ARRIVAL OF WANG (2011) – Film Four screening
Directors/Writers: Antonio Manetti, Marco Manetti
Cast: Ennio Fantastichini, Francesca Cuttica, Juliet Esey Joseph
This is a nifty little low-budget sci-fi horror from Italy which makes very good use of limited locations and small cast to entertaining effect. A Translator is called to a job at an unknown location and is then faced with a particularly strange job. She must translate for a shady Government organisation who are holding an Alien referred to as ‘Wang’. Strangely the alien speaks Mandarin having learnt it because it is the most spoken language on Earth.
The premise is intriguing and draws you in and I was gripped throughout. The effects were alright given the low budget and the film shows that a decent concept can overcome financial limitations. As with many small budget films we are restricted to one main location; an interrogation room where the Government agent grills the Alien through the translator. The film takes on political subtext by questioning the torture of suspected Government threats or ‘terrorists’ as the alien Wang is seen as foe rather than friend.
While it gets a bit irritating with the back and forth translation and subtitles combined I enjoyed the movie very much; managing to create suspense throughout. Even though some people may find the Alien effects a bit silly and laughable it’s worth sticking with to the end.