The Drone is the latest horror comedy from Zombeavers (2014) director Jordan Rubin. The premise is simple: a serial killer’s spirit is trapped inside a drone, which goes on a horrific killing spree. The film stars John Brotherton (The Conjuring), Alex Essoe (Starry Eyes), Rex Linn (Django Unchained), Anita Briem (TV’s The Tudors), and Simon Rex (Scary Movie 3). Featuring a deadly, possessed pieced of machinery, The Drone promises a lot of other technologically-based terror similar to Ghost in the Machine (1993).
The opening scenes of The Drone feel like they are taken directly from a horror movie I would have watched in the 90s. The movie kicks off with the police closing in on a serial killer. During the chase the killer’s soul is transferred into a drone that he is holding, after being hit bu a sharp bolt of lightning. It doesn’t take long for the killer’s mean-streak to kick back into gear as he begins kill again, using the titular drone as a conduit.
“[for] fans who are hankering for a return to the kind of horror movies that were produced during the 90s.”
The leads John Brotherton and Alex Essoe make the most of the material they have been given as Chris and Rachel, respectively and are game for the over-the-top scenarios and dialogue that the screenplay offers. Anita Briem is also notable as the couple’s “sexy” next door neighbor, Corrine. Briem’s onscreen presence is limited but her line delivery and reactions steal the show when she is featured. None of the characters have a lot of depth, but each of them fit the tone of the story perfectly, especially knowing they will soon be picked off one-by-one.
I was most surprised by how light the carnage of The Drone was. Instead of the routine slash-fest I was expecting, it’s evident right away that the drone’s plans are more intricate than mindless killing. Not to say that I wasn’t entertained by what I was watching, but it fails to live up to the movie’s initial promise. Instead of a wacky techno gore-fest, The Drone takes cues from other 90s horror/thriller movies that are more focused on stalking and obsession. The killer drone has a more focused agenda than random death. After all, it is harboring the essence of a serial killer who was targeting a specific type of female when he was alive. Viewers know right off the bat that the killer has singled out the newlywed couple, but for what reason? Instead of relentlessly killing, the drone plays mind games with Chris and Rachel. As the drone’s rising actions continue to manipulate the couple, the antagonist’s overall goal becomes clearer.
The Drone reminded me A LOT of, Man’s Best Friend, and some aspects of the two seem to match beat for beat. That said, the finale is a gleefully absurd conclusion, featuring a crowd pleasing “evolution” of the killer drone that is thoroughly entertaining. I really liked The Drone and would recommend it to fans who are hankering for a return to the kind of horror movies that were produced during the 90s. The movie is light on gore and kills and never reaches the outrageous heights of Jordan Rubin’s previous feature, Zombeavers, but it keeps a silly and easygoing tone throughout. Rubin nails both act one and three, but I wanted more from what was sandwiched in the middle. More kills, gorier deaths, and crazier stalker scenarios would have made the story really take off. If you’re looking for a fun throwback, The Drone is well worth checking out.
The Drone is scheduled to land on DVD and streaming services beginning October 15. Which modern piece of technology do you think would make a perfect murderer? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter, in the official NOFS Subreddit, and in the Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!