The truth is out there, or perhaps it’s right here. The sci-fi drama Ezekiel’s Landing makes for an interesting conversation piece on the subject of aliens and their interaction with us on Earth.
The film opens with Emma Wright (Napathia St Pierre), a renowned author for her memoir about her own experiences with an alien abduction, sitting down for a radio interview with skeptic Joel Hooper (Ransom Pugh). Hooper is quite weary of Wright’s tale of how she was abducted into a UFO, and feels he knows a phony story when he sees one. These two characters become intertwined as the film unfolds, and Ezekiel’s Landing begins to take shape.
After the confrontation between Wright and Hooper, things begin to get a little strange for both as they go back to their separate lives. Hooper slowly turns the other cheek on his skepticism and begins asking more questions. While speaking to a friend who tries to convince him he was also abducted by aliens, Hooper’s memories begin to become less foggy and his connections to alien abduction may seem stronger than he originally thought. Emma connects with a fellow conspiracy theorist named Kass Burroughs (Abigail White) who brings more information about a local alien threat to her attention. The two begin dissecting a mysterious signal that Burroughs has, and soon realize that the signal has a destructive operandi.
As both Emma and Hooper get deeper into their investigations of uncovering the truth they also grow wearier of who is watching them. They begin seeing strange people about the small town they live in and seem to be threatened even by the authorities. Emma, along with Kass, soon meet up with a now convinced Hooper, and the three set out on a quest to uncover the truth about alien activity, one that may just be happening in their own backyards in small town America.
Ezekiel’s Landing is a very interesting sci-fi allegory on the concept of the close encounter theories. Along with that theory is a study of how obsessed people can come to wanting to know the truth, even if that truth involves fabrication or hurting others in the process. The film is obviously influenced by cinematic predecessors of the sci-fi realm, Ezekiel’s Landing is one part Contact, two parts Close Encounters of the Third Kind with a dash of The X-Files thrown in for good measure, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Co-writer/director/editor/composer James Treakle takes what he loves from those aforementioned influences and infuses them into his film with a very earnest approach. Ezekiel’s Landing does have the typical trappings of a low budget feature (according to the film’s IMDb page it was made for $10,000) but Treakle and his team work well within those confines. The performances from the 3 leads are all very enjoyable. Napathia St Pierre brings a very stoic presence to her role, her large eyes beaming like saucers as she looks up into the night sky. Ransom Pugh and Abigail White are very believable in their performances, each bringing their own contributions to developing their characters and expanding the arc as their stories unfold.
The only major setback in Ezekiel’s Landing was the location audio recording. Seemingly recorded with a stereo microphone with limited pickup, possibly attached to the camera, dialogue in some scenes is almost discernible under unwanted background noise (traffic, fridge sound) and spatial resistance. At times this was quite distracting as it caused some dialogue to be hidden when mixed along with sound effects or music. ADR scenes are scattered about and were done well, but when we go back to location audio it is frightfully obvious.
On the plus side, some of the cinematography by DP Robert Dalley, especially in the film’s third act, is quite top notch. The climactic scene in the end of the film, which involves a pretty close encounter with alien beings, is well shot and lit, once again going beyond the call of duty for the film’s low budget.
Overall, Ezekiel’s Landing is a big budget concept in the shell of a low budget approach, and for the most part is a very passable and enjoyable film with great characters and an interesting story.
Ezekiel’s Landing is now available to stream or download on VHX. To check out the film, and the trailer visit https://ezekielslanding.vhx.tv