Sam Was Here aka Nemesis – France, USA, 2016 – reviews


Sam Was Here – aka Nemesis – is a 2016 French-American mystery horror thriller film co-produced and directed by Christophe Deroo, making his feature debut, from a screenplay co-written with Clement Tuffreau. 

The film stars Rusty Joiner (Resident Evil: Extinction; Bones), Sigrid La Chapelle, Rhoda Pell (Cannibal Corpse Killers; The Diabolical), Hassan Galedary.

The Mojave Desert, California, 1998: A strange glow appears in the sky. Sam, a forty-something door-to-door salesman, travels through the few inhabited zones of the Californian desert in search of clients, yet everything seems deserted. What’s more, his wife won’t answer his calls. It’s as if everyone were avoiding him.


When his car breaks down, Sam becomes a prisoner of the empty, hostile environment. Alone and without human contact for days on end, he listens continuously to a talk-show on the only local radio station. The host, a man named Eddy, takes calls from listeners who share their thoughts on a child killer at large in the area.


At the same time, Sam starts getting psychologically harassed by strange threats he receives on his pager. Gradually, people begin to reappear and attempt to kill him. Sam has become a target and he must now defend himself. Little by little he loses it, caught up in a paranoid identity crisis. Is he truly the killer they’re after, or is he being driven to become so…


Reviews [click links to read more]:

“It’s such a grim, bleak piece of work that it’s no doubt worth looking into. It may leave you feeling hopeless and filthy, but the picture’s technical refinement and the work of the cast completely negate any con you can point to in the film. Sam Was Here may not be an outright genre film, but it’s going to fit the taste of most genre fanatics.” Matt Molgaard, Addicted to Horror Movies

“Was Sam simply stuck in some kind of Silent Hill-esque hell? I have no idea; there are a number of possibilities. If you like movies with zero explanations then this is certainly the one for you. Overall, Sam Was Here is an enjoyable ride but the ending & lack of understanding for pretty much everything leaves a bitter taste.” Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life

“If you only enjoy movies that explain everything in great detail, this film might not be for you. I personally enjoyed it and even though it would be possible to debate it at length, I have my own theory about what happened to Sam. I think he may be trapped in some kind of purgatory. It’s certainly the kind of film that can be interpreted in many different ways.”

” …this is a better film than it gets credit for. The desert landscapes are gorgeous, capturing the desolation and isolation perfectly. The camera moves with purpose, carefully drawing your attention to intriguing details or simply piquing your expectations before subverting them, while never making the interaction too obvious. The synth score is rich and pounding…” Dale Raulerson, Letterboxd

Filming locations:

Agua Dulce Movie Ranch, El Mirage, and Palmdale, California, USA

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13 Comments on “Sam Was Here aka Nemesis – France, USA, 2016 – reviews”

  1. it kept me entertained but i was totally pissed when nothing added up at the end …i sum it up as a waste of time dont watch it…

  2. It was shit….like really???… Who the hell was Eddy?… Why they killed Sam…why the old lady was making tea????…an sense….

  3. It was shit….like really???… Who the hell was Eddy?… Why they killed Sam…why the old lady was making tea????…an sense….

  4. It was a beauty. I guess I would some it up as utterly dreadful. The acting was great, it was produced really well, and the music was spot on. The plot was far overshadowed by the feeling you get watching this. I’m not sure a clear answer would do this movie well. That’s the beauty of it. I have some theories of my own, but I’ll keep them to myself in regards to the story. If you like movies like the original “Maniac” or maybe “iZombie”, you will dig it.

  5. yeah i was really curious the whole time and then no answer!liked it but really deserved an explenation

  6. I think the movie is awesome, because it leaves enough confusion for a sequel and it does a great job at showing how vulnerable and savage we can actually be, if we are cornered like a hunted animal. The open ending is a great idea because it forces the viewer to cling to the idea of something happening randomly in a very weird place that we will never know or hear about it after it happened. It is intended to inspire fear that something bad can happen to anyone and no one will ever know how or why. This movie has the “Stranger things” feeling combined with “Jeeper Creepers” – not enough explanations and pure action.

  7. Movie is ok but there is no explanation to it. What was the red light in the sky? Who was Eddy? Was he human? Why did he move like that? Absolutely no answers…

  8. I totally did not understand it at all and I’m good at understanding movies. So confused that I googled it and yet still nothing

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