18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Creepy, clever alien abduction mystery-drama,
This review is from: The Fourth Kind [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Milla Jovovich is both a wise choice and a destabilising choice as the actress who plays Dr Abigail Tyler in this alleged reacreation of true events. Why? She does Tyler a lot of favours by giving a very convincing performance, portraying a calm, professional psychologist who's starting to question reality as insane events begin to mount up around her. The film intercuts Jovovich's acted segments with some replays of ostensibly 'real' footage starring the real Tyler during the same events. The clips of Tyler, however, show a much more unsteady-voiced, on-edge character who's clearly already suffering severe self-confidence issues long before Jovovich's version begins to fracture under pressure. I felt that maybe a less self-assured actress who could portray nerves and instability better would have made a more accurate choice.
In showing the events in the isolated Alaskan town where an apparently disproporionate number of people have been vanishing since the '60s, the film-makers are both inviting us to judge whether it's due to the alien abductions that Tyler claims, or whether the spaceman argument is hockum. Not enough alternatives are allowed to be put forward to give a balanced argument, but the film's main purpose is to entertain so that's not surprising. As a result the film-makers don't undermine their central plotline by suggesting that anything other than aliens could be to blame. It's all done very well, with the tension ratcheting up to very high levels, and many creepy freakout moments and unexplained phenomena. Especially impressive are the moments when the 'original' archive footage appears to show some truly hard-to-explain events. However, equally, I found it horrendously morally offensive that they appear to have left in real-life footage of a real killing - this was unacceptable for me in an entertainment thriller as it reeked of tasteless exploitation. However I kept watching, and the film is very impressive and handled believably as the tension ramps up to panic levels and things seem to spin out of control. The climax is very impressive, and there's an interesting dissection of 'is this true or not' afterwards, which I felt both helped and harmed the film's credibility in equal measure. Judge for yourself. It's a creepy and interesting ride.
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Initial post: 2 Jan 2011 12:42:41 GMT
I found your review to be the most helpful. I like fact based films but was not sure about this one, but I have decided that it might just be worth renting! I wonder if it will live up to the now ancient alien abduction film 'Fire in the Sky?' again, based on fact and actually very entertaining. So far, it's been the best alien abduction film I have ever seen because the aliens were just so creepy! And it's true apparently.
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