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The Fourth Kind



Released:November 6th 2009

Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi

Stars: Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas

Certificate: 15

Reviewer: Lewis

Before reading, i would like to note that i have purposely removed key points that should have been mentioned in this review to avoid spoilers that will surely ruin the experience of this movie for first time viewers.

Alien movies seem to be hit or miss in the world of film. They can either be brilliant – James Cameron’s Alien, entertaining – Men In Black or just simply rubbish – Skyline, Cowboys and Aliens and don’t even get me started on Indiana Jones 4, there are literally hundreds. Whether it’s an alien invasion, an alien terrorizing your spaceship or humans landing on an alien planet, the alien side of the sci fi genre has been done to death.

Enter 2009 sci fi horror ‘The Fourth Kind’ directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi, that tells the story of Dr Abigail Tyler and her relentless journey to find her husband’s killer while investigating the strange happenings that have been plaguing the town of Nome in Alaska.
The twist to this movie is that it is essentially two movies, one being a documentary style movie full of interviews, video and audio recordings of evidence of the alien encounters involved. The second is a dramatization of the events laid out by the recordings of evidence that are cleverly fused together to form a rather chilling piece of film.

Dr. Abigail Tyler played by Milla Jovovich (in the dramtization) is a respected pshycologist in her town of Nome situated in Alaska. Prior to the events of the film, her husband was brutally murdered one night, and since then Abigail has been mentally damaged, she cannot remember the face of the killer or small details of the murder that could help solve the case and bring his killer to justice.
The movie starts with a short introduction by Milla Jovovich who explains the structure of the movie and warns the audience of its disturbing nature. Cut to the documentary footage of Abigail taking part in an interview for a university (the interviewer being director Olatunde Osunsanmi). She starts by explaining what she remembers on the night of her husbands murder as we slowly fade into the dramatization of one of her pychology sessions.
Over the course of some of her sessions, multiple patients all start to describe exactly the same events leading to memories of an owl watching them through a window, creatures entering their house before ultimately being forcefully taken by an unknown entity. As more and more patient’s stories match, all of which lead to ideas of alien abductions, Abigail realises that this is no coincidence and with help from her friend and colleague Dr. Abel Campos played by Elias Koteas and ancient language specialist Dr. Odusami played by Hakeem Kae-Kazim, she delves deeper into the strange events and also her own mentality, to uncover what is going on in her town.

Unlike any other film i’ve seen, The Fourth Kind surely is a new and exciting experience. As mentioned before, the two types of film, documentary and dramatization, are fantastically woven together for the entire duration of the movie. Visually, it is a very satisfying. Throughout key sequences, the audience is offered a split screen of both real footage and the dramatization footage, that give two completely different views on the real events and dramtized events that unfold on screen at the same time. Sometimes the audio on recordings and phonecalls are replaced by the real audio fragments, which is a nice little touch to remind the audience of the true story behind the film.
Some very creepy scenes have their scare level increased using the original footage and dramatized footage to shock and unease the audience with two different takes on what is happening on screen. Essentially more of a sci fi film, the jumps and scares are kept to a minimum, but when they do happen, expect to be at least a good couple of inches off your seat.
I also found the accompaning soundtrack to be very effective, a haunting collision of vocals and instruments that really set the eerie mood for the movie.

The Fourth Kind is a disturbing, psychological, sci fi horror that is both mesmerising and extremely chilling. Best viewed with no knowledge about any of the details involved. It is surely up there in my top scariest films list for its genuinely frightening realism and superb acting from all cast involved particularly Jovovich as Abigail. For some, the nightmare fairy will almost certainly be visiting after watching. A fantastic piece of film that really knows how to get in the mind of it’s audience and scare them senseless.

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