Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Milla Jovovich, Will Patton, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Corey Johnson, Elias Koteas
Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi
Distributed by Universal Home Entertainment
As you well know, there are four kinds of alien encounters:
Close encounter one: A sighting of one or more unidentified flying objects.
Close encounter two: An observation of a UFO and associated physical effects from the UFO.
Close encounter three: An entity is observed inside and outside the UFO. Good Spielberg movie.
Close encounter four: Abduction. Sweet, anal probe-laden abduction, baby!
Olatunde Osunsanmi’s experimental film The Fourth Kind explores all of the above with an emphasis on the latter, and in doing so his mockumentary both hits and misses.
Try to follow along as it can get a bit confusing … Milla Jovovich plays “real life” abductee psychologist Abigail Tyler, who interviewed and treated traumatized patients in Nome, Alaska. What had the residents of the town so riled up? Since the 1960’s the people of Nome have been mysteriously disappearing without a trace. Turns out the causes of all these disturbances are some pesky aliens who first disrupt your sleep as they prep you for their experiments and then snatch you away, never to be seen again.
Jovovich explains early on in the film that her scenes are just re-enactments of archived interview footage with the “real” Abigail Tyler meant to fill in some of the blanks of the “actual” cases. The filmed footage and the archives are presented side-by-side as a means to draw you into the story. There’s just one small problem — the archival footage is anything but real, and the person who is supposed to be the actual Dr. Tyler is nowhere near as good an actress as Milla is.
With The Fourth Kind director Osunsanmi is trying to have it both ways by portraying shot footage meant to be real alongside shot footage meant to be fake. If you were to believe even a single iota of the stuff found in the film to be authentic, then the proof of aliens and UFOs has been completely verified with hard evidence. That being said, if you take the movie for what it actually is, a work of fiction, than you’re apt to have a good time with it. Not great, mind you, but good enough to be really effective when it wants to be. Unfortunately there are a few bits of obvious CGI that take you out of the “reality” of it all such as the stretchy-Mummy-mouth effect™ on the part of the film’s victims. You can’t portray a flick as non-fiction and then give us blatant CGI effects. It just snaps viewers out of the otherwise rock solid experience and leaves them sitting on the uneven side of the fence.
The DVD and the Blu-ray share the same bits of special features, except of course for the Blu’s bells and whistles like being BD-Live enabled so that you can share stuff with your movie-watching buds online. There’s a small problem with that, too, though … there’s hardly anything here. We get about twenty-four minutes of deleted/extended scenes and nothing else. Come on, Uni! That’s it? Really? Not even a commentary?!? Boo! Hiss!
The Fourth Kind, just like another abduction flick, Fire in the Sky, can be pretty damned disturbing when it’s at its best. Recommended for those looking for something a bit different than the usual horror fare, which thankfully comes off much creepier than it does silly.
3 1/2 out of 5
1 out of 5
Discuss The Fourth Kind in our forums!