The Fourth Kind. Starring Milla Jovovich.
This is the first major film executed by writer and director Olatunde Osunsanmi, who is a protégé of independent film director Joe Carnahan.
In 1972, a scale of measurement was established for alien encounters. When a UFO is sighted, it is called an encounter of the first kind. When evidence is collected, it is known as an encounter of the second kind. When contact is made with extraterrestrials, it is the third kind. The next level, abduction, is the fourth kind. However, in the case of this movie, I would have to say that it was a close encounter of the supernatural kind.
When it comes to a movie with Milla Jovovich starring, I will jump on the bandwagon and watch the film as soon as it is available. However, as great as an actress she is, (and also in my own laminated list of top 5) this movie did not quite do it for me.
For those who have seen the movie already, you will know what I am talking about. For those who have not seen it, be prepared for a let-down.
While the acting of Milla is no less than great, and some of the scenes somewhat intriguing, there was a lot that can be said by the account of the storyline, which seemed to border more on the lines of Supernatural possession more than Alien abduction.
In some scenes, we see the witness being “possessed” and speaking in Sumerian language…. A language that has been extinct for more than 3,000 years. Now while I can appreciate the love for an extinct language and a race, I doubt that many people alive today would be able to understand and speak it fluently as the Historian seemed to do just as easily as eating cornflakes. Nice try, but somehow I don’t think ET’s would be in the habit of possessing a host and speaking in a language that is extinct that only one historian on the planet can seem to understand. Maybe the historian is fluent in 6 million forms of communication.
While I do enjoy a good horror flick and getting a chill factor, this moved me about as much as the flick Antichrist.
Was it good for a movie – It was okay
Was it as good as Paranormal Activity – No. Absolutely not.
While I can appreciate Olatunde’s debut film, I for one need a little more scares in my fear factor 🙂
An interview between Dr. Abigail Emily Tyler and Olatunde Osunsanmi kicks off the movie. (NOTE- all names in the film are fake to protect the identities of those involved. this includes dr.tyler) Tyler begins to discuss a hypnotism session performed on her by a colleague, Dr. Abel Campos, in an attempt to remember back to the night her husband Will was murdered beside her in bed and to recollect the face of the murderer. However, she cannot recall the face and the session only results in leaving her in tears. Campos tries to convince Tyler to take time off so her head can clear, but she insists that she must continue her husbands studies. After a brief scene with her two children, Ashley – who had gone blind soon after her father’s death – and Ronnie – who blames his mother for the murder of Will – Tyler begins her studies on the sleep-deprived in Nome. She notes that her patients have all awoken during the night to see a white owl watching them outside their windows for hours at a time.
Tyler suggests to one patient, Tommy Fisher, that she put him under hypnosis to discover something he couldn’t remember from the prior night. Under the hypnosis Fisher says that he had woken to see the owl at his window yet again. It disappears as his door opens, and he goes into hysterics before Tyler can snap him out of it. Terrified and unwilling to reveal what he had seen opening his door, Fisher leaves. That night, the cops are called to the Fisher household to discover that Fisher is holding his wife and their two children hostage, refusing to discuss the situation with anyone other than Tyler. She arrives, and while she attempts to calm him down, Fisher begins screaming in a language that Tyler cannot understand and demanding that she tell him the meaning of what he is saying. When she can’t supply a translation, Fisher shoots his wife, their children, and himself. Sherriff August interrogates Tyler as to whether or not she believes her hypnosis therapy with Fisher that day was in relation to the shooting. When Tyler doesn’t see a connection, August becomes enraged and tells her to cease her studies of sleep deprivation and the hypnosis on her patients. After returning home, Tyler grabs her tape recorder and makes notes over her patients, falling asleep while the recorder is still on.
The following morning, Tyler arrives at work to discover Campos waiting for her, worried after hearing of the Fisher shootings. She assures him that she is all right, and hands her tape recorder to her secretary, asking her to transcribe it. In her office, Scott Stracinsky, another of Tyler’s patients, and his wife are waiting. Stracinsky decides to be hypnotized despite the recent tragedy. During the session, he beings shaking and gagging, and Tyler has a difficult time snapping him out of the hypnosis. When she finally does, he reveals that nonhuman creatures had invaded his room. The couple leaves moments before Tyler’s secretary enters and tells Tyler that she cannot transcribe the tape. Curious, Tyler and Campos listen to the tape; moments after Tyler finishes her notes and falls asleep, mechanical noises are heard followed by terrifying, heart-stopping screams coming straight from Tyler’s own throat and a distorted voice speaking in an unknown language. She cannot remember anything that had happened that night, but discovers a bruise-like mark on her shoulder and scratches in the floorboards from her fingernails, as if she’d been trying to prevent someone from dragging her out.
In her husband’s research she finds the name and number of author Dr. Awolowa Odusami. Tyler calls the number and asks Odusami if he knew her husband. He claims he didn’t, but says that someone using the alias of “John” had called him from that number before. They set up a meeting between Tyler, Odusami, and Campos; during this, Odusami listens to the tape and concludes that the language is Sumerian, a dead language. He mentions that in ancient Sumerian artifacts pictures of men in space suits and UFOs were depicted, and that the voice on the tape speaking the language – saying words such as “destroy” and “ruin” – did not sound human. During the meeting, Stracinsky’s wife calls Tyler and begs her to come to their house. She, along with her colleagues, arrives at the house to find Scott in bed, a large bruise on his arm similar to the one on Tyler’s shoulder. He wants to be put under hypnosis, because he can’t quite remember what happened. Almost immediately after being put under Stracinsky jerks into an upright position with his head thrown back and his eyes and mouth open wide. He soon begins to levitate off the bed and screams in the Sumerian language. His body is distorted and dropped back onto the bed, seemingly lifeless.
Terrified, Tyler hurries to her house and starts packing, intending to flee to North Carolina. Sherriff August comes in; Stracinsky is now paralyzed from the neck down, and August believes that Tyler did it. As he is arresting her, Campos comes in and firmly states that Tyler had nothing to do with the accident. August agrees to leave Tyler at her house under constant surveillance by an officer of his. In the early hours of the morning, the officer spots an object flying over the household and calls August, who arrives to find a sobbing Tyler in Ashley’s room; Tyler claims that a beam of light appeared and took her daughter. August demands Tyler to stop her nonsense, believing that she was the cause behind Ashley’s disappearance. When she continues to insist that it was the work of extraterrestrials, he takes Ronnie, who also believes that his mother was the cause of his sister’s kidnapping, out of her custody.
Firmly believing that her daughter was abducted, Tyler asks Campos and Odusami to put her under hypnosis to bring her back to the night her tape recorder caught her screaming – which she believes was a recording of her own personal abduction – in an attempt to directly contact the aliens and demand for Ashley back. Campos puts Tyler into a deep sleep, and an inhuman voice speaking through her begins screaming in Sumerian. Tyler begins an almost schizophrenic scene where she and the Sumerian voice speaking through her start arguing. She begs them to bring her daughter back, and yet the voice refuses before it drops Tyler back on the couch. Campos and Odusami try to revitalize her when they themselves start screaming. When the static halts, the camera is now on the floor of an empty room; the three doctors are missing.
Osunsanmi asks Tyler what had happened the night of her hypnosis. She tells him that they were abducted, though they were unsure where they had gone or what had been done to them. The interview fades as the film itself continues; Tyler is now in a hospital bed, August and Campos at her bedside. August asks her who killed her husband, and she says all she was aware of was that he was stabbed while they were asleep. Countering her story, August holds up a picture of Will’s head with a bullet hole through it alongside a picture of a gun, and tells Tyler that her husband had committed suicide. He asks her yet again where Ashley was, and Tyler swears that her daughter was abducted. She begs Campos to speak up, reminding him that they had gone through the same things. He keeps quiet, and August is forced to remove Ronnie from a worn-down Tyler’s custody.
Tyler continues to stay true to the story of Ashley’s abduction by aliens. As she becomes emotional, Osunsanmi finally concludes the interview. It is then that the camera zooms out, and the audience is made aware of the fact that Tyler is in a wheelchair, paralyzed. The end credits reveal that no one involved in the real events had wanted to participate in the creation of the film, and that Tyler is under constant surveilance as her health deteriorates day by day ever since her abduction. Ashley has never been found. The end credits role with 911 calls reporting UFO’S
Check out the trailer by clicking the image below