I was recently given the opportunity to check out the Vicious Brother’s newest film, Extraterrestrial (it’s coming to select theaters on November 21). Here’s the film’s trailer:
I’m going to get kind of spoilery in this review, so be warned.
This film was a pretty fun blend of the iconic horror trope of “a group of teenagers hangs out in a cabin in the woods”, and alien abductions. The characters were run largely by horror movie logic--ex: when an alien is hovering over your car, maybe don’t get out and watch the craft as it abducts you
–and the story line is pretty basic (plot summation: avoid the aliens…if you can). The heart of this movie comes from the alien thrills. The extraterrestrials in this movie play right into classic alien abduction lore. Aliens snag a person, perform a few experiments on them, and usually return them to earth–not always, but usually. We see this at the start of the film when we are introduced to Nancy (played by everyone’s favorite Sam Winchester fangirl, Emily Perkins), who was abducted along with her husband and son, and returned to earth without her husband and son. There’s no weird possession-style Fourth Kind–esque aliens here. Just straight up abduct, experiment, return. Standard alien behavior.
As the group tries to evade the aliens, they meet a crusty Vietnam vet (who actually says some variation of the cliched Vietnam vet line “I’ve seen some things“), and despite being a paranoid marijuana dealer, he is, obviously, the only one who really knows what is going on with humans and aliens. He explains that the government has known all along about aliens, and reached a treaty with them. The aliens could abduct a few of us every now and then, perform their experiments, generally leave us most of us unharmed, and we wouldn’t attack them. Unfortunately, there was a teensy misunderstanding between the aliens and our leading lady, April, when they descended upon their woodsy cabin. Fearing for her life and the life of her friends, April shoots one of the aliens, essentially breaking the treaty and pissing the aliens off super big-time.
After a bunch of running around, the other two females in the group either die or are abducted, and the leading man’s best friend is abducted and summarily killed after he is experimented on in a particularly unsavory fashion–which I should just say, was kind of odd; after all the experiment talk, this is the one alien experimentation we see onscreen–our Final Girl ends up giving herself up for abduction to save her boyfriend who had been taken moments before.
She wakes up on the craft, finds her boyfriend, resuscitates him, and the aliens return them to earth, unharmed and unexperimented upon because of…their pure love? I’m not sure. Either way, they make it back to earth, happily and healthfully.
I knew the movie was nearly over, and the thought of the movie ending so happily and so terribly predictably had me…unimpressed, to say the least.
Thankfully, that’s not how the movie ends. At all. I won’t spoil it here, but the last 5 minutes or so of the movie is completely and utterly out of left field. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’m in love with the ending, but it certainly caught me fully off guard, which I really appreciated. Honestly, it’s worth the watch just so you can see the ending and talk to your friends about “that one alien movie with the crazy ending”.
Like I said at the start, this movie didn’t blow my mind. Ultimately, it was just a fun romp in the woods with some aliens. It’s a movie good for jump-scares, but not much beyond that. This is one of those movies perfect to watch with a group of friends, beers, and pizza. It’s a good mix of fun, craptastic horror, and some creepy alien stuff. I’d say it is basically a must-see for lovers of craptastic horror.
Final verdict? Nothing revolutionary here, but a craptastic good time. Go see it with friends!