Friday, March 19, 2010

The Fourth Kind DVD review. Sort of.

I would briefly like to ruin the critically despised The Fourth Kind, for the sake of anyone contemplating renting the DVD. If you're dead set on doing so, be my guest, but don't read what follows until afterwards... The film, a UFO abduction thriller, purports to be based on actual events, and goes to great length to convince us of its veracity, using split screens to show admitted re-enactments alongside "actual" archival footage showing nearly identical "home video" versions of what we're seeing (mostly hypnotherapy sessions that go very weird). It swears up and down that what it is showing us is true. As any viewer with a few firing brain cells will strongly suspect while watching the film, none of it is. Dr. Abigail Tyler does not exist, is being played by an actress whose name is known, and the various news stories Universal planted online to virally suggest, a la The Blair Witch Project, that the events in the film are real, led to a lawsuit and a settlement. The initial debunker of the film appears to be an Anchorage journalist named Kyle Hopkins; his original article is here. More links to people debunking the film are on the Wikipedia page. The film is entertaining, if you have a taste for brainless hysteria, but the most interesting thing about The Fourth Kind, in fact, is observing the ridiculous lengths the filmmakers go to to make us believe that what we are seeing really happened; they place so much weight on this angle, in fact - explaining that the actors are merely actors every time they appear (except for the ones playing Abigail Tyler or her hypnotized "real" patients); announcing each tape recording or video clip used within the film as being actual archival material - that once one discovers it was all crap, the film entirely collapses, becomes nothing more than an immense gimmick, akin to a very elaborate instance of someone pointing in the sky, saying "it's a UFO!" and, when you turn your head, going, "Ha ha - made you look!" Also noteworthy in being a career low for Elias Koteas and Will Patton, tho' perhaps it's a step up from the Resident Evil movies for poor Milla. You have been warned.

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