Movie Review: Indigenous (2014)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2014 thriller starring Zachary Soetenga and Lindsey McKeon.

Synopsis: A group of American friends take a vacation in Panama and, after hearing stories about a remote jungle waterfall, they decide to ignore warnings about how dangerous the jungle is and set off to find it. Unfortunately for them, the jungle is also home to the legendary chupacabra and it is hungry for human meat.


My wife and I started watching this movie a couple weeks ago and quickly lost interest in it. However, she decided to go to bed relatively early last night and, since I was in the mood for a movie, I ended up finishing this film. Sadly, this proved to be a bad choice.

Ever since "The Blair Witch Project," there seems to be an abundance of "found-footage" films out there and, more often than not, they aren't very good. This movie falls into that category.

Well, actually, to be more specific, this film also falls into the "stupid American tourists think they know more than the locals and ignore numerous warnings about what not to do" category. And, that is a large part of the reason why this film just wasn't that interesting to watch.

Basically, almost from the time they arrive and long before they even set foot in the jungle, it's not overly difficult to figure out what is going to happen to them. In fact, the local stories they chose to ignore pretty much spelled it out. As a result, the movie became very predictable very quickly. As I've said countless times before, that is never a good thing when it comes to horror films.

On top of it, the movie seemed like it took forever to get started. One of the main reasons why my wife and I turned it off the first time was because the various sexual references outnumbered everything else by a considerable margin. While I'm not really opposed to that in principle, seeing that sort of thing take up a large amount of time in a horror movie just indicates a weak plot in my book. And, after watching the film, I can honestly say this movie more than proved that theory.

Final Opinion

To tell you the truth, I think this film had some real potential, especially since it was shot in Panama (a country you really don't see a lot of in movies). I even think the first-hand "found footage" concept could have worked. However, the overall execution of this film left a lot to be desired and it just isn't worth watching as a result.

My Grade: D

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Updated: 03/17/2016, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 01/24/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
Me too, I go with you and your wife's disappointments in the film. The chupacabra legend is from Latin American culture. So it would have been interesting if treated according to your suggestions.

In an unrelated direction perhaps, it always should be important to listen to local stories. That was one of the reasons that Kristofer Helgen discovered olinguito!

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