The opening credits of this new horror really set the scene for an exciting Slither-inspired experience. On an island off the coast of the US, scientists are using parasites on human subjects in a bid to make them stronger, mentally and physically. But the experiment goes horribly wrong, causing widespread fatalities. A young girl, the daughter of the one of the scientists, is witness to this tragic event.

Twenty years later, Jamie (played by Mircea Monroe) arrives back on Cuttyhunk Island with her boyfriend (Charmed’s Brian Krause), stepbrother Justin and best friend Kristen to sell the family property. But a new strain of the parasite has emerged and when Justin is infected, all hell breaks loose.

It’s such a shame that this indie-horror doesn’t live up to its thrilling, well-edited pre-credit sequence. The plot has more holes than a cheese grater, making Growth difficult to follow. If only the film-makers had paid as much attention to the story as they have with the special effects  – despite what they say in the making-of featurette.

The SFX are surprisingly good. For such a small production, the parasitic creatures that squirm and sliver through their way through all manner of orifices in their human hosts (and have cute Tribble-like voices to boot) actually put many of SyFy’s creature features to shame. Maybe if the filmmakers had of concentrated on those enlarged slugs rather than the boring actors, we could have had a film worth watching. For a more memorable slimy critter-fix, 1976’s Squirm is still the one to beat.

Released 18 January