Sunday, August 16, 2015

#1,826. Alien Abduction (2014)

Directed By: Matty Beckerman

Starring: Katherine Sigismund, Corey Eid, Riley Polanski

Tag line: "Fear The Lights"

Trivia: Director Matty Beckerman was inspired to make this film while living in North Carolina (he heard a local legend about strange lights that were regularly seen on a nearby mountain ridge)

2014’s Alien Abduction opens with a caption informing us that what we’re about to see was “leaked” from the files of the U.S. Air Force. It's a common trope for found footage movies to open with a disclaimer or explanation of some sort, and right away I began to wonder how the Air Force got a hold of these images in the first place. If the characters were, as the title suggests, abducted by aliens, wouldn’t their video cameras have also been taken? 

Well, not only does director Matty Beckerman show us how the video became available, he does so in a very creative manner. It was the first of several surprises revealed over the course of this highly entertaining movie.

To help him focus, autistic 11-year-old Riley Morris (Riley Polanski) brings his video camera with him wherever he goes, including on his family’s recent camping trip to Brown Mountain, North Carolina. While videotaping the good times that he, his mom Katie (Katie Sigismund), dad Peter (Peter Holden), and older siblings Jillian (Jillian Clare) and Corey (Corey Eid), were having, young Riley manages to capture footage of something quite remarkable: a series of lights, seemingly dancing in the night sky. 

As it turns out, Brown Mountain has a reputation for being the favorite hangout spot for extraterrestrials. Many of the locals are convinced the dancing lights are, in fact, UFO’s. But it isn’t until the next day, when they try to drive to a new campsite, that the entire Morris family discovers just how true these stories really are.

Aside from revealing how its footage was “found”, the makers of Alien Abduction also came up with a clever way to explain why the cameras are always rolling: Riley’s coping mechanism for his autism. But it’s the tension this movie generates, which grows stronger with each passing scene, that will really knock your socks off. The trip to the next campsite is nerve-racking enough (the car’s GPS system malfunctions, causing tempers to flare as they drive around in circles on the dangerous mountain roads), yet pales in comparison to what happens when the family stumbles upon several abandoned vehicles, all of which show signs of a struggle. Along with a few effective jump scares, this scene takes the story in a whole new, terrifying, direction.

Thanks to some impressive special effects and the solid performances delivered by its entire cast (including Jeff Bowser, who plays Sean, a backwoods redneck who helps the family in its hour of need), Alien Abduction features scenes that are beyond intense, and for most of its running time you’ll be on the edge of your seat. 

Alien Abduction is a fun, innovative sci-fi / horror film, and I had a great time watching it!

1 comment:

robabob39 said...

I really enjoyed this film also,one of the better found footage films of late. It was so much better than Extraterrestrial. A real claustrophobic scary film,that shows very little,but still enough to terrify you.