Extraterrestrial (2014)

extraterrestrial‘Extraterrestrial’ was a home alone Netlfix find. One of those home-alone-so-I’ll-watch-something-I-don’t-think-my-other-half-will-mind-missing-out-on-watching-together movies, because you daren’t watch the next episode in a series you’re watching together, or something you might really enjoy sharing together on date night. My expectations were low, and if you give this a go, I would suggest that as the way to go to get the best out of it…

‘Extraterrestrial’ dares to do a teens go to a cabin in the woods, but with the title giving away that this won’t involve demons, or hillbillies it’s offering something different. The film starts with April and Kyle, two college students and their friends heading off to her parents’ old cabin, which is being sold in their divorce. Their first night is disturbed by something crashing in the woods. The teens go to investigate and they discover that it’s not a plane… it’s a spaceship… and the pilot did not die. The teens quickly find themselves holed up in the cabin with some-thing from another world stalking them, and one by one they are taken into the night…

I enjoyed it. Let me state that straight out. It has tension, it has chills, and there are some scenes that are well filmed, despite the film clearly being a low budget movie. If you liked the ‘X-Files’ then you will find something to like in this movie. Because this is a horror movie group of friends, one of the characters has to be a dick. The others are girls. One’s a stoner chick, the other doesn’t have much else to define her. Aside from some tension between the leads there’s little else to give these characters character. But, it’s a horror and I’m okay with that. It’s hardly a criticism you would level at Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’, but then that is an all round much better movie…

This film was fun, and as I mentioned earlier, if you liked ‘X-files’ then there is something to enjoy in this. The music and titles has a real ‘X-files’ feel to it, and with the aliens being of the skinny grey guys with big head type, this would serve well as a double length Mulder and Scully free ‘X-files’ story. Perhaps a prequel to a case they are called upon to investigate. In the final ending–yeah I said ‘final ending’, I’ll get to that–there is even a shadowy cancer-man style suit directing the military. However, that generous comparison aside, this is a seriously flawed film. Firstly it takes a minor misstep with a brief mix into camcorder footage, which was a jarring change of direction, but fatally this film’s main flaw is that it offers three endings.

Yup. Three. It’s really bizarre. It’s like those alternative endings you get on DVDs as bonus features have just been left in. The movie up to it’s first ending is a 3 star movie. April’s motivation serves her character well. Then it didn’t end. It carried on. Okay, I thought, I’ll roll with that. The second ending showed what happened to the characters who had been abducted, which added little to the film, and my imagination could have done the work. I didn’t feel I needed to see this ending, and a gory anal probe was not worth it. And then there was the final ending, which was just so cheesy it was awful. If it was intended to be  comic, then great fun, but that didn’t really fit the tone of what had come before. Which then makes me think that the ending was meant to be tragic and possibly a touch edgy and classy. It was tragic, but for all the wrong reasons. It was actually laughable. If you want this to be a 3 star film, then let me give you a guide on how to watch this film:

  1. Set your expectations to low. B-movie low. Higher than ‘Sharknado’ setting, but lower than ‘Mimic’.
  2. Do not watch the trailer. If I had seen the trailer before watching this film, I would not have bothered. It sucks.
  3. Think ‘X-Files’ when you’re watching it.
  4. Stop when the very last person has met their fate. Just stop right there. Don’t let curiosity get the better of you. Just pat yourself on the back for taking some directorial responsibility in editing this film for yourself.

Because the directors did not do step 4, so this can only be a 2 star movie. But hey, at least I didn’t lose out on a film to watch with my other-half.

Do you have any good 3 star + Netflix horror recommendations?

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