Director – Dean Alioto
Cast – Kristian Ayre, Michael Buie, Aaron Pearl, Benz Antoine, Gillian Barber, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Katlyn Ducharme, Ingrid Kavelaars, Marya Delver
Release Year – 1998
Reviewed by John of the Dead
I came across this late 90s TV film while rummaging for a lesser-known film to watch, and after reading a little on this flick and the story behind it I went into this watch with high expectations, and while it wasn’t as incredible as I expected it to be it still gave me a mostly-positive experience that delivers some good chills as well.
After experiencing what appears to be a fixable electrical failure, three brothers leave a Thanksgiving party to investigate the matter. They witness strange occurrences going on outside the rural home, and as the youngest brother tests out his new video camera he captures something never before caught on video…aliens. When the aliens catch wind of what the brothers are up to, they follow the young men home and turn what was supposed to be a night of fun and thanksgiving into a night of true terror.
Alien films are some of my favorite films of all time, partly because of the chills they bring us, and partly because of the possibility that aliens do exist outside of our Earthly realm. To make this film even more chilling, it is told in the POV style of filming made popular by The Blair Witch Project, although this film debuted BEFORE the popular and slightly overrated Eduardo Sanchez/Daniel Myrick debut film.
The story is an interesting one, and while stories like this are all-too-common nowadays you must admit that for its time Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County came with a pretty darn original storyline from writer Paul Chitlik. I loved the idea of the brothers incidentally stumbling on the aliens, made more interesting with the fact that they got the aliens on video, and then the aliens seeking damage control was even sweeter. The setting for the film is perfect, and the lonely home provides a nice nowhere-to-run scenario when the vehicles outside are disabled by the aliens, forcing them family to hole up inside the home and pray they make it out alive. As you can imagine, the aliens eventually make their way into the home, and this simple film with a simple setting delivers some great chills after that.
Director Dean Alioto did a good job executing this low-budget TV film, making the most of the POV filming style by using its shady camera angles to his advantage. The atmosphere and low-lighting at just the right time made the scare scenes memorable and even goosebump-inducing at times, showing that simple yet proper execution is all that is needed to deliver the horror we seek in these films. For a TV movie I was surprised with how believable the film came off, and while these are all mainly no-name actors they did a fair job at giving us fear and chaos. The look of the aliens was the usual look, short and big-headed(literally), and their simplistic design worked for me.
Overall, Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County is a mostly-positive watch that gives us a sweet tale and proves to be one of the better TV horror movies out there. Possibly the first horror film to be shown in the POV filmmaking style, we get some truly awesome scare sequences that left me surprised at how under-appreciated this film is.