The Fourth Kind is a new, spooky movie based upon “actual case studies” and “real footage.” It’s centered around the fourth kind of contact with extraterrestrials: abduction. I’m so glad that, every once in a while, a great movie comes out of nowhere and gives you a genuine scare. I wasn’t looking forward to this film at all (it looked cheesy), but The Fourth Kind is a freaky, yet pleasant surprise.
The film opens up with Milla Jovovich stepping in front of the camera and stating that what you’re about to see is real. It’s done pretty well, to where you’re left a little unnerved about being in the theatre. I’ll try not to give too much away about the story, so that I don’t ruin any surprises. Dr. Abigail Tyler is doing a sleep disorder study, when she realizes that many of her patients have a common issue. They all continue to be tormented by an all white owl outside of their windows. Their stories are all different, but they also have a lot in common; they all seem to be having horrible nights because of a presence interfering, instead of a sleep disorder. So, the good doctor orders some heavy hypnosis to unlock the memories that these patients seem to be repressing, unfortunately the hypnosis has some terrible side effects and creates a lot of “Holy Crap!” moments.
Abigail finally realizes that the problem of restless nights aren’t limited to those few people, and things get pretty crazy from there on out. Most of the movie is about what goes on with her interaction with the patients, until about half way through, then Abby becomes the center of attention. This description may make this movie sound lame, but I promise, that’s only because I’m choosing my words carefully so that I don’t take away any shocks.
The movie is constantly weaving the real footage in with the movie scenes, which I really didn’t like. This is one of my few complaints about the movie. The entire time, you’re wanting to pay attention, but you’re not quite sure where to look. I wanted to see the real footage, thinking it’d be scarier, but then I would miss important things going on in the acting. So, be ready to put your thinking cap on and keep your eyes peeled, because there is a lot going on at once. It wasn’t a huge deal, but sometimes, it would pull you out of the movie, which is never good for horror flicks. One note though, some of the footage is really shocking. Seriously, it was completely crazy watching some of the footage. You may not want to bring any kids to this spook show.
Now, I would like to believe that the videos and footage of the case studies were real, but from the very first minute, I thought it felt like the real footage was staged. So, my second complaint would be that it seemed a little fake. That really only pertains to the video footage, though. The audio interviews and tapes were the best part of the movie, in my opinion. Some of the things you hear throughout the movie are genuinely chilling. There were plenty of scares that made me exchange shocked glances with the people around me or get chills all the way down my spine, which is a great thing. It was nice to get really scared from a movie, simply because there has been a recent lack in truthfully scary movies.
The performances from the main and supporting roles were fairly well done, except for one very over-the-top sheriff (It sounded like they elected Christian Bale to protect their town from evil psychologists). The only problem was that in most of the intense scenes, they would have the archive footage right beside the film footage, so it made you feel like the actors were doing parts from a History Channel re-enactment. It wasn’t the actors’ fault, just a poor choice of cinematography. During scenes without any archive mixed in, everything was perfectly fine and well acted.
The effects were all great, although there weren’t many effects in the movie. The effects really consisted of lights beaming through windows and some blurry shapes, but that’s the great thing. One thing I really loved about the film was that the horror was all very “Hitchcock.” The fact that you don’t actually see the aliens just made them that more scary. I was so happy that this movie was honestly scary, I expected a lot less. One negative thing is that there were a few fake looking bits in the “real” footage, but overall, that didn’t detract from the feel of the movie.
I really loved this movie, it kept you thinking and kept you feeling like you might get abducted by aliens that night. The best part is, it’s one of those movies that makes you think that it’s all real. I’d be lying if I didn’t check the backseat a few times while I was driving home. If you love movies like The Mothman Prophecies, then you’ll be in for a treat. Honestly, though, I’d recommend this movie to anybody looking for a good scare and a good time.
I give The Fourth Kind 4.5 “X-Files Posters” out of 5