Movie Review: The Fourth Kind (C+)

T4KposterI won’t lie: Back in September when I watched the trailer for The Fourth Kind (and posted it for Trailer Tuesday), my man parts shrunk and I had to do the All-Bran 10 Day Challenge just to cleanse myself from the measure of scariness the short preview walloped on my psyche.

Frankly, I was a little perplexed, because I generally find the whole aliens and alien abduction conversation completely and unequivocally ridiculous. I’m sure my alien atheism probably will piss off anyone wearing a SETI t-shirt, but my core beliefs tell me there are no little green men roaming the netherregions of the universe, frothing at the mouth to use their scientific sex toys.

The Fourth Kind asserts, along with actress Milla Jovovich (who portrays Dr. Abigail Tyler) and director Olatunde Osunsanmi, the 98 minute movie is based on actual events that took place in Nome, Alaska back in 2000. They claim the grainy camcorder footage and the scratchy audio recordings are authentic and the Hollywood notables, namely Jovovich (A Perfect Getaway), Elias Koteas (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Will Patton (Remember the Titans), are simply stand-ins for dramatic recreations.


I’m not entirely sure why the aliens in The Fourth Kind would pick Nome, Alaska as their preferred probing grounds. With a population of 9,261, when somebody disappears, everybody knows. I’d have picked Las Vegas or China, but that’s just me. Nevertheless, people are going missing in Dr. Abigail Tyler’s city and others are coming to her for counseling for apparent sleep disorders. It seems many folks in Nome wake up at 3AM every night and all of them report seeing a white owl staring at them through their bedroom window.

Tyler, whose husband was murdered during his research of the same subject, decides to hypnotize her patients so she can delve deeper into their memories and subconscious. This is when the crap hits the fan. It seems the owl isn’t really an owl, but a long-faced, bug-eyed, Peeping Tom alien, and the recollection of its stalking, even sometimes entering the bedroom and taking them away, stirs one man into murder-suicide and another man into paralysis. To make matters worse, Tyler’s colleague, Abel Campos (Koteas) thinks she’s loony, the town sheriff (Patton) holds her responsible for the chaos, and it’s more than plausible, at least to Tyler, the same interstellar travelers have visited and abducted her.

Yep, you just got anally probed.
Yep, you just got anally probed.

The Fourth Kind is a flawed film. The acting is spotty, particularly Jovovich, who is melodramatic and just too damn pretty to be taken seriously, and the pacing is questionable, with many segments feeling stagnant and confusing. Still, I have to give props to Osunsanmi for his attempt at originality, creativity and ingenuity, especially in the current Tinsletown climate of remakes and sequels. His movie is disturbing and unsettling, especially the hypnosis videos and the audio recordings of creatures speaking Sumerian, but there really isn’t any worthwhile glue holding those terrifying sinews together. I enjoyed The Fourth Kind, but I just can’t recommend you pony up the cash for a full-price ticket.

11 comments On Movie Review: The Fourth Kind (C+)

  • That movie was scary as HELL, until I found out it was a fake! I hate Alien shows. But I can’t deny I was entertained, so I give it the old thumbs up for a great movie rental, if you have a big screen, and a dollar night if you don’t!

  • Marangelis Perez

    It was so Scary! more freaky then anything… it was cool.. made me a believer.a must see

  • I dont think so. I thought it was scary, well not realy. But the woman was scary (The real one) But i disagree. It does entertain so i have to rate you down.

  • Agreed, the “real” Abigail Tyler was freaky, but I think that’s why they cast Milla Jovovich, to lend more credibility to the supposed actual footage with Dr. Tyler. It’s entertaining and raises questions, but it’s too choppy to be considered anything but a C+. The box office shows that, as well, as it came in third or fourth this weekend. But who knows, maybe some WOM with help.

  • Pingback: Box Office Beatdown Proves Most Think Aliens are Stupid | ()

  • The movie was scary enough, I will recommend it for people that believe in ” we are not alone” hypothesis and unexplained phenomenon.

  • Yeah, it’s a far cry from the aliens-are-our friends spirit and good tidings of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Other than Barry getting pulled through the cat door, that movie is a ball of happiness compared to the probings, suicide and seemingly demonic possession of the victims in T4K.

  • If you are looking for an eerie and creepy film to make the hairs all over your body stand up, this is it. I have no doubt that the film is based on true events, but it seems that hallucinations and sleep paralysis were the causes. If it is real (which I can’t imagine that it is), I sure hope none of that happens to me! It’s a fun film and a good idea, just not sure they should’ve made it seem like it was real. Overall it’s a thumb’s up if being scared is your thing….

    • Tell me your butt didn’t pucker up when the guy in the bed shot up and his mouth opened wide? Same with Dr. Tyler and her hypnosis scene? Scary indeed.

  • you’re full of shit, andy… that’s why you’re critiquing on the internet and not making the movies

    • I’m okay with being full of shit, Robert. But next time try and actually articulate some valid reasons why you think I am full of shit. Okay? That’s called staying on topic and discussing/debating/conversing like adults.

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