[Movie Review] The Fourth Kind

The Fourth Kind is a seriously shitty movie for one primary reason. It has the gall to pretend it's a documentary.

Now, let me make one thing clear. When I see a movie advertised as "based on true events", I know what that means; after all, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was supposed to be based on the case of Ed Gein... which is, uh, a stretch to say the least. But The Fourth Kind claims to be comprised of actual footage from the 2000 case upon which the movie is supposedly based and reenactments of the events.

And it's a complete goddamned lie. The "actual footage" is definitely real in the sense that, you know, it exists, but it most certainly isn't from 2000 or of a woman named Abigail Tyler. And it's full of obvious CGI.

First and foremost, we have Abigail Tyler. In the "reenactment" part of the movie, she is played by Milla Jovovich of Resident Evil fame. In the "actual footage" part of the movie, she is ostensibly "played by" herself, given that it's supposed to be real. Except that the woman whom the film insists is actually Abigail Tyler is an actress named Charlotte Milchard. Let me repeat that for emphasis: in the filmmakers' quest to lie to you, they hired two different actors to play the same person so that they could have two different versions of the same scene--one "real" and one "reenactment".

Milchard is listed in the credits as "Nome Resident".
Click image to enlarge.
To make matters worse--or more hilarious, perhaps--Universal ended up having to pay out $20,000 after The Alaska Press Club sued them over the film's marketing campaign. My mind is fucking boggled as to why anyone in their right mind thought all this bullshit was a good idea.

But I can tell you right now that it's a genuine relief that the "archival footage" used in this movie is all fake. Otherwise, scenes such as a man snapping his spine and another man murdering his entire family on camera would be absolutely outrageous and offensive inclusions. Instead, I'm just offended that the filmmakers apparently thought anyone would be fooled by the half-hearted acting, horrendous dialogue, and shitty CGI of the "real" footage.

Conveniently enough, the footage distorts and goes to static while this man snaps his spine while levitating and apparently has his jaw dislocated from speaking ancient Sumerian. Aliens, man. Motherfucking aliens.
On that note, it's a damn good thing there isn't such a person as Abigail Tyler, because she is the kind of supremely shitty psychiatrist I've only had the misfortune of running into in fiction. If your mental health professional ever starts acting like Ms. Tyler, run for the fucking hills. The extent of her therapy seems to include hypnotizing her patients to suggest that their fears are symptoms of alien abductions, and she comes under police investigation after the murder-suicide and neck-snapping incidents mentioned above, both of which occurred immediately after or during one of Tyler's hypnotherapy sessions. How the movie's characters resist the urge to flee from her very presence, I don't know. She's clearly ruining people.

Perhaps what's most infuriating about The Fourth Kind, however, is that there was absolutely no reason for this movie to be such a piece of shit. The premise is pretty awesome on a certain level; it invokes "ancient aliens" pseudoscience and pseudohistory to create a spooky conspiracy theory involving the abduction of Nome residents by aliens whom erase their victims memories in such a way that the humans misremember their faces as eerie owls watching them from outside their windows. It even invokes the religious aspect of the theory by having its aliens speak Sumerian and declare "I am God" towards the end of the movie.

Can somebody explain to me why this didn't become a normal speculative fiction film? And why the people behind it opted to lie unconvincingly to their audience instead?

In the end, the movie leaves us with this line from Jovovich: "In the end, what you believe is yours to decide." So I've reviewed the evidence, and I've come to my conclusions.

I believe The Fourth Kind is a massive waste of time put together by people who honestly believe their audience is comprised of total idiots. And I am not amused.

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