Writer-director Shane Carruth, who made the low-budget mind-bender Primer, does some mind-bending yet again with Upstream Color, his second feature. He gets a fine performance out of Amy Seimetz as Kris, a young woman who is kidnapped; her kidnapper puts some sort of organism in her; she is more or less possessed; and pigs eventually become involved.
This is not a movie for those who like to be spoon-fed their narratives. This is a movie in the great tradition of David Lynch: It keeps you guessing while making you feel very weird as you watch it. I can’t say I’ve solved its riddles, but I had a good time trying.
It’s definitely a movie that warrants two, or three, or 787 viewings before you can start figuring it out, or at least fool yourself into believing that you’ve figured it out. I can tell you that some sort of alien parasite is involved in the drugging that basically lobotomizes Kris. I can also tell you that the aforementioned pigs play an important part, and I’m not sure why.
If you can make sense of this movie the first time you see it, you are some sort of puzzle-master. I’ve watched it twice, and I’m still a bit lost. I know it must have something to do with our sense of self, and what happens to us when we lose our sense of self. I think it’s also saying we shouldn’t eat bacon.
Whatever it is saying, Carruth says it in a hypnotic way that will interest those who like to have their brains messed with while watching a movie.
Special Features: You get skunked on the special features. Just watch the movie again and see if you get closer to figuring it out.