Extraterrestrial (2014) – By Kirsten Walsh

“A group of friends on a weekend trip to a cabin in the woods find themselves terrorized by alien visitors.”

What starts off as a blasé film with cheesy college aged kids goofing around on a trip to a cabin (what is with all of these “cabin” films lately!!!). However, this film shocked the hell out of me, and nearly scared me senseless. The subject of alien abductions is one that will always be terrifying, mainly because there is so much mystery and conspiracy surrounding it. This film takes that and shoves it into a new light, one held by “The Vicious Brothers”- Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz. The two previously directed the reality show based horror film, “Grave Encounters”.

“Extraterrestrial” follows five teens getting away for the weekend (and a dog who is killed by an alien later- spoiler. Once again, unnecessary animal violence is not condoned or appreciated by this reviewer.) The film starts slow with character development and allows the audience to build a bond with the hopeful and relatable April and her lovelorn boyfriend Kyle. The rest of the friends are along mainly for moral support, as we later learn that Kyle had a plan of proposal in mind for the trip. However, everything screeches to a halt when the group witnesses what looks like a burning plane crash into the woods nearby.

The smart kids they are, they head off to take a look at the burning plane, and in the process, shit goes down. The abductions start, the terror begins, and the blood spills. Tucked into the storyline of the kids is also a Sheriff (played by Gil Bellows) who is somewhat skeptical of the abductions, but is more prone to believe than one would think. Also, a funny Michael Ironsides plays a pot growing local who knows tons about aliens and wants to talk all about it. He helps the kids in the best way he can, but the aliens are fairly manipulative.

Speaking of the aliens, the effects were decent, for it being a mostly CG film. The effects flowed nicely together and worked. Some of the blood was a little cheesy or over the top, but nothing detracted from the overall feeling or tone of the film. One of the things that stood out in a negative way was the music. For most of the film it was fitting, even at times pulling an 80’s vibe. However, there were points throughout the movie (primarily in the scenes between April and Kyle where a romantic theme should be) where the music seemed as if it was pulled from a soap opera. One other thing that was quite off putting was the scene that took place right after the crash in the woods. One of the characters had been playing with his phone video camera (ugh, again with the found footage), and the next ten minutes (the discovery of the crash, the drive up to it, and a good chunk thereafter). How does that even fit into the movie?

Would I watch this film again? While I have the urge to (it had some excellent moments), I think I would rather check out some more original content. The jump scares were many, and the terror was palpable, but everything that was shown had been done before.

Find out more about the film on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/extraterrestrialmovie and be ready for when the film lands in May!