Alien Abduction (2014)

Alien Abduction (2014)Starring Katherine Sigismund, Corey Eid, Riley Polanski, Jillian Clare, Jeff Bowser, Peter Holden

Directed by Matty Beckerman

The title may be generic, the trope may be overused, but Matty Beckerman’s debut Alien Abduction takes found footage to new heights. Literally. Inspired by a true case of an autistic child who used a video camera to perceive and communicate with the real world, Beckerman and company took that idea and created the character of Riley Morris - a high-functioning autistic pre-teen constantly filming his entire family as they embark on a camping trip along the back roads of Brown Mountain, North Carolina. Because of Riley’s condition, there’s a legitimate reason for the camera to remain on even during the more harrowing moments when any sane person would stop shooting and start running.

The Brown Mountain Lights are a real-life phenomenon that have been occurring off and on for years. Although somewhat similar to the Aurora Borealis in Alaska, the Brown Mountain Lights are reported to be multiple colored lights stretching four to five feet across that then dart and shoot off in various directions in peculiar fashion. Coinciding with sightings of the lights, people in the area of sound body and mind (you know, people with actual jobs) have witnessed UFO’s and some even claim to have been abducted during the Brown Mountain Lights phenomenon. The United States Air Force investigated the area under the guise of Project Blue Book but it was supposedly shut down in 1969. Although most of Project Blue Book’s findings have been released under the Freedom of Information Act, accounts surrounding Brown Mountain have remained under wraps. (Creeepy!)

What Beckerman understands is the importance of building tension even in the shaky-cam world of first person videotaping. Watching characters in other efforts improvise, leaving audiences to endure their disingenuous bickering, isn’t the formula for success and so often the only footage worth finding is the last five minutes of tape. True, the vast majority of dialogue is improvised here, but in Alien Abduction things start happening the very first night of the Morris family campout. The next day, as they travel to the next campsite, the GPS starts recalculating, they lose service, and come across a number of vehicles that seem to be abandoned. Then, as most of the family explores a highway tunnel, the fun really starts - that’s twenty minutes into the film. Things actually happen in Alien Abduction and that’s welcomed within a subgenre that’s usually trying to bore itself to death.

Effective jump scares are peppered throughout the short running time as the family tries to stay alive and on the ground instead of being snatched up to suffer miles off of the Earth’s surface. Speaking of the film’s length for a second, that’s another thing Abduction gets right since most prefer not to sit through two hours of this stuff (it’s barely eighty minutes). Seemingly everywhere at once - travelling perhaps by light - brief off angles and short glimpses of lanky oval-eyed extraterrestrials are effective and not overdone. In fact, these beings might even be messing with the Morris family a little at some points, almost as if they’re playing an interstellar game of hide and seek - or hide and abduct in this case.

Within its limited budget, Alien Abduction is forced to stay small even though its concept is big, and including the possibility of real-life accounts adds to the fear of seeing practical aliens that can’t afford to be aided by digital effects (ironic considering that conspiracy theorists believe fiber optics is space tech). Beckerman delivers a well-paced chase movie that isn’t afraid to dispose of characters and break a few bones.

Alien Abduction is available now On Demand and is in limited release starting today, April 4.

3 1/2 out of 5

Discuss Alien Abduction in the comments section below!


MonsterMash's picture

It's a tad overblown at times, but I enjoyed the hell out of this. It had me going pretty well throughout the runtime. It's pretty faithful to the real-life alleged truths as well, making it superior to the awful Dark Skies and most of that ilk. It's suspenseful and claustrophobic. The fx work is generally great, and despite it's few flaws(SPOILER: such as it's camera which refuses to burn up upon re-entry. It's also rather light on alien action, and the "garbage shoot" at the end feels a bit silly) it's a tense experience. The fishing analogy in particular is chilling as fuck. Besides, it's on Netflix. Check it out. 4/5 from me.

Submitted by MonsterMash on Thu, 08/07/2014 - 12:19am.
GODFLESH69's picture

I highly recommend Skinwalker Ranch,Devils pass & Almost Human other well done Sci fi-Horror Hybreeds done well I thought.

Submitted by GODFLESH69 on Thu, 08/07/2014 - 12:21pm.
MonsterMash's picture

Thanks I'll check them out if I can find them.

Submitted by MonsterMash on Thu, 08/07/2014 - 2:29pm.
King Complex's picture

Good review - this film just got added to Nflix instant - definitely gonna darken all lights, slide open the blinds, wait til the roommates are KO'd and watch tonight. There's an overwhelming "burn-this-in-piles" consensus toward this movie but I can't help but feel that's mainly due in whole to it's unapologetic found footage style. Most critics reviewing FF films now need to toss damning one-liners in the form of "The found footage genre needs to STAY LOST!". Yes, there's a 30:1 ratio of sh i t to godly but name a genre where fans DON'T hafta sift frustrated through piles of trash to uncover the gems?

Submitted by King Complex on Mon, 08/04/2014 - 1:38pm.
GODFLESH69's picture

Just watched this wow another impressive Indie POV found footage flick. I continue to be impressed in what can be done on a limited budget if film makers are talented enough . I put this and Skinwalker Ranch on top of the recent films involving alien abduction both really well done IMO.

Submitted by GODFLESH69 on Wed, 06/11/2014 - 12:34am.
GODFLESH69's picture

I dont mind found footage flicks if done right, most just miss the mark though.

Submitted by GODFLESH69 on Tue, 08/05/2014 - 12:15pm.

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