Extraterrestrial review: Get probed!

media_extraterrestrial_20140926The Vicious brothers’ first big break was Grave Encounters, a found-footage film that’s a twist on the ever popular reality ghost hunting shows. The film received mixed reviews but was successful enough to garner a sequel. Unfortunately, critics were not so kind on the second film. In their new film Extraterrestrial, Collin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz decide to take a more traditional approach to horror.

In Extraterrestrial, we follow a group of friends heading out for a weekend away at a cabin in the woods. I’m pretty sure you know where this is going. While in the cabin, one of their friends happens to see a strange light in the sky just as it comes crashing to earth. Terrified and a bit curious, these five friends decide that it would be a “great” idea to see what the object is. They are stunned to discover the wreckage of a flying saucer and trail of foot prints leading in the direction of their cabin. Alone and miles away from help, they must survive the night with a predator that’s out of this world lurking outside their cabin.

For the most part Extraterrestrial is very cliche. The whole “trip to the cabin in the woods goes bad” has been done to death. Surprisingly, I didn’t really have a problem with it. The two main leads, Kyle and April, find themselves in the middle of this shit storm just as April drops the bomb on Kyle that she’s leaving for a better school and thinks they should take some time off. Not the most engaging story, but it is just enough to give their characters motivation throughout the film.

The only actor fans might recognize is Splinter Cell and Starship Trooper’s Michael Ironside. He plays a support character and is a pretty cliched character himself. Ironside plays the old crazy army guy in the woods that just so happens to know everything that’s going on. According to his character, the humans and the aliens at some point made an agreement that they would allow the grey to take and experiment on as many humans as they liked as long as there is peace. Unfortunately, that peace treaty is broken when April happens to unload two buckshots into a grey that was lingering around the back porch.

extraterrestrialThere is a right mixture of dumb fun that makes a film tolerable to watch. Extraterrestrial actually has some really great visual effects, and the suspense draws you in and makes you want to watch more. For how small the budget is, this film’s scope is pretty large. I didn’t think the film would expand beyond getting abducted, let alone take us aboard the mothership.

Aside from the cheesy story and corny characters, the action and spectacle is what Extraterrestrial does really well. The scenes with the aliens are intense and the level of sci-fi is on par with what fans can expect. At one point somebody even gets anal probed! It’s not a great film, but it is certainly entertaining and was enjoyable enough that I’d recommend someone else to check it out.

Rating: 3.5/5 Atoms

NR 3_5 Atoms - B-




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