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The Fourth Kind (2009)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi

Starring:
Milla Jovovich/Abbey
Elias Koteas/Doctor
Will Patton/Sheriff
Hakeem Kae-Kazim/Translator
PLOT-CRUNCH
We follow (via a mix of reenactment and mockumentory) psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler (Jovovich) as she tries to come to the bottom of all them damn abductions that are going on in Nome Alaska.
THE LOWDOWN

There’s an owl at my window – a patient

All I knew about THE FOURTH KIND was that its trailer rocked me stupid and that it’s based on a supposedly “true story”. Over time I have to come to learn something valuable about Hollywood and their freaking “true stories”, they’re usually a croc of croc and THE FOURTH KIND falls in that territory as to its claims. The flick kind of gave that up via 1- Changing people’s names for privacy but then showing their faces via “real footage” (made no sense). 2- The director of the picture not being convincing as the interviewer of the “real” Abigail. 3- I highly doubt the government would release any of this real footage if true. After the movie I did some research and fell upon this interesting Alaskan article about the film. So nope it’s not true. And Alaskans be pissed! But that’s not my problem.

With that out of the way, I so got involved into this one, that true or not, it got the job motherf*cking done. At first the constant back and forth between “real footage” and “reenactment” kind of took me aback. How am I supposed to get into a movie if you keep changing perspective or/and having them go down at the same time? It took me like 15 minutes to adjust my grey matter to the way THE FOURTH KIND told its story and once that was locked- it was pummeling time. I got whopped! Now that I think of it, the fact that the flick acknowledged that some of its parts were fake is what made the reenactments bits whiplash me even harder. What a genius way to go about it! Director Olatunde Osunsanmi is definitely on my “to keep tabs on list”. His stylish and often gorgeous framing, his striking aerial photography and of course the novel/impactful way he told his story (via multiple split screens) totally wooed me. All I kept thinking while watching the film was “this is my kind of filmmaking”.

Osunsanmi also had a knack for generating suspense and scaring my sorry ass via the less is more rule and I for one respected that. There were a handful of scenes here that had something SPOOKY going on, but the image was distorted, and it was the small glimpses that I caught (like that open wide mouth thing…brrr… nough said) that really brought it home. The film suggested and my brain gapped the rest - always an effective fear ploy. There’s one bit that literally jumbled my insides. That hasn’t happened to me in ages! CREE....PY! Story wise, I was snagged early and wasn’t let go till the bitter end. Even though I knew what was going on (aliens), I was right there with its lead gal, fighting her good fight, feeling her pain while hoping that she’d get her answers and that it would all end with a neato happy ending. Did that happen? See the film for yourself. Big props to Milla Jovovich, who apart from one “off moment” gave out an intense and affecting performance. One of her best shows since The Messenger in my opinion.

The supporting cast hit hard like "wanna win" little troopers as well. The name actors (Elias Koteas once again doing a great DeNiro) and the non names (Hakeem Kae-Kazim and Corey Johnson) chipped in to make this tale feel even more legit. Will Patton was maybe a tad “too big” in places for my liking but on the whole I dug him too. Hard to not like Patton doing his thing - the man rocks! Topple on top of that an unsettling and at time moving score by Atli Örvarsson (I wanna own this score- you have it – hook me up), an endearing ambiguity that had my mind going, powerful drama that tugged at my heart strings, reenactment scenes that felt so real that it maximized the impact of the whole (them unaccredited actors deserve a hookers and beer party), back-handing sound design (the alien voices...brrr) and a pace that couldn’t have been smoother and you get one hell of a ride!

Any complaints? Well I mentioned most of them already (like the director not being aces as the interviewer and such) but another thing that bugged me was the whole “how the husband died thing”. At the end when I got the full answer, some things didn’t add up for me. Either I’m an imbecile (which we all know is a given) or the flick didn’t do a good job at communicating its subplot. Finally, the director sometimes went a little too style heavy (like that strobe light effect) hence taking me out of the story a tad but nothing critical. Other than that, I LOVED THE FOURTH KIND. It addressed a subject matter that I've always been fascinated with (them f*cking anal probing aliens), it touched me emotionally via its characters, their plight and relationships, it scared me real good a couple of times and visually; wow; I couldn’t get enough of it. So yeah its not a true story but its still a stellar film nonetheless. Abduct this!

GORE
Apart from some nasty stabbings no gore here.
T & A
Milla, Milla, Milla, even dressed up in conservative gear, you’re hot as hell on a scorcher of a day.
BOTTOM LINE
2009 kept one of the best for last! THE FOURTH KIND had its “great shit” checklist covered. A winning story and a slick way of telling it, top notch actors, fly visuals, a potent soundtrack, chills galore and a couple of scare bits that will f*ck you up! Granted the “husband died” subplot didn’t fully convince me and there were some miss steps in terms of selling its true story angle but on the whole, it beat me up me and sent me to the mat. In my opinion, your enjoyment of this one will be defined by how much it sells ya on its happenings off the bat. I was signed, sealed and bitch slapped early – so I was owned. I hope ya will be too! NOTE: This one would make a slick double bill with MOTHMAN PROPHECIES.
BULL'S EYE
Most of the film was shot in Bulgaria.

Olatunde Osunsanmi also helmed the low budget horror flick THE CAVERN (2005).

Olatunde Osunsanmiis is a protege of filmmaker Joe Carnahan. He was his assistant on Smokin' Aces and he wrote Smokin' Aces Part 2.

GET ABDUCTED BY THE FOURTH KIND SITE HERE

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5:29AM on 03/07/2010
Blair Witch tactics aside, I really enjoyed this one. Do watch this in the wee hours of the morning in a pitch black house with a set of good headphones. Great review Arrow.
Blair Witch tactics aside, I really enjoyed this one. Do watch this in the wee hours of the morning in a pitch black house with a set of good headphones. Great review Arrow.
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11:22PM on 11/12/2009

Nice idea but...

The whole thing just felt like one of the Discovery channel style dramatizations, didn't feel like a full movie for me. I went home very disappointed mainly because the trailer was more tense and scary than the actual movie. Shame really.
The whole thing just felt like one of the Discovery channel style dramatizations, didn't feel like a full movie for me. I went home very disappointed mainly because the trailer was more tense and scary than the actual movie. Shame really.
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5:13PM on 11/10/2009
It doesn't happen often but i've got to disagree with the Arrow on this one. This film starts off great and has some suspenseful moments but there is just no pay off whatsoever! You don't even see 1 Alien, the abduction scene is a joke and to top it all off none of it is real yet they feel the need to tell you what all the people are doing with their lives now. The way they went about shooting this is all wrong. Milla Jovovich was far more believable than the "real" Abigail Tyler who was lame
It doesn't happen often but i've got to disagree with the Arrow on this one. This film starts off great and has some suspenseful moments but there is just no pay off whatsoever! You don't even see 1 Alien, the abduction scene is a joke and to top it all off none of it is real yet they feel the need to tell you what all the people are doing with their lives now. The way they went about shooting this is all wrong. Milla Jovovich was far more believable than the "real" Abigail Tyler who was lame and looked like an Alien herself. This movie just uses a cheap Hollywood tactic to try and be scary by telling the audience that everything they're seeing is real. If you haven't seen this film but you're interested in watching an Alien Abduction movie don't waste your time or money on this, check out a film called "Fire in the Sky" instead!
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12:23AM on 11/04/2009

Abso-friggin-lutely

Agreed, agreed, agreed. Scary as s***! Nice to see someone doing something different. I thought this was a great story to tell in this fractured sorta way.
Agreed, agreed, agreed. Scary as s***! Nice to see someone doing something different. I thought this was a great story to tell in this fractured sorta way.
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8:00PM on 11/03/2009

NICE!

Happy to hear a good review! Can't wait to see it!
Happy to hear a good review! Can't wait to see it!
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5:44PM on 11/03/2009

LOL! Awesome!

Great review! i've been following this movie closely because i liked it THAT much! I also did alot of research, found the real footages compelling and man would watch it again because it got me thinking.

yeah the director did a great job. and this was an interesting take on abductions and alien encounters.

grreat movie
Great review! i've been following this movie closely because i liked it THAT much! I also did alot of research, found the real footages compelling and man would watch it again because it got me thinking.

yeah the director did a great job. and this was an interesting take on abductions and alien encounters.

grreat movie
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