Alien Abduction (2014)
“Fear The Lights”
Alien Abduction (2014)
Director: Matty Beckerman
Cast: Katherine Sigismund, Corey Eid, Riley Polanski
Synopsis: A vacationing family encounters an alien threat in this thriller based on the real-life Brown Mountain Lights phenomenon in North Carolina.
WARNING! This review contains mild Spoilers.
The found footage movie is something of a Godsend to aspiring filmmakers who have very little in the way of a budget but do have access to a decent quality camera. That’s probably why the sub-genre stubbornly refuses to die, despite plenty of evidence that audiences grew bored with it a good ten years ago. Alien Abduction does nothing to breathe new life into a tired format, although it can at least boast one effectively creepy scene early on and is no worse than many others of its kind.
The luckless stars of this home movie are the Morrises, a typical suburban family enjoying a weekend in the North Carolina Brown Mountains, a district in which unexplained flashing lights are regularly seen. After the obligatory five minutes of high spirits, things begin getting a little spooky when the Morris kids, teenagers Corey (Corey Eid) and Jillian (Jillian Clare), and autistic youngster Riley (Riley Polanski) are awoken by strange darting lights in the night sky. The following morning, as the family are driving to their next planned site, the satnav cuts out, birds fall from the sky and they reach a tunnel in which a number of deserted cars are strewn around like discarded toys. This is the scene I mentioned earlier, the creepy one that briefly had me hoping that Alien Abduction was going to offer up something different. But then, I should have known better, considering the prosaic flatness of that title, and the fact that the writers couldn’t even be bothered to invent first names for their characters.
Anyway, the Morrises escape from that tunnel minus their father which, in terms of survival chances, probably isn’t as big a deal as you’d expect considering he had a major meltdown as soon as the satnav went on the fritz and he realised they were low on gas. Alien Abduction does at least have the nerve to pick off the strongest first, working its way down the chain until only little Riley is left alive, talking directly to the camera as he cowers in the darkness just like that girl with the runny nose in The Blair Witch Project. In their flight from whatever it is that took Pa Morris in the tunnel, the rest of the family stumble across the tumbledown shack of a hillbilly named Sean (Jeff Bowser) who reluctantly offers them temporary respite.
The problem with Alien Abduction is that is that its’ obviously minuscule budget prevents it from showing us the kind of effects you’d expect from a movie about aliens. Apart from a few blurry blink-and-you-miss-them shots of depressingly familiar looking aliens (was there some sort of filmmakers’ consensus back in the 1990s that every visitor from outer space to appear on screen would look exactly the same from then on?) all we see are a lot of bright lights while we listen to the Morris girls screaming the whereabouts of their hiding places. It all gets a bit repetitive after a while, with each abduction appearing to occur for no apparent reason other than the filmmakers figured it was probably about time they got rid of another of the aliens’ prey.
(Reviewed 26th April 2015)