I quite enjoyed the Vicious Brothers previous efforts – Grave Encounters and Grave Encounters 2, and were curious how they took on subject matter that really unnerved me, so I dug into Extraterrestrial, which is currently available on VOD and iTunes, and had a look.
Whereas with Grave Encounters I felt they took on reality television, particularly the ghost-hunting variety, with fun plays on the haunted hospital trope very enjoyably, Extraterrestrial feels like its cobbled together, loosely at best, with all the past alien abduction movies… and it doesn’t work. It completely fell flat, and stinks of missed opportunity.
With a young cast, including Brittany Allen, a group of twenty-somethings head out to, surprise, a cabin in the woods, where strange things have been happening, and things quickly turn bad for the group, when during a storm, a UFO crashes not far from their property.
The lone survivor, for reasons not really explained, starts hunting the group, but Allen’s April is a fighter however, and no alien scum is going to take her willingly.
With Michael Ironside as the local pot-growing conspiracy nut, and Gil Bellows as the local sheriff, they provide some needed gravitas to the story, but even they can’t save it.
Unlike the Grave Encounters films which earned a jump or two from me, this one telegraphed all of its scares simply by their framing, and the fact that you know certain beats have to happen.
And let’s not get started on the ending. It doesn’t work, not within any context of the events that happen in the film.
Now while some of the VFX are great, the fact that the aliens (modeled after the tradition Greys, but taller) are computer generated and not physical effects, causes a huge disconnect in the film, there’s nothing really for the cast to act off of.
And why are these advanced species, with all these fancy crafts, such terrible housekeepers? The tunnels April finds herself in the final act of the film, don’t even remotely suggest a higher intelligence.
I’ve toyed with writing an alien abduction script or story for sometime, and all of the films I’ve seen on the subject of late, get a couple of things wrong in terms of set-up, and this adds to the disconnect for the audience. I’m starting to think I need to sit down and pen this one out after all…
And while this one disappointed, in a huge way, Grave Encounters has engendered enough enjoyment from me, that I will be looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.
In the end, this one, while better looking than some of the lower budget films taking on the same subject, feels like a missed opportunity.
Oh well. Don’t take my opinion of it, Extraterrestrial is now available on VOD and iTunes, so have a look and let me know what you think.