At this point I think it’s safe to say that I am the king of found footage movies. Oh yeah, you heard that right, we got another one for you. Alien Abduction treads into little seen territory when it comes to the genre, branching out into (you guessed it) the alien subgenre of horror.
The movie starts out the same way a number of horror and found footage flicks start out: claiming that everything seen in the movie is based on real events. What’s different is that it actually is. Where movies like Happy Camp or Texas Chainsaw Massacre make the claim, citing false backstories or drawing from the fringe of real life events, Alien Abduction is based on the Brown Mountain Lights of North Carolina, a centuries old phenomena that has been dated back to the times of pre-colonized America.
So, we’ve got a real life background with a fictional family traveling out into the mountains to go camping. The Morrises are you basic atomic family, a dad, a mom, two sons and a daughter. The youngest son, Riley, is our camera man and we are slowly introduced to the fact that he clings to the camera because he is autistic. The family gets lost in the hills and quickly comes into contact with not only the Lights but also their origin and things spiral out of control in rapid succession.
There isn’t too much groundbreaking work here. The plot is your basic plot: family runs into trouble, runs away from trouble, trouble follows. The first of the family to go is the dad, Peter Morris (Peter Holden) and it’s not hard to see him go as he essentially spends the first fifteen minutes of the movie being a giant whiny source of complaining and poorly delivered dialogue. Once the action hits, we are given over to your general shaky cam focused on the ground with a lot of running and in pitch black because they’re in the middle of the woods. I have to admit that despite being realistic to the situation, it sure made it hard to even want to watch the movie when half of it is spent in the dark. Whenever the aliens are on the scene the audio starts cutting in and out like a bad dubstep song and the camera flickers on and off, making it even harder to focus.
The movie has a couple of things that it does to set it apart from the herd. One, it has a pretty intense and rapid intro with no information as to what led up to it, although I’m sure the general audience could guess, and then it goes back to beginning and wraps up using the same footage. Another really big improvement it has on the rest of the movies is that it skips the usual hour and a half of slow moving tension building and just kicks into the real meat of the film within the first half hour. Which is a nice break.
Other than those little saving graces, the movie is just another entry into the genre. Matty Beckerman and Robert Lewis, the respective first time directors and writers, are just that. First timers. They already have done things that set them apart in an ever growing field of monotony but it remains to be seen if they will grow from the experience or not. Needless to say, Alien Abduction had room to be a good movie but settled for the basics. If you really want to see something great with aliens, check out the recent Almost Human instead.