Someone or something abducted a great movie, and left us with:
Despite the movie being mediocre at best, it has gained itself a 4 star rating on Netflix. I even gave it that. I had to. I wanted to be extremely generous and give it a 3, but my wife loved it, so I averaged it out and gave it a 4. I can only assume everyone who voted on the movie on Netflix had the same issue.
My only problem with it and movies like it is how they start the movie by saying something to the effect of “This is real stuff.” And then within a minute of terrible “acting,” anything just slightly smarter than a rock can tell that it’s NOT real footage.
You can hate me all you want for this statement, but The Blair Witch Project did a better job at being authentic and portraying real people in a real situation than any found footage movie since. We can also thank those fuckers for starting this found footage epidemic.
Some of them I like. The V/H/S movies were pretty fucking awesome. I actually don’t mind The Blair Witch Project too much. Hell, The Last Broadcast is great, until the end. But now, movies like Alien Abduction are starting to really piss me off.
On IMDB it says about the movie, “…in this thriller based on the real-life Brown Mountain Lights phenomenon in North Carolina.” Okay, I can get behind that. I actually liked the movie to a degree, and if it didn’t try to play me as a fool from the beginning, I would be writing a better review. But at the beginning of the movie it says, “The following is actual leaked footage from the US AIRFORCE…”
And uh, no the fuck it isn’t. It seems like there was a law somewhere, at some point in history, that kept people from writing books and saying they were non-fiction when in fact they were completely fiction. It seems to me like movies should be the same. If you’re going to go on film and say something is real, then it better fucking be real.
What’s worse, Alien Abduction follows the same format as The Blair Witch Project, because fuck being authentic at this point.
The movie starts off with the written message, just like in Blair Witch, telling us what we’re about to see is real footage. Then there are “interviews” with “real people” talking about the thing that we’re about to see in the movie. Then we’re treated to an hour of a movie being filmed by a camcorder. It even has the famous Blair Witch scene of the camera pointing right at the person filming and the person saying “I’m so scared.” SERIOUSLY.
The problems with Alien Abduction aren’t over there. Just like with any bad found footage movie, you have to consider the filming process. We’ve been trained to not notice this shit, but if you watch closely you can see where they fail from the beginning. If the movie was being filmed by ONE camera the entire time, there shouldn’t be clean angle changes without loss of time. Alien Abduction does it constantly. Sure, you could attribute it to editing, a couple of seconds here and there being cut out for whatever reason, but when it happens during a conversation and the conversation isn’t all jumpy, you know more than one camera is involved.
Also, you can try your hardest, but almost nobody can act as if they’re not acting, Jeff Goldblum being the exception. The actors in this movie are terrible. It didn’t help that the script seemed to be written by the writer taking a box full of fridge word magnets, tossing them at a fridge, and writing down what they said in whatever random order they stuck in. And the director seemed to be phoning this one in, ahem, just like E.T. Get it? GET IT?!
The worse part, for at least one actor anyway, is they’re going to get almost no screen time because they’re supposed to be “behind the camera” the entire time. I hope they get paid for that shit.
The characters, once they run into the main bad guys of the film (spoiler, it’s aliens), set off on the very basic pace of run to a location, get hunted by bad guys, lose someone in their party to the bad guys, use the time wasted by the bad guys dealing with that one person to run to another location, repeat.
Seriously. They first discover the aliens in a tunnel, so they run to a house. The aliens show up at the house, a member of their group leaves, whether because he/she decided to or he/she is taken. When the dust settles, the rest leave the location to run to another location and it all happens again. And again. And again. End credits.
Speaking of the characters, amongst them you have the dad, who is a terrible dad. Everything is going along smoothly until the tiniest bit of bad luck comes their way and he turns into a major asshole. Like, it’s not shown in the movie or even hinted at, but he’s probably a wizard-level alcoholic.
Then you have his wife, who, when shit hits the fan and they have to get the fuck out of a place and run to another place, she leads the way while yelling at her daughter to watch out for her youngest son, the one filming the movie, who happens to be AUTISTIC. Mother of the year. Giant aliens are hunting them down one by one, they’re completely vicious and unforgiving, and the mom makes sure her ass gets to safety first while the weakest one of the family is left in the back to slow down the enemy. The daughter being behind her is just insurance in case the aliens get through the son too quickly and the mother needs just a few more seconds to get to the next location.
There’s an older son and middle-child daughter. Not bad. The older son is kind of an idiot, but nothing crazy. Then there’s a hillbilly who, at first, is a major asshole. Then he turns out to be a really cool guy who tries to help the family escape. Except for one issue.
Once the family gets settled in at his house, the oldest son starts freaking out because the reality finally sets in that he watched his father get destroyed by an alien and he didn’t do shit to save him. The son decides he’s going go back out, in the middle of the mountains, at night, to save his dad. The hillbilly stops him and talks sense into him. Not a moment later the hillbilly gets CB word that his brother is still outside and needs help, so he fucking leaves, in the middle of the mountains, at night, to save his brother.
That must have been what the fridge magnets said to do.
Despite all of that, the special effects are pretty damn good, which they better be, because it was obvious any budget this movie might have had went entirely to them. The alien or aliens, are terrifying enough because we really never get a good look at them. The only really good job the director did in this movie is showing us just enough of the bad guys to be terrified of them. Even going so far as to have the autistic kid who’s filming the entire movie do something nobody else on earth, in a real situation would do, which further helps prove the movie isn’t real. But by this point it’s pretty fucking clear it’s not real.
Two or more times in the movie when the aliens are RIGHT FUCKING THERE, we’re to believe the kid decides to point the camera at the person next to him, for no reason. It’s so stupid. They could have continued to not show us the aliens by having the kid drop the camera and fumble to pick it back up, but instead they go with the most unnatural thing they could think of… have him take his focus off of the very center of his life at that very moment.
Back to the good. The lights, I guess the high beams of the UFO, and the noises the UFO and the aliens make, are really creepy. It’s almost like a moment of genius happened, where the person who originally thought of the movie thought up a ton of great shit for the aliens, realized they needed people to be the main characters and to give the aliens someone to hunt, and ran out of ideas immediately after that realization. It’s the most yin-yang of characters I’ve ever seen in a movie, except unlike yin-yang, they don’t compliment each other. You have greatness with the aliens, filled in with cardboard cutouts in the humans. Before the aliens even showed up I was hoping they’d kill all the people.
I really wanted, as I said, to give this movie a generous 3 out of 5, but I gave it a 4. Seriously, the Brown Mountain Lights are a real thing, no matter what they really are. I’ve heard about them for years. This is a decent tribute to those, I guess, and the aliens are really well done. I just wish those in charge of the movie would have spent one additional afternoon discussing the human characters a little more, or maybe used another box of fridge magnets.
For another review that says basically the same thing… Wades Thoughts