Extraterrestrial (2014)

Here we are gang, on Day 19 of my #31DaysOfHorror! If you feel so inclined, feel free to make some suggestions for flicks I should watch in the comments, or play along with me on Instagram with the tag #BarleyDoesHorror. In the mean time, lets get on with it.

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Oh… oh, The Vicious Brothers. I was skeptical about this one from the outset, but I still sat through the entire god damn thing, so lets get moving shall we? Here’s the story :

A group of friends on a weekend trip to a cabin in the woods find themselves terrorized by alien visitors.

I was very nearly going to skip this one all together, I had been extremely disappointed in the first two efforts of the … -sigh- … Vicious Brothers, with Grave Encounters & Grave Encounters 2. I really, really disliked both of those movies, so I had no reason to believe it would be any different this time around. However, I checked out the trailer, saw that it was NOT another entry in their found-footage filmography, and I figured I would give a pair of young, Canadian film makers a fair shake.

God, do I wish I hadn’t.

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Alright, first off, I will give credit where credit is due. This movie was substantially more ambitious than the last two, and does actually have some pretty interesting visuals and one or two pretty interesting moments throughout. The ending, on the alien ship before they are returned to earth, for example, is actually kind of cool, and might have served the movie better had more of it taken place there. Instead, the movie had a real sense of ‘too little too late’ by the time it got there. I won’t begrudge some of the silly-looking effects, because it was a pretty good try in that department.

However, with one cameo performance from a former school mate (Mike Kovac), the performances in this movie are pretty weak and the characters are exceedingly unlikable. Even the two main characters suffered from being…painfully insufferable. We also have a wasted performance by Michael Ironside, as the alien-movie standard “paranoid fanatic” character. Particularly unlikable is Jesse Moss (who did a fantastic job in Tucker & Dale VS Evil by the way), though you could argue that his character is supposed to be unlikable.

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There is some pretty fun violence in the movie, some over the top gore, and still it just feels flat and lifeless over all. It also can’t seem to choose it’s tone and it keeps changing whether or not it’s serious a few times. Though, for the most part, the movie does take the story pretty seriously, there’s also a straight up anal-probing scene… which, really just made me roll my eyes more than anything. One particular thing that bothered me as well, was that there were a few ‘found footage’ scenes in the movie for..no real reason and the movie would have been just as good without these moments, it also appears that the brothers Vicious couldn’t resist a night-vision scene, which again…was stupid and added nothing. The bright colours in a few scenes only really worked against the movie.

There also seems to be a few attempts to tie this movie into the X-Files universe, which I found really infuriating. Now, I can’t confirm that’s what they were doing, but it sure felt pretty obvious to me.

So, this one is all in all, no better than the first two films from these guys. I’m really hoping to see some kind of progress, but so far it’s really not looking great. It’s a weak movie with a lousy plot, and unlikable characters. While I give credit for some of the better effects, and some real ambition from the film makers, it just doesn’t really do much. So, unfortunately, it’s another pass.

Final Grade : C

 

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