Directed by Mickey Keating
The movie starts out fairly slow, including some drawn out close-ups of coffee mugs – seriously who the fuck wants to see that? Maybe the camera man does corporate videos for Starbucks as his day job?
Anyways, once Ed and his sister Lyla get to the family lake house and confront their brother Martin, things get rather intense. Brian Morvant (Martin) does a brilliant job portraying a man suffering from apparent madness induced by experiments performed on him by the US military along with claims that the government is developing a 'super' soldier otherwise known as a POD that has been killing his former squad mates.
During the lake house scene there's the revelation that Martin has someone/something in the cellar that's supposedly a POD. He believes it is the evidence he needs to prove he's right about the government. Who or what is in the cellar isn't answered until the last quarter of the movie, but the heightened tension that Martin may've kidnapped or killed someone adds to the madness of the lake house's atmosphere.
I felt that Dean Cate's performance as Ed was a great foil to the lunacy of Martin (Morvant). Both characters came across as strong personalities that were frustrated with the situation of the other one not believing what they were saying. In Ed's case his frustration came from seeing his brother slip deeper into madness and possibly doing harm to himself or to another person, which he's done in the past.
Lyla seems to be a character people hate. I didn't necessarily hate her but her role didn’t seem to have any real purpose. She tends to float in the background and only surfaces to argue with one of her brothers or freak the fuck out over something later. I think her character could be removed and it wouldn't hurt the movie too much.
The turmoil reaches a boiling point between the two brothers, but it doesn't turn out the way that I expected. In fact it was a rather shocking/surprising resolution that'll make the gore hounds out there a little giddy, but POD isn't a splatter punk or slasher horror movie. That being said there are some nasty treats late in the movie.
POD may start off slow and there may be a bit too much dysfunctionality between 'control-freak' Ed and 'slutty alcoholic' Lyla but the last 20 minutes or so of the movie manages to not only have some impressive special effect makeup/creature design but also manages to ramp up the tension and horror
Along the way there are a few plot twists and deaths that you won't see coming which make it clear that this isn't your usual Hollywood bullshit. POD doesn't coddle its characters, everyone's fair game in the end. Personally, I love that approach to storytelling.
In the end POD manages to pull together most of the frayed ends of its plot, but there are a few things left open ended which I liked. Whether they'll be expanded upon in a sequel or not remains to be seen, but by no means do the loose ends of the plot ruin the story. Despite being only about 60 minutes in length, POD creates three well developed characters and a fascinating story that held my attention (which isn't easy these days.)
I would recommend this movie to you if you're a fan of government conspiracies and horror/science. POD is a slower paced movie with more emphasis on character and atmosphere for the majority of the time, but it knows how to create a great atmosphere and isn't afraid to bust a few heads along the way.