The story is conveyed in a clever fashion, interwoven between layers of “facts” and “actual footage” from therapy sessions conducted back in 2000. The film begins with Milla explaining to us that what we’re about to see is quite real (cough, cough, so were the BLAIR WITCH tapes) but that I’m free to interpret it as I may. I appreciate that, and though I’m not really sold on each and everything I saw in this film, I do personally believe in abduction theories and the existence of other life forms. No, I was never abducted, I haven’t seen a UFO and thank Christ I haven’t had any owls at my window but the fact that I do believe in these things certainly made for an extra dose of tension.
The effects via blurred video tape were about what you’d expect and nothing too spectacular, I mean realistically nearly EVERY film in this sub-genre uses this approach in an attempt to add depth and realism. Do I think it helps? It all honesty I feel that these tactics hinder the ability to believe and end up hurting the overall atmosphere of any film. Now the use of animals is another story entirely. When a movie takes an animal and uses it to give off a sense of evil I feel the hair on the back of my neck rise. The owls used in the film did just that, and under the context in which they’re used, I have a feeling that I’m now pretty much scared of snow owls.
THE FOURTH KIND is a top notch suspense thriller with loads of dark thematic elements, religious nods and a wondrous cast that know how to deliver. I’m a serious fan of Milla Jovovich; I feel the woman’s come a long way and can tackle any project without breaking a sweat. Will Patton is another favourite, and though the man is underused by my standards, when he’s there, he’s all win. The “real” Abbey Tyler creeped the hell out of me, she seems sincere but that’s truly debatable. This is a film that hits hard and just so happens to know which pressure points to attack. I like that approach, and hope to see more of it in the coming days.
There’s also some BD-LIVE footage if you can hook up to internet.