Written and directed by Andrea Ricca, telling the story of mysterious and aggressive creatures who crashed landed in one man’s home and reeked havoc.
This film jumps in with both feet to a few of the classic mistakes that characters make in the world of sci-fi and horror, firstly underestimating the violence and aggression that can emit from something cute and secondly, allowing your curiosity to get the better of your survival instincts. In fairness to most people, if you see something small and fluffy, you’re probably going to assume that it’s harmless, thinking from the fur that it’s a Pomeranian or a rabbit but in this case that instinct isn’t going to do you any favours. Another classic trait monsters share in cinema is the cute and cuddly side being pulled back when they bare their teeth and these furry fiends definitely have plenty of fangs to put on display, though not for long as they quickly find some flesh to chomp on.
Being ten years older than Ricca’s most recent projects, it’s very interesting to see how the VFX has developed, but the thing that remains constant is the quality work that these filmmakers do to create monsters, whether they be arachnid, supernatural or fluffy. In this case, their little round furry fanged friends are well created, they have a great movement to them as they scurry or roll away and a good mix of being able to straddle the line between cute and deadly. It’s almost as if you took a Furby and brought it to life, at first you’d think it was adorable and then you’d slowly realise that actually it’s terrifying and you should probably run away or find a weapon. The ways in which the lead deals with this new infestation are nicely reminiscent of some classic cinema moments and surprisingly realistic for using what you would have on hand in your average kitchen.
However, it’s slightly surprising considering the tenacity that one of these mini monsters bites down on his ankle that the lead doesn’t have a larger sense of urgency, it would have been nice to see him look a little bit more worried about the likely alien origin of these creatures invading his home. The performance overall is perfectly fine but again, it would have kicked it up a notch to engage more with the story’s danger and threat to add a more convincing side and enhance the creature’s menacing nature. The score does help in that regard, it has a nice swift pace to it and feels very reminiscent of 80s or 90s era sci-fi. There’s also a comedic edge which naturally comes through as the story unfolds, it adds a little bit of a clever tone to some of the interactions between the lead and his intruders.
The Furfangs lands somewhere between Doctor Who and Gremlins, its frenzied miniature monsters are cute and furry yet intensely prone to bite and attack. The special effects stand up fairly well to say the film is a decade old, the way that the monsters are captured has a great amount of movement, as well as having a high energy to them, like someone gave a rabid guinea pig a Red Bull. There are a few aspects that could have been improved but overall, it’s a fun 5-minutes and you can clearly see the work that went into making it.