Director – Olatunde Osunsanmi
Cast – Milla Jovovich, Will Patton, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Corey Johnson, Enzo Cilenti, Elias Koteas, Raphael Coleman, Mia McKenna-Bruce
Release Year – 2009
Reviewed by John of the Dead
This is a film I was really stoked to see after viewing it’s first trailer. As a big fan of “what cannot be explained”, I was certain this film would appeal to me, and it did. I wish we had more alien oriented films these days(no, Mars Attacks doesn’t count), and this film proves that the alien horror-subgenre is not dead and can still produce positive flicks. If you want to experience a unique film that adds a spin to the pseudo-documentary style of shooting and delivers extreme super goosebumps at just the right time, this film is for you.
The Fourth Kind stars the ever beautiful Mila Jovovich as as Dr. Abbey Tyler, a psychologist who has decided to pick up her late husbands work on the odd sleep patters of the locals in Nome, Alaska. She begins to uncover odd similarities between her subjects, all who claim to see an owl every night before extremely frightening events occur. As Dr. Tyler becomes more and more absorbed by this study she begins to see and feel the same odd occurrences that her patients are feeling. Soon enough she begins to realize that she has gone too far into what is happening, and is now in the same danger as her patients.
Told in the all-too-familiar pseudo documentary style, this film adds a twist to that concept by claiming that the archived footage played alongside the dramatizations is real, and it is up to the viewer to decide what they want to believe. I’ll let you do your own research on that matter, but as of yet there is no record of a Dr. Abbey Tyler being licensed to practice psychology in the state of Alaska. The information could be wrong, but as of now I am sticking to that and simply watching this as a movie, nothing more. The archived footage is chilling, and actually leaves me wishing that it was in fact “real” footage. Even if this footage is not real, it sure adds an interesting twist to this type of filmmaking and in my opinion brings in nearly all of the scares this film has to offer.
The direction for this film is positive, but not amazing. The scare scenes were genius, but a lot of the small visual cuts in this film seemed a bit amateurish to me, which does not surprise me. Olatunde Osunsanmi’s previos film WithIN shows some of the worst direction imaginable, and I was honestly quite surprised when I learned that he would be the director of this major film. Nonetheless he impressed me with his progression from his last film to this one. Aside from this film’s scares, he really did a great job with the pacing in this film. I never once found myself bored or uninterested in what was going on, a tribute to both his direction and writing. I really like how he wrote in Hakeem Kae-Kazim’s character Dr. Awolowa Odusami, who has a found knowledge of ancient markings and languages. This section of the film added a lot of “creep factor” during her investigation and was a genius way of giving us insight into the “aliens” and their background. Awesome! Mila Jovovich’s acting performance was great as well, and we get the expected amount of conflict from Will Patton as Sherriff August. Some of you may remember Will Patton as the “white coach” from Remember The Titans, certainly his most memorable role.
My one complaint with this film had to do with the dramatized alien encounter bedroom scenes. Sure they were not bad scenes, but I was left wanting more and felt that whatever “it” was, it was not the least big scary nor interesting. Sorry, but that is on you director Olatunde Osunsanmi! Had these scenes been improved and shown us something good then I would have most likely given this film another point, BUT I am sure this is not what he was going for, and decided to leave us “in the dark” with these scenes. Oh well.
Overall, this is a positive watch that I recommend to all those who want to experience a few good scares and to those interested in the “we are not alone” type flicks.