Throughout the ‘80s, a common horror trope had evil doers possessing inanimate objects and tormenting their new owners. From dolls (Child’s Play, Puppetmaster) to cars (Christine), comforting possessions were turning against the people who held them most dear. These films weren’t meant to be taken seriously, though. Rather, they usually served as tongue-in-cheek commentaries on consumerism with few real scares but a wicked sense of humor. Director Jordan Rubin taps into these with his entertaining new film The Drone.
Just before the police break down his door, a serial killer, known as The Violator (Neil Sandilands), uses black magic to send his soul into the commercial drone he used to stalk his victims. Later, newlywed couple Rachel (Alex Essoe) and Chris (John Brotherton) are moving into their new house when they find a seemingly abandoned drone. It’s a newer model, so Chris happily claims it as his, even going to an electronics shop to buy a new remote control for it. When some of their neighbors disappear, and mysterious messages pop up in their email, though, it’s up to Chris and Rachel to figure out what’s happening and stop it.
“…uses black magic to send his soul into the commercial drone he used to stalk his victims.”
Truth be told, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Rubin gives us something that would have fit perfectly on the Empire International Pictures or Full Moon Features rosters 30 years ago. There’s a ridiculous premise, corny dialog, and a cheesy soundtrack clearly evoking the orchestral synth of Richard Band’s seminal scores. Remember when you could rent some crappy Charles Band movie from the local video rental shop and invite some friends over for pizza and beer? This is one of those.
If you’re looking for lavish cinematography or a deep message, you won’t find it here. The Drone is just silly entertainment with some fun kills. It doesn’t ask to be taken seriously; it just wants us to smile. We need more of these.
The Drone (2019) Directed by Jordan Rubin. Written by Al Kaplan, Jon Kaplan, Jordan Rubin. Starring Alex Essoe, John Brotherton, Anita Briem, Neil Sandilands, Rex Linn.
7 out of 10 stars