and then the film cuts to real Craig and real Tracy holding plates of

pancakes. Tracy says, “What are we doing?

And Craig responds, “I don’t know, but

it’s getting cold
.”  I love that

sense of humor that the film has. Also, it’s not like they’re terrified of the

clones; they’re more curious. They actually want to learn how this all came

about rather than just get away from them or kill them. And that gives this

film a much different feel from most films of its genre.

The clones have the friends’ memories, and so they begin

revealing things about them. For example, clone Tracy says that real Tracy came

on this trip only to break up with Craig, that she’s been seeing someone else.

Craig begins getting close to clone Tracy, and she tells him that she and the

real Tracy aren’t exactly alike. And though the clones are supposedly smarter

than the real people, clone Tracy then says this: “More like cousins separated at birth.” Wait, are cousins usually

together at birth? (My friend Devon Kurtz and I used to do a routine where we

played evil twin cousins.) Clone Tracy continues, “Except she got the good genes and I got the bad.” She and real

Craig then go skinny dipping.

However, what’s actually interesting is that what she

said about the bad genes isn’t quite true. And you begin to actually like clone

Tracy more than the real Tracy. Especially when she wears that cute maroon

sweater.  Meanwhile real Tracy is messing

around with clone Craig. Can it really be considered cheating when the person

you’re cheating with is a clone of your partner? There’s a moment when real

Tracy hands real Craig a shirt like the one that clone Craig wears and tells

him to put it on. I love twisted stuff like that. And Stella Maeve does a

particularly good job creating two characters who are similar, yet distinct.

This film makes one interesting use of split screen.

Clone Derek is outside, and he looks in through one panel of a window. The

other panels then go dark, and another image appears there while we still see

Derek. It’s a cool shot, but oddly it’s the only instance of split screen for

the entire film.

There is some interesting stuff with the reflections of

the clones that’s never quite explained. And of course the friends discover the

underground laboratory of the atomic scientist. And when Tracy figures out how

the clones came to be, it’s, well, quite absurd. And it perhaps gives a clue as

to why the clones seem to be the exaggerated cases of their lesser qualities

(with the exception of Tracy, of course).

But while the film has its shortcomings, I actually enjoyed it.

At the end of the closing credits it says, “To

be continued

Special Features

The DVD has some bonus material, including The Making of CLONED, which features

interviews with a lot of the cast and crew, including Stella Maeve, Alexander

Nifong, Jamal Mallory-McCree, John de Lancie, Laura Moss, Mary Frederickson and

Lynn Appelle. Writer/director Gregory Orr talks about the idea for the film,

and says that the theme is that no one wants to be replaced, whether it’s by the

younger generation or by having one’s job moved overseas. We all want to think

of ourselves as unique.

There are also two deleted scenes. The first is a scene

of clone Craig talking with real Tracy in the bedroom. The second is a scene of

the Millers (John de Lancie and Laura Moss) before they were replaced by their

clones. It basically sets up their relationship on the night of the first

storm. It’s their anniversary, and the hospital calls him in. She doesn’t want

him to go, reminds him they’re on an island, but he decides he must go. Just

how he would get to the hospital in time isn’t quite clear, and maybe that’s

why this scene was cut.

And the film’s trailer is included. (By the way, there

are trailers for a few other films as well, including one about Nazi tea that I

just have to see.)


Recreator Chronicles
was released on April 23, 2013.

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