What an incredibly odd and random time for Universal Pictures to release THE FOURTH KIND. The pseudo-doc style sci-fi horror film will be referred to as the well-polished studio version of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, it’s inevitable, but what’s nice is that the film is original and in no way a product of PARANORMAL’s recent success.
The film opens with Milla Jovovich explaining to the audience that it is up to them to believe if what they see on the screen is real. The concept, which could be perceived as a copout, is quite ingenious as it immediately pulls the guard down off the audience and helps them loosen up a bit. The trouble comes as from this point on the audience is immediately divided, those who believe, and those who don’t.
Those who don’t, and plan on bitching and moaning through the entire film, leave now.
Everyone else who is looking to have a good time and be freaked out, get comfortable.
Structured unlike any film before it, THE FOURTH KIND is set in modern-day Nome, Alaska, where—mysteriously since the 1960s—a disproportionate number of the population has been reported missing every year. Despite multiple FBI investigations of the region, the truth has never been discovered. Here in this remote region, psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler (Milla Jovovich) began videotaping sessions with traumatized patients and unwittingly discovered some of the most disturbing evidence of alien abduction ever documented. Using “never-before-seen” archival footage that is integrated into the film, FOURTH KIND exposes the terrified revelations of multiple witnesses… that aliens abducted them. – Universal Pictures
THE FOURTH KIND is like a cross between MOTHMAN PROPHECIES and one of my all-time favs, FIRE IN THE SKY. While not nearly as terrifying as the abduction scenes in FIRE, FOURTH KIND is a pretty f*cking freaky movie. The “newly released” footage features an array of insane, bizarre and freakish moments that are sure to evoke audience chatter. The way director Olatunde Osunsanmi shoots and edits the movie together is pretty incredible as most of the scares are in the documented footage and not the reenactments — and for some odd reason, every single time something off-the-wall happens, the camera begins to fuzz up giving theatergoers only a glimpse at what’s really happening. Leaving one’s mind to their imagination can be a great tool in creating scares.
While the movie really takes off at the 45-minute mark, one of the major flaws is that there is no third act. The movie literally just ends, which will leave most viewers with a sense of being unfulfilled. The thing is, this is exactly how it should have ended, especially since it’s playing the “is it real or not” card. If the audience is supposed to believe this is a pseudo-documentary, there is no way to present a finale that wouldn’t come off as cheesy or fake.
If your mind is in the right place, THE FOURTH KIND is a chilling, creepy, unnerving and engaging experience. But I stress the idea that most of you probably will not like this, especially if you’re not a fan of MOTHMAN PROPHECIES or FIRE IN THE SKY. Buyer beware.
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