Review by Bears Fonte
Unfortunately, REPLACE quickly degenerates into a slasher film, filled with endless minutes devoted to slicing the skin off other people to replace her own. On top of that, the script is prone to giant leaps of plot that don’t follow the setup, as well as unsolved logic gaps so that unlike a film like Realiti or Time Lapse, where you can put it all together and it makes sense, there are moments that just add up. For example, as Kira walks from one apartment (hers) to another apartment (hers – same apartment), what did she do, walk in a circle? It seems to be setting up a much more interesting world and much more tightly constructed plot than it actually is. And on that journey, she is talking about her boyfriend to supposedly her best friend, who seems to be telling her he’s a bad person… but later, when we find out the central twist, this conversation doesn’t even make sense. Who is she talking to?
I can’t help but think REPLACE would have been a much stronger film if it had been written and/or directed by a woman. Instead, co-writers Norbert Keil and Richard Stanley offer a film much like the lead character, pretty on the outside but basically an empty shell. Barbara Crampton turns in a campy performance as the evil doctor behind it all, a character that might as well have been a cartoon. The best turn actually comes from Lucie Aron as Kira’s neighbor-turned-lover, who does a fine job leaping through the massive sweeps of character the poorly constructed plot force her to manage.
I have a feeling this film will play at a number of genre festivals over the next six months, this sort of body horror plot matched with stills of sexy women always manages to draw a crowd, unfortunately there isn’t much to hold them there once they are seated.