Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Fourth Kind

Originally, Paranormal Activity was going to be remade into a Hollywood feature film. Fortunately for all of us, it wasn’t. But if it was, I imagine it would look something like The Fourth Kind.

Okay, I have to give a little credit to director Olatunde Osunsanmi for trying his damndest to convince people that this movie is “real”. That it seamlessly mixes “real” footage with dramatized footage. That actress Milla Jovovich (as she tells the audience in the opening scene) is playing the “real” Dr. Abigail Tyler, who claims to have been briefly abducted by aliens in 2000.

So, yes, Osunsanmi does a good job intercutting in “real”, grainy, home-video footage with the pretty, steely Hollywood stuff. But come on. Seriously dude. Anyone with an internet connection can disprove this hoax via a simple Google search.

Okay, if it were real, what the hell kind of shrink would release footage of her patients levitating, breaking their backs, and screaming bloody murder… to a horror film crew? Also, wouldn’t we have seen the footage from the police camera that “caught” a UFO flying over a house on one of those WORLD’S CRAZIEST COP SIGHTINGS shows?

Clearly, I’m more concerned with bashing the film’s narrative technique than discussing its content. That’s for good reason, because, the content pretty much sucks. The “real” footage under-delivers because every time shit goes down the camera conveniently becomes fuzzy and distorted. So, basically, there is no payoff. The acting is as good as you’d expect (except by Will Patton, playing the Sherriff as a laughable caricature).

Those still suckling at the tit of Paranormal Activity, crazed for their next fix in horror fun, should skip The Fourth Kind. Maybe… maybe if the movie was only grainy, “real” footage it could’ve been creepy. Maybe. D

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