Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Fourth Kind (2009)

Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi. Cast: Milla Jovovich, Will Patton, Elias Koteas. 98 min. Rated PG-13. USA/UK. Horror.

The opening looks like an extremely dumb imitation of The Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity, force-feeding us every minute that the story is based on true events - to the extent of disconnecting us from the dramatized sections. But then, some actual documented clips and recordings start becoming scary, until midway through the movie, I experienced one of the most frightening moments in cinema ever (i.e. the bedroom sequence). After watching the movie, a little research into the factual basis of the events made me realize again the sheer power of movies to create an emotional response.

(Warning: Do NOT research the factual basis of the movie before watching it. You'll see why.)

Mo says:


  1. Well…It’s so creepy movie,! The actual footage was the thing that creep me out! But it’s really hard to believe that those are real . Isn’t it? You believed it’s reality ? I like Ebert doubt it ! I don’t know but as it was said in the movie : border between fiction and reality sometime is so hard to define and believe. Why all clips changed to vague images and full of parazit in critical moments during hypnosis process ? Because of Aliens? Even in recalling memories by patients and doctor herself , they could affect on microwaves in capturing images by camera?
    My feeling was wondering between “Close encounter from third kind” and “ Paranormal activity”. And The concept of “Alien Abduction” and definition of all kinds of encounter was quite interesting !
    (*Where I can research about factual basis of movie comprehensively? )

  2. Spoiler Alert!

    Dear Maryam,

    That's exactly the point! There is no factual basis to the events here! There's not even one shred of reality in this movie. It's all fake! That's why I loved it, especially after the movie, when I researched and realized it was all fake. The pure power of cinema. Incredible.

  3. It felt pretty unbelievable to me even without the subsequent research. They went too far in trying to making it look real, which gave away the secret. Like in "Inception" when things became too unreal, it became distracting. The "real" Abbey looked like that? Not very subtle!

  4. OK, I guess I'm just too gullible. Initially I too thought they were murderously overdoing the documentary game (especially with all those side-by-side real/re-enacted shots), but I just blamed it on bad direction and filmmaking for a dumb audience - rather than the whole concept being fake. And then I guess the shocks lured me in, and after seeing they even had some deleted scenes (can you imagine?!) on the DVD of documented footage that was edited out, I was really fooled. I think they did a good job on the tricking game, which is what I give them credit for.

    But that bedroom levitation scene really scared the bejesus out of me!