Monday, November 9, 2009

The Fourth Kind

The Fourth Kind, 2009
Dir: Olatunde Osunsanmi
November 8, 2009

So, I was out eating fajitas and drinking margaritas with some buddies when one of them asked if we wanted to go to the movies. The Fourth Kind was universally approved of, even by me, because I hadn't been to the "movies" in a while, and I was also shitfaced. There is nothing that will sober you up quite like a steaming pile of visual turd. After I realized I wasn't going to be moderately impressed or invested in the story, I was hoping it would eventually get hilarious like The Happening (2008), or maybe there would be a crazy pay-off at the end like in Fire in the Sky (1993). I remember that that movie was not that good, but I do remember being really scared, in a mesmerized sort of way, of the beginning and the ending when I first saw it, and being flummoxed by how boring the middle is. But no, this has absolutely nothing.

The "true" story is made to seem more legit by first having Milla Jovovich talk directly to the audience, saying it is up to us to "believe what we want to believe." OK Milla, I believe I'd rather watch you in The Fifth Element (1997) a million times before I'd watch this again. Then, there is the "real" archival video footage of psycho-therapy sessions and the tapes of the "real" Abigail Watson, pale and fleshless, talking about her experiences. I'm pretty sure that this "real" person is actually some shitty B-actor, but hey, it could be real, right? All of the people that may have been involved in the story are turned into safe movie stereotypes, from the blind daughter to the disgruntled son, even to the angry, "I'm not gonna believe this shit" sheriff.

Those things can be overlooked if you actually get scared, and maybe some people did, but I just couldn't get past the Youtube sensibilities and no-attention span techniques. Floating cameras, split-screen for no reason, introductory titles; this movie was made for the dumbest people in America. The technique aside, aliens, in their way, can be very frightening. Here, they make video footage distort and they show up in people's minds in the form of an owl. An owl? Now, when talking about fear, it is interesting to listen to what people have to say. Do they find a visceral experience more frightening, or something less tangible; something they can not understand. I tend to fall in the latter category myself, and this tried really hard to do that, but really just fell off the back of the retard truck first. There are some jolting moments for sure, but there are better vids on Youtube about this shit, which is, it seems to me, exactly what it was trying to be.

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