The Fourth Kind DVD Review

11 04 2010

While it’s nice to see Milla Jovovich do something other than empty clip after clip into faceless armies of badguys, this movie does so much wrong it makes my head hurt.

What's the big deal? I do this every night.

In The Fourth Kind, Milla Jovovich portrays psychiatrist Dr. Abigail Tyler, who, after the mysterious death/murder of her husband, continues his research into the strange dreams and disappearances in Nome, Alaska. Her patients all keep waking up in the middle of the night, with an ethereal white owl looking down on them. They don’t remember much else, until she puts them into regressive hypnosis. Then things get wacky, and the possibility of alien abduction is put forth.

Just your average, everyday hypnotherapist/psychiatrist/supermodel.

The most irritating thing about this movie is it purports to show real documentary footage of patients under hypnosis, along with an extended interview with the real Dr. Tyler. That’s what you see in the trailers. What you don’t see is all the crazy split screen action with the documentary footage juxtaposed with actors playing the scene as a re-enactment. Have you seen Ang Lee’s Hulk or Mike Figgis’ Timecode, where the frame splits to two different people doing different things? Well, how about two shots of the same thing happening, one you’re interested in, and one is completely superfluous. That’s 2/3 of this movie. There are actually quite a few shots (including a static shot of actors speaking to the audience while the background spins behind them, inducing a nasty case of vertigo) that give me the feeling director Olatunde Osunsanmi got his first American theatrical release and tried to prove that he had “mad skillz”. It just looks sloppy, and detracts from the hook of the film, which is the documentary footage.

Skeeeeelz, beyotch!

About that footage – pretty much what you see in the previews is what you get in the movie, with the exception of one rather spooky session later in the movie that really works. Unfortunately, other than that scene, all of the other good stuff in the documentary footage you’ve seen. And before you really get a good look at what’s going on, the video distorts, presumably due to either electromagnetic interference, or alien intervention.

Owls may be aliens. Or birds. Science will find the answer one day.

If you really want to see it, then by all means go see it. I haven’t mentioned the acting performances, and that’s because that, like me, all you want to see is creepified hypnotherapy patients freaking out. The acting is totally passable, but not really worth going over. It’s a decent little UFO movie, but there was a lot of stuff that bugged me. If you ARE going to watch it, don’t read on. If you HAVE seen the movie, or just don’t give a damn about the twist of the movie being spoiled, then, by all means, continue. I have one more thing to say about The Fouth Kind.

**********************SPOILERS BELOW***************************

Ok, the twist is that it’s all bullshit. This is the “real” Dr. Abigail Tyler.

Creepy thin face? Check. Tons of make-up to make her look pale? Check.

Now, this is British actress Charlotte Milchard.

Hmmm...where have I seen you before?

See any resemblance?

Bastards!

Bastards!

There is no Dr. Abigail Tyler, and there is no documentary footage. Yup, all the “documentary footage” of “patients in regressive hypnosis” is actually footage of actors acting out a script. And knowing that makes me hate this movie with a passion. Because that means that I just watched unknown actors acting out hypnotic regression on shitty video while, in the same frame, another maybe less unknown actor (or Milla Jovovich) acts out the same thing on film, thus making the split screen “re-enactment” even more pointless. Universal has tried to cover-up the fact that the things in the movie that are supposed to be “real” are obviously not, but, I mean, hell even the IMDB and Wikipedia pages (where I do most of my hard-hitting, in-depth research) out this film as complete fakery. The worst part is that there is actual, factual information in the movie. Yes, almost every ancient text, religion, and art piece depict beings from the sky that could be construed or are implicitly described as “aliens”. And yes, the FBI visits Nome more than I visit the toilet after a sackful of Krystal’s.

My reaction to both the movie AND the Krystal's menu.

But to say that the faked video sessions are real, and to put an actress in front of the camera and say she is a real victim, is insulting to people that really go through the abduction phenomenon. Now I have my own beliefs and thoughts on UFO activity, but what it boils down to is that it is easier to prove than disprove. Until we can see every dimension, planet, and wavelength in the universe, there is no real way to disprove that aliens do or do not exist. And still abductees, whether suffering from alien influence or their own mental breakdowns, are ridiculed and made pariahs by their communities and the general public. And to make a film that purports to be real, and then turns out to be a half-assed, schlock B-movie filled with half-truths and out and out fallacies does nothing but damage to the public perception of these people. It’s irresponsible of the studio, and really just dumb.

Follow me on Twitter! @CharlieHamlin

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6 responses

19 04 2010
Joe

I did not realize it was grainy fake video.. it never occured to me. Also, I miss Krystals.

Also, it is impossible to prove a negative.

14 01 2012
john

the woman in the fourth kind “real footage” is not an actress named Charlotte Milchard

7 06 2013
mick jones

sorry john to burst your ET bubble but she is in the movie …. have a look and dont be ashamed lotsa people were dumb enough to be fooled …
http://m.imdb.com/name/nm2598903/

8 10 2011
cristina rosario

It served the purpose intended. Entertaining and grossing a lot of $$$$$. Of course it is fake. This faux documentaries started with “The Blair Witch Project” and now with the “Fourth Kind” I believe they finally mastered the art, I actually believed for a while that it was all true; when they had Jovovich itself claiming the truthfullness of the events. Now it is taking over with Paranormal Activity and others so get use to it.

5 11 2013
Sean Logan War

Yes it is. She is given screen credit, first billing as Nome resident. Fun
movie and I really want to believe, but thus is just a sci-fi thriller.

2 01 2015

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