Director: Matty Beckerman
MPAA Rating: NR
Film Pulse Score: 2/10
Ah, another week, another bad found footage horror movie. My original prediction was that we would be seeing less of these in 2014, but I’m sad to say that is proving to not be the case. Here we have the latest in generic sci-fi horror found footage with the cleverly titled Alien Abduction from director Matty Beckerman. The film follows the same conventions that one can expect from this type of movie and does little to deviate from those now tired tropes. It’s almost as if the filmmakers had a checklist and simply marked off each item as they went along. Supposedly based on a true story? Check. Inexplicable camera shots? Check. Terrible dialogue? You betcha. Thankfully, the action begins much earlier in this film than in most others like it, but that’s neither here nor there when you’re looking at what amounts to just another boring retread of something we’ve seen many times before. Except the video camera that falls from space and somehow keeps recording. That’s something new.
Like most found footage horror, Alien Abduction begins with a bit of text setting the stage for the “true story” we’re about to witness, where 27 people went missing in the Brown Mountain area of North Carolina in 2011. After some “declassified” interviews with the locals the film cuts to the Morris family who is vacationing in the area. Filming the entire event is families youngest son, Riley, who happens to be Autistic. After witnessing some odd lights in the sky, things go horribly awry and they must escape before meeting a very undesirable fate.
The fact that Riley is autistic seems to only be used to justify why he’s recording everything even when horrible things begin to happen. This is not only ridiculous but border-line offensive to use autism in such a divisive way.
As one might expect from a film of this ilk, the dialogue and performances are poorly done and unbelievable. I never had the sense that these people were a real family, and felt more like strangers that just met for the first time and were being forced to pretend to like each other. This becomes more painful as the film progresses and the stress levels rise. Eventually everyone is simply screaming at each other, which I find very distracting when I’m straining to see what’s going because of the shaky camera that keeps malfunctioning.
Which leads to the next big issue with Alien Abduction– the camerawork. There are several genuinely creepy and cool looking moments that happen in this film, but they’re marred with bad video. Sure, it’s supposed to either A.) Cover up the low budget look or B.) Supposed to look like a real 11 year-old with autism is shooting it, but they should have showed us at least a little bit more, especially considering The Chiodo Brothers did the effects work.
One of the only things that can be said for Alien Abduction is that they don’t waste the viewer’s time with needlessly slow plot progression. So many of these found footage movies deliver an hour of nothing before anything happens it was refreshing to see things pick up the pace early on.
If you’re in the market for another found footage horror movie that once again brings nothing to the table, Alien Abduction is for you. As generic as the title implies, this is just another manila folder to add to the already toppling pile of found footage mediocrity.