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Starring: Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton
Writer/Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi
Distributor: Universal Studios
Unlike ghosts, aliens are actually believable. Growing up, I used to be big into UFO's and sightings and actually traveled with my family to Nevada to go to a place called The Little "Alien-Inn". The Fourth Kind, a new movie released by Universal Studios, is about aliens in theory, but if you took out anything about abduction, it could have easily been a movie about ghosts or demons.

It is presented as based on facts, switching between "real" footage of the people involved and then dramatizations of said footage starring Milla Jovovich and a host of others under "aliases". Basically, the residents of Nome, Alaska have experienced more death and more disappearances than any other town in Alaska. Dr. Abby Tyler (Jovovich/the "real" Tyler in the documentary footage) is a psychologist who notices a similarity among her patients: each night, they see a white owl at the same exact time in the morning. Investigating further, using hypnosis, she finds out that there is much more going on than just random forest fowl getting all up in the grills of the Nome, Alaska population. There is an alien presence...obviously.

The Fourth Kind's title refers to what kind of encounter a person has with an extraterrestrial. First is sighting, Second is physical evidence, Third is contact, and Fourth...dun dun dun...is abduction. So that is what we are dealing with in this movie: a bunch of people who "really" got abducted and how they deal with that.

If you haven't noticed by now, I keep putting quotations around saying "real". That's because as much as the filmmaker and studio wish it were true, none of the footage they show in the film is real. The story is too cinematic and coincidental for any validity to the story of the film being real. Plus, all the "real" footage gets all staticy and messed up whenever anything cool happens, which is very convenient for a film with a low budget. The biggest red flag? If this stuff legitimately happened, and this footage was legitimately on tape...we would have heard about it by now or seen it. Some of the stuff they showcase would have set the U.S. and the World on FIRE if it was released. But it didn't. Sorry.

The Fourth Kind isn't a horrible movie, however. Once you get over how fake the story is, you can enjoy it as the film it should have just been marketed as. You don't see any aliens, but there are some actual scary and messed up parts to the film. Elias Koteas once again kicks balls in another movie, proving why he has lasted so long in Hollywood and making me wonder once again why him and Christopher Meloni have not played siblings or family in anything yet. The story is pretty interesting, and it was actually kind of inventive for the director to shoot both "real" and dramatized footage. It was something different for sure.

The soundtrack helped the creepy atmosphere greatly. It was subtle, but was very jarring and amped up scenes that would not have had any impact otherwise. Definite kudos to Atli Orvarsson.

That being said, while I found it creepy, I couldn't recommend it. It has some thrills, but so does The Exorcist which parts of this film reminded me of. It's a horror movie about aliens...with no aliens. Instead, you get a bajillion shots of a white owl, including one where we follow it turn its head for like a minute. Artsy, except not.

If you are an alien person, you will get nothing out of this. If you are a horror person, you may get a little, but not enough to buy a ticket. Wait for DVD, when you are already paying for  Netflix account anyway so you might as well add it to your queue.

Final Verdict:
C

 


Comments

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04/15/2011 00:04

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