Written by the Vicious Brothers, EXTRATERRESTRIAL is a tense, out-of-this-world sci-fi than combines many horror elements to craft an exciting, nail-biting thriller. Using the familiar ‘teens visiting a cabin in the woods’ horror theme, the Vicious Brothers thrust their subjects into the hands of aliens, specifically Greys, who, as it turns out, are no stranger to Earth judging from the opening scene and the tales told by Travis (Michael Ironside), a pot-growing conspiracy nut neighbour of April’s. With other unexplainable incidents happening around town, it seems there’s no escape from the Greys and when April shoots one in self defence, their desire to acquire test subjects is combined with a desire for revenge.
EXTRATERRESTRIAL captures the viewer from its opening scenes of abduction. We’re in no confusion of what’s going on, even if the Sheriff’s department can’t quite get their heads around it. Though the film soon drifts into the familiar horror territory with the teens, it uses this to get up, close and personal with the aliens and have them a threat on the ground as well as in the air. With a mixed bag of protagonists – some likable and some not so much – it’s easy to be thrust into their shoes whilst secretly wishing that if they are to be attacked, bimbo Lex and sarcastic Seth will be first up for lunch.
Rather than show everything on Earth but leave the experience onboard the spaceship to viewers’ imaginations, EXTRATERRESTRIAL actually gives you an inside look at what sort of things are occurring up there. Granted, it’s not a complete tour of the facilities and experiments but at least we get the anal probe scene that we all speculate about, and boy, is it nasty!
The horror elements, in terms of bloodshed, are few and far between but can be pretty grisly as mentioned above. However, EXTRATERRESTRIAL is more of a cat and mouse horror thriller, with the teens having to survive the other-worldly beings who seem to be lurking around every corner, ready to exterminate their prey or beam them up to their spaceship. The fear, in this case, is quite similar to that of a slasher film with the victims awaiting their fate at the hands of a stalker. Compared to other alien movies, you seen a lot more of these Greys and whilst their movement isn’t 100% convincing, their appearance will send a shiver up your spine.
EXTRATERRESTRIAL is a pretty slick sci-fi that delivers with the horror and action elements as well as its main alien theme. The film even utilises hand-held footage, to mimic the found footage movies, although this particularly style does seem to stick out like a sore thumb. In many ways, the film feels as though its a homage to modern movies and television but goes one further than the others have done in recent years. It’s still missing a certain something from the plot to make it a truly frightening alien movie, but fans of horror and sci-fi cinema will find a lot to enjoy.