The found footage genre is packed full of material at this point, and it’s probably not going anywhere for a while, just like ‘reality’ television, I think we’ll be stuck with it. So when this one popped up on my Netflix recommendations, I knew, at some point, I’d get around to watching it.
For the most part… not bad, there are some pretty nice sequences, and of all things horror, this is a subject that can truly unnerve me. If these things exist, and these things are happening, then it’s a whole new intelligence that we can’t even understand at the moment. That’s a little freaky.
I took exception with a few of the things on the screen, the mention of Project Blue Book still being operational, to my knowledge that closed in 1969, though rumors persist that it carried on under another name, the E.B.E.s (Extra-Terrestrial Biological Entities) when seen are based on the oft reported Greys. Unfortunately, these appear to be taller, or of the same height as the actors in the film, while all ‘reports’ indicate they are stand a good deal shorter than your average person. My final complaint was the whole abduction scenario and the way these people were hunted down, in all the case histories I’ve read (and I go through phases where I read a lot about it), there’s never been a report of anything so inherently violent, they’re menacing and terrifying to be sure, but I’ve never heard anything about bodies being bent and broken in half while being lifted up into the sky. I gave them a partial pass on that because if this was happening, who would be around to tell us about it, and there are thousands of missing persons reports each year, so… slide.
The film follows the Morris family on a camping trip to Brown Mountain, a real location replete with legends and tales of lights in the sky, with all of it filmed by their young autistic son, Riley (Riley Polanski). There’s dad Peter (Peter Holden), mom Katie (Katherine Sigismund), daughter Jillian (Jillian Clare), and sons Corey (Corey Eid) and Riley.
On the first night, the siblings see and record a display of strange lights in the sky, which lets the viewer know that everything is about to go sideways, but it isn’t until the next day, when their GPS no longer works, and there’s no phone service that things get really troublesome, culminating in an unnerving scene featuring a tunnel filled with deserted cars. I really enjoyed how this sequence started out, it really was creepy, especially if you can get yourself into the mindset of what would you honestly think if you came across something like that in your everyday life?
Then, fleeing that scene, another creepy sequence featuring some birds takes place, and that was the only other truly creepy thing in the film. There are s few jump scares throughout the film, but you can tell whether they are going to be human, or extra-terrestrial by the way the camera reacts. Apparently when there are aliens around, the camera has a lot of static and interference.
The ending is a bit of a let down, and the final shot, which is also the opening shot of the film, left me wondering what kind of camera could survive THAT?! Because they could make a mint!
Overall, this one doesn’t add anything new to the found footage subgenre, and while the subject matter can creep me out, I’d like to see one done really well on this topic, one that could freak me right the hell out.
Alien Abduction is currently screening on Netflix.