Being stationed in Korea, there isn’t very much to do, especially if you’re under 21. Hell, over here you can’t even go off base unless your 21, so yeah, nothing to do but watch movies. Fortunately there is a theater on base, sure it shows movies that have been out forever (Avatar, 2012, etc) but occasionally it shows a movie that I haven’t seen, like The Fourth Kind. I remember when I went to see Paranormal Activities that I thought these two films were one and the same. They were marketed in much the same way and their plots seemed eerily similar, plus it didn’t help that I hadn’t done research on either films. When I realized my mistake I was a little embarrassed but not too much. After all, it allowed me to see PA when I probably would have skipped it, plus it put off seeing this God awful excuse for a film.
Set in Nome Alaska, The Fourth Kind is about "actual case studies" telling the story of actual people who were abducted by aliens. Yeah right. These people go all out trying to make us believe this nonsense, making spooky X-Files ish monologues with our main characters standing in the middle of a forest at night with a flood light shining behind them telling us about how everything in this film is real, that we can chose to believe it if we want or reject it completely, informing us about how the FBI seems oh SOOO interested in Name. Forget the fact that this is all complete bull, and anyone with an ounce of sense can see through this "scary" drivel. I mean really people, did ANYONE fall for this? Anyone? Here’s a hint. It is mentioned that the main character, the real one not the "dramatized"
Version, is still trying to convince people her story is true even appearing in an interview retelling it for everyone, and yet they would have us believe that she wants to use an alias instead of her real name. Right. Of COURSE that would be the case and the whole alias thing isn’t some cheap trick to keep people from googling the names and finding out the movie is complete BS. THAT couldn’t be the reason. I’ve seen movies "based on actual events" that try to make people think their real and do a good job at it (Paranormal Activities, Blare Witch Project) but this is some absurd. What this movie is, is just two films (one made in the same way PA was, one the Hollywood version) spliced together to give the appearance of realism, and its SOOOOO easy to tell. Not that PA or Blare Witch actually made me think those events were real, but good God they didn’t go to the absurd lengths this film did to make me believe. This movie just bashes you over the head over and over and over, trying to make you believe this nonsense, but it’s not. Give it a rest.
Other than that, this film is very gimmicky. I thought the split screens went out of style when the first Hulk movie tanked; I was under the impression that Hollywood realized that was a VERY bad idea. Nobody likes split screens, it’s confusing, it gets in the way of the action, and it gives me a headache. Apparently the makers of this movie didn’t get the hint. Remember how I said this is really just two movies with two different sets of actors spliced together? Guess how they do it? They play the same exact scene from both versions at the same time by splitting the screen between the two. So, you see a crummy home made version of the scene, and a glamorized Hollywood version, right next to each other, both doing the same exact thing. Apparently, this was done to make it seem more real. Please, don’t insult my intelligence. But the problem with the split screens doesn’t end there, oh no, it gets better than that. There was one specific scene I remember where not only did we get the two different versions of the movie placed side by side, both of those scenes were split as well leaving four, yes four, screens to follow. What’s more these four screens kept changing in size, pulsing as it were, while poor little ol me tried desperately to figure out what the hell as going on. Oh, and the audio kept switching from the "real" footage to the Hollywood footage, adding to the confusion.
Other gimmicks? Well, as I said before, there’s the X-Files ish "the movie is based on real events" monologues at the beginning and end of the film, there’s also the aliens speaking in a thousand year old dead language claiming that it (whatever it is) is God. Oh, THAT didn’t sound gimmicky at all. The alien talking to the screaming woman while she pleads for her child to be returned and then claiming that it is God. Hmm, yeah, and I’m supposed to think that if an alien spoke on tape before and claimed it was god that I wouldn’t have heard about it before now? That this wouldn’t be the most famous video clip ever? Didn’t they say this movie was based on real life? Yeah, I think they did, about a dozen times.
I won’t say that the movie didn’t frighten me on occasion. It did. There were some scares in it, and there were a few things that were well done, but the bad in this film FAR outweighs anything they did right. It had a good concept, there were some scares, and there was also some great imagery (the owls were great I thought) but boy oh boy, was this film gimmicky or what? I won’t tell you not to see it, this movie could be like PA, hit or miss depending on the viewers, but I didn’t like it, not in the least bit.
Replay value, low.
About The Fourth Kind (2009)
Starring: Elias Koteas, Milla Jovovich, Corey Johnson, Mike Straub, Vladimir Kolev, Julian Vergov, Alisha Seaton, Will Patton, Sara Houghton, Eric Loren, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Enzo Cilenti, Tyne Rafaeli, Paul Stefanov, Kiera McMaster, Ioan Karamfilov, Jay Glenn Sunberg, Sylvia Lultchev, Olatunde Osunsanmi, Andrew Whipp, Charlotte Milchard, Valentin Ganev, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Raphaël Coleman, Daphne Alexander
Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi