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Extraterrestrial (Film) Review

 
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At A Glance...
 

Genre: ,
 
Director:
 
Length: 101 minutes
 
Release Date: November 21, 2014
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
2.5/ 5


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We liked?


The ending will make for some good debates over popcorn, and the visual and sound effects are good enough to have you jumping at all the appropriate moments.

Not so much?


So formulaic, probably intentionally so - but it leads to much predictability with no real payoff.


Final Fiendish Findings?

  We come in…peace? Extraterrestrial is immediately recognizable as your standard cabin in the woods horror trope, this time with an out of this world twist. A group of shallow college kids head to their parents’ posh cabin for a little drinking, a little drugs, and a whole lot of partying. Of course, things don’t […]

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Posted November 18, 2014 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings?
 
 

 

We come in…peace?

Extraterrestrial is immediately recognizable as your standard cabin in the woods horror trope, this time with an out of this world twist. A group of shallow college kids head to their parents’ posh cabin for a little drinking, a little drugs, and a whole lot of partying. Of course, things don’t turn out nearly as idyllic as they’d like, and somebody is bound to get killed (you’re going to hope it’s Seth, from the moment he hits the screen).

The whole thing seems a rather obvious nod to the classic formula, and it’s predictable but meant to be so (at least until the end, anyway). The kids have the classic group going – brainy but cute lead girl along with her boyfriend provide the romantic bits for the story. They’ve been together forever and he’s ready to take it to the next step – but April’s not so sure that’s what she wants anymore. Infringing on their weekend getaway are Seth (the annoying guy who’s loud, swears a lot, and conveniently likes to video everything), Seth’s kind of annoying girlfriend, and April’s best friend (who just can’t even with this whole alien thing).

In addition to all this, there are a few undeveloped side plots that serve only to conveniently place things in the film. The divorcing parents fight an awful lot, and dear dad asks April to fetch his gun from the cabin. Dad’s old neighbor and friend happens to be a pot smoking, paranoid Vietnam vet who’s packing a whole lot of heat. And then there’s the lonely police officer, intent on figuring out what’s going on in his town, though he still searches for his love, who mysteriously disappeared ten years ago. None of these side plots play out in any sort of satisfying manner, as it’s April and Kyle who get top billing in this film. Never will this be more apparent (and annoying) than at the end of the film, which aims for unpredictable and an “aha!” moment, but falls pretty flat.

The camera work and visual effects are fairly well done, as are the spaceship and alien visitor portions – although, predictably so, all are very cliche. If you’re looking for some sort of innovation or new approach, you won’t find it here. Though Extraterrestrial definitely pays homage to its predecessors with its dedication to the old school horror movie formula, it stays true to the script enough to be predictable, but doesn’t quite go far enough to take it into an entertaining parody.

Extraterrestrial is a movie that will have you jumping at appropriate places, and although the tension never builds all that much, there are some downright cringeworthy moments as the action ramps up. If you can forgive the overly formulaic nature of the film, and the near unforgivable anal probe bits, you’ll find a movie that provides a few scares and at the very least a notable ending. If, however, you’re looking for innovation, a new approach, or just a darn good alien movie – you won’t find it here.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)