Label: Scream Factory I IFC Midnight
Release Date: August 18th 2015
Duration: 82 Minutes
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.00:1)
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles
Director: Matt Wielle, Chad Archibald
Cast: Lisa Houle, Julian Richings, Justin Darmanin, Adam Seybold, Mark Gibson
This low-budget sci-fi thriller centers around a strange individual named William Cassidy (Julian Richings), whom has been subjected to some form of alien abduction for the past 40 years. Cassidy is a paranoid recluse who lives off the grid away from the prying eyes of the government - spending his many sleepless nights blogging about his traumatic experiences at the hands of his alien tormentors. On the eve of a massive solar event Cassidy contacts alien-conspiracy blogger Joe Sullivan (Adam Seybold) and invites him to his home. Sullivan is beyond thrilled that the reclusive blogger has reached out to him, and sure enough this clandestine meeting with will not disappoint, but it probably won't end well for anyone. That night while interviewing Cassify a solar flare knocks an unidentified flying object out of the sky, the space ship crashes nearby and we now have an toothsome alien menace running around the woods causing quite a panic, but even worse are the covert military black ops who arrive on scene. What's worse, the ferocious alien prowling the woods or the secretive government agency trying to cover it up?
Going into this I wasn't expecting a found-footage movie and that is indeed what we have here, a hybrid movie whose storyline is made up of three points-of-view, we have Sullivan's video footage of his meeting with Cassidy and the ensuing pursuit, footage from the black ops helmet cam and then some non found-footage of Dr. Tobin (Lisa Houle) interrogating Cassidy, the sinister doc subjecting him to some brutal alien-tech that the government have acquired through the years, they're not quite sure how it works but the doc seems to revel in the pain that it inflicts.
The found-footage assembly can be a bit jarring to say the least as we bounce around through time and different video feeds, with the first half of this movie being a bit of drag to be honest. Once things start to pick up there's some fun to be had but this was not the most compelling watch. The Scream Factory and IFC Midnight partnership brought us the far superior alien outing Extraterrestrial (2014) earlier this year and this is just not up to par with that one, this is more along the lines of Alien Outpost (2015). There have just been numerous bigger, badder and more enjoyable alien entries recently and this one is pretty faceless among the crowd, though I did like the concept and the cast, who all did pretty great in their respective roles, particularly Julian Richings as the paranoid and tormented Cassidy. Adam Seybold also brought some appreciated humor to the role of conspiracy blogger Joe Sullivan.
My favorite aspect of the movie was the inclusion of the fact-based Carrington Event of 1859, a massive solar flare event that would cause widespread havoc on the Earth today in the modern age, reading about that on Wikipedia was ten fold more fascinating than this movie. If the film had focused a bit more on the modern-day massive solar flare instead of making it just a footnote of the story I think this could have been something a bit more satisfying, maybe. I wasn't a fan of the trio of narrative threads and how they were assembled, it made for a very jarring viewing experience. Also working against it is that the alien menace is only glimpsed few and far between, most of the time I am alright with the less is more approach but given the jarring assembly of the film I think I just wanted to see some alien awesomeness and I was let down.
The disc looks fantastic, for a modern low-budget sci-fi film this looks solid from start to finish, the special effects look decent - some more impressive than others, and the surround sound mix does the movie justice, the score from Stephanie Copeland sounds great. The only special feature is a trailer for the film. This release stand-out from the previous Scream Factory/IFC Midnight productions in that it includes both a Blu-ray and DVD, the others were Blu-ray only, but it doesn't come with a slipcase, which the others did. Ejecta might make for a decent rental on a slow night but this doesn't come recommended save your hard-earned cash for something with a bit more bite. 2.5/5