They Look Like People is a 2015 indie horror film by first-time filmmaker Perry Blackshear. The story focuses on a troubled man who suspects that humanity is slowly being replaced by body-snatching monsters. He reconnects with an old childhood friend to recruit allies while at the same time seriously doubting his sanity.
This film provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Mara knows judo and demonstrates some throws on Christian. She also throws a mean punch when Wyatt won't leave her alone.
- Alone with the Psycho: Wyatt does this twice.
- He brings Mara down to the basement under the belief that she's part of the resistance, but she's creeped out by his behavior and tries to leave. When he moves to stop her, she threatens to throw him on his ass.
- Wyatt reveals his beliefs to Christian in Christian's apartment while brandishing a hammer and behaving in an agitated and aggressive manner.
- Chekhov's Skill: Mara's knowledge of self-defense, established when she's on a playful date with Christian, helps her stand her ground to Wyatt.
- Closet Geek: Christian and Wyatt were both geeks in school. Christian has become riddled with self-loathing, believing that he was a total loser and is much cooler now, but Wyatt doesn't look back on those days with any shame.
- Death Seeker:
- Christian admits that he thought about killing himself. In the final scene, he welcomes the opportunity for Wyatt to either kill him or spare him.
- At one point, Wyatt sticks the nailgun in his mouth, but decides not to pull the trigger. He tries to nail his hand, but the nailgun jams.
- Drop the Hammer: One of Wyatt's improvised weapons is a simple carpenter's hammer.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: It takes the entire movie and a whole lot of trauma on both their parts, but Wyatt and Christian both manage to overcome their mental issues (hallucinations and self-esteem) that were plaguing their lives.
- Hell Is That Noise: When Wyatt senses that the monsters may be near, the sound drops out and is overwhelmed by an ominous buzzing noise, like the swarming of flies.
- Improvised Weapon: Wyatt has collected a number of tools that can double as weapons, such as a nail gun, a hammer and an axe.
- No Antagonist: The monsters are all in Wyatt's head. The only struggles in the film are internal. It's a genuinely scary horror movie with no actual monsters and no deaths! Whadya know?.
- The Reveal: Christian's motivational tapes were recorded at his behest by his ex-girlfriend, but he still listens to them.
- They Look Like Us Now: Wyatt believes that the monsters can take the form of humans. Anyone passing you by on the street, even your own friends and family, might really be a monster.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: Wyatt's hallucinations are presented as real when he's the sole character in the scene.