Extraterrestrial Review

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By: Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)



“You are not alone.” Anyone remember that Michael Jackson song? I don’t remember it much either. Nowadays, it could be changed to “We are not alone” considering all these pictures and videos from Mars and the confessions about aliens from a scientist on his deathbed who worked at Area 51. As many have said, with so many universes out there, it’s hard to imagine that we are the only intelligent beings in existence. And maybe that’s why films about aliens still exist. Another entry to the genre is the new film, Extraterrestrial.

April (Brittany Allen) is looking forward to a romantic weekend getaway with her boyfriend, Kyle (Freddie Stroma), in a cabin up in the mountains. Things don’t go as planned when Kyle shows up with a couple of friends he’s invited along. But the trip is still happening and to the mountains they go, only to have a UFO crash not too far from their cabin on the first night. In the cabin, and not knowing what to do, they come in contact with an alien, which they kill before it can do any type of probing into less-than-pleasant places. But killing this alien breaks a truce between the Earth’s governments and alien life, and now it is all-out war that starts with the people at the cabin. But will April, Kyle, and the gang make it back to regular civilization before they become just another abduction?

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Now, if this synopsis sounds clichéd or like something you’ve seen in various other horror/thriller films, it’s because you have. Very little new material is added to this version of aliens. Once again, we find ourselves in the mountains with a young group of “attractive” people, at a cabin to party and have fun, when something terrible happens. But they can just drive back to the city, right? Nope, just as in in every other movie like this, something happens that prevents them from leaving. And unlike other alien films where the aliens are physically revealed late into the movie, here we get the aliens early on and they stick around. Extraterrestrial plays like a mix of found footage and traditional horror and while it does have a few good moments worth of jumps and fear, overall, we’ve been there and done that and the formula is no longer entertaining.

As far as the acting goes, it’s pretty superficial. Not as bad as a Saw movie, but not great. The only actor with any real semblance of ‘thespian’ is Brittany Allen, and she does what she can with the weak script she is given. She has her share of believable moments of fear and terror, more often during times when she’s not needed to talk and can allow her body language to speak for her. All of the other actors play more stereotypical roles. The tough boyfriend, the crazy pot smoker-guy, the sexy female friend, etc.; they’re all here just like they are in every other film of this type. But then the type of moviegoer who is going to pay to see a film like this (I didn’t pay, I saw it at an advanced screening for free, just want to put that out there) probably doesn’t care much about acting, story development, or character growth.

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Extraterrestrial is a cliché through and through, with rare moments of quality. It’s like watching a middle school play or six-year-olds playing baseball: overall, it’s just painful to watch but may have its moments of entertainment. Even the ending of the film is a cliché, paying homage to a specific character in the X-Files series. When you make a film in 2014 that pays homage to the X-Files, which was in the early 1990’s, that’s saying something. Is it worth you hard earned money this weekend? No. Is it worth watching on Netflix instant watch? Yeah, if you’re bored.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars


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