The Fourth Kind wants you to know that it is not your typical sci-fi tale of alien abduction, complete with harrowing escapes and larger than life effects. Understated, "fact based", and well put together- The Fourth Kind wants to be a different kind of alien movie... one with a unique twist...
The twist here is that the film claims to be based entirely on the documented events of Dr. Abbey Tyler's (played by Milla Jovovich) life at the end of the year 2000, when- while working on a sleep study Nome, Alaska- she came across startling evidence of alien abduction. The evidence found in Dr. Tyler's research (video recorded footage of counseling sessions and interviews as well as tape recorded memos) is the "never before seen real footage" the movie boasts in all of its promotional material and is intended to give the audience the best evidence yet that there is, in fact, something out there... and it really does not like us very much at all.
So, does The Fourth Kind live up to the hype? Is it the thought provoking real account of terror from the starts that it promises to be??? Or is it just another well thought out hoax flick hoping to trick the audience into buying its nonsense... Let's see how things shake up...
-The premise of the flick is an imaginative one. Instead of rolling out the same tired Hollywoodized fictional account of a true event (like the old abduction classics Communion and Fire in the Sky), The Fourth Kind intends to be a documentary f sorts, combining detailed witness video of the events in question with well acted dramatizations intended to weave together the story of the film.
The movie's narrative is driven along through an interview between the film's director (Olatunde Osusanmi, who also penned the film) and the real life Abbey Tyler recounting the events of her life during the later part of the year 2000, when the events took place.
- The dramatizations are well acted (for the most part... will Patton seems to burn real calories trying to ruin every scene that he has a line in). Milla Jovovich is convincing as the story's heroine, Dr. Abbey Tyler.
-The "real footage" featured predominantly in the film at times raises the hairs on the back of your neck. If this stuff is really real, then we, my friends, are freaking screwed.
The Not So Good
- The whole movie hinges on the credibility of the movie's documented "real" footage from Dr. Tyler's research. We went into the movie hoping (and believing, to be honest with you) that the footage shown in the movie was real, and because of that ended up having my socks blown off.
That being said, the fact that the movie is presenting itself not as a Hollywood feature film, but rather as a documentary of sorts depicting the events which happened in Nome, Alaska (which I might add, is not where this movie was filmed...). Because of this, the viewer's mind never really gets to let go of all disbelief, approaching the film more critically as they try and wrap their brains around the fantastic footage they are going to witness.
In the interest of full disclosure, prior to writing this review I tried to do a little research on the film and found nothing (on the internet) referring to Dr. Abbey Tyler and the events that the movie talks about except for two suspicious websites that upon further review were launched within the last thirty days (leading me to believe that they are nothing more than viral advertisement for the movie). Now, of course, this does not outright make this movie a hoax (yet), being that at the beginning of the movie the director fully admits that he took the liberty of changing the names of all the people involved to insure their safety and privacy... but it does put us on notice that there might be something afoot.
There is a bit of a Blair witch vibe to this flick. Sure, the premise is horrific and the archive footage presented in the movie will make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end (it certainly did for us). But it only holds this effect if in fact the footage is real.
Personally, we went ahead and bought in on the whole concept of the movie and went along for the ride and walked out terrified that aliens may very well be abducting people all over the world (thus making us unable to sleep).
Overall, this film is a very solid four flushes; a creepy, enjoyable, and thought provoking film, The Fourth Kind (and it's horrific "real" footage) will have you leaving the theater hoping that the film is a hoax (cause if this shit is true, we are all fucked).