Duncan (Ken Marino) lives a rather unremarkable life with his wife Sarah (Gillian Jacobs). At work he’s been given the unenviable task of laying his co-workers off and the stress of the situation causes him to experience severe stomach cramps. A trip to the doctors reveals that he has a polyp in his stomach but it soon turns out that he has a demon living inside him. As if that shock wasn’t enough, Duncan discovers that the demon acts on his anger causing havoc and putting the lives of those around him in jeopardy.
The premise of Bad Milo is one that definitely grabbed our attention and it being shown at Film4 FrightFest this year got us really excited. From the look of the trailer the film seems really quirky and likely to be a good laugh. Unfortunately the reality is something very different and Bad Milo soon turns from fun to disappointing leaving you imagining what could have been.
Whilst the film’s central story is obviously completely ridiculous, it could have been a whole lot of tongue-in-cheek fun but Bad Milo isn’t fully realised. The horror/comedy balance is never really reached and the film offers very little in the way of surprises. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with a linear narrative, Bad Milo offers up absolutely no twists and turns whatsoever and there are no surprises at any point in the movie.
The movie’s sub-plots offer nothing particularly interesting either. Duncan’s mother (Mary Kay Place) is an over-sexed woman with a younger lover and Peter Stomare’s alternative doctor Highsmith doesn’t really make an impact. Add to that an underlying plot involving Duncan’s strained relationship with his father and it’s all a little bit dull.
Ken Marino, who we always find watchable, is the saving grace of the movie (along with the special effects) and he puts in a solid performance. Unfortunately he’s not given a lot to work with and the excessive toilet humour in the movie’s first half hour becomes tedious very quickly. His chemistry with Community star Gillian Jacobs struggles, not because of his acting, because the two characters are drastically under-written. Jacobs is given barely anything to do at all and we’re sure that Community fans will feel a bit disappointed with her involvement in the movie.
Bad Milo could have been so much more than it is. Had it taken the tongue-in-cheek horror/comedy route of cult classic Critters it could have been a real guilty pleasure. Bad Milo underwhelms and wastes a quirky premise by delivering a very pedestrian and predictable movie. If Ken Marino wasn’t in the movie we’d likely tell you it’s not worthy of your time.