Directed by Eric Demeusy
A young man named Isaac goes hiking in the woods, recording a personal video diary on the suggestion of his therapist, when he witnesses a mysterious flying object crash land nearby. Whilst heading towards the crash site, he comes face to face with a grey alien and runs for his life but he can’t outrun the inevitable and is ultimately abducted. When Isaac turns up for work three days later, his workmates question his absence and, having caught the alien on camera, he decides to show his workmate before uploading the video onto the internet for all the world to see. With the video going viral, Isaac quickly becomes a minor celebrity but, unfortunately for him, more people see the chance to ridicule and debunk his story as a hoax rather than believe that what he’s saying is true. Only when he catches the attention of a secret Government-funded organisation, who wish to run tests on Isaac, does he realise how much trouble he’s in, forcing him to flee for his life. His only chance of survival is finding an elusive man named Carl, a fellow truthseeker who was abducted in the late 70’s, who may hold answers to his questions.
Family-friendly, sci-fi action film PROXIMITY is a contemporary insert into the sci-fi genre, featuring astounding visual effects from the Emmy-winning VFX team behind Game of Thrones, Stranger Things and Tron: Legacy.
PROXIMITY‘s story stars off fairly strong, with the nerdy Isaac having been abducted and returned and his attempts to tell the truth about what happened. Things look and feel as though they’re taking a sinister turn where the aliens are concerned but disappointingly that never happens. Instead, Isaac hooks up with a fellow abductee Sara and the pair accidentally find themselves in the clutches of a government organisation who wish to silence them. From then on, it turns into more of an action film, as the pair are on the run from armed agents through the tropical lands of Costa Rica before making their way to Canada. This part of the story doesn’t really convince nor does the idea of these two youngsters efficiently taking on armed robot soldiers and a series of government operatives as they attempt to track down a man who’s been pretty much erased from all records but is someone they’re convinced is still alive. Even their introduction to expert hacker Zed in the middle of nowhere seems a little far-fetched.
Despite the story issues, the film does have its positive points, from its performances to set design. However, it’s the special effects which is the film’s true highlight and I would have loved to have seen where they could have gone had they taken a darker route and explored alien abduction that bit more rather than turn it into a cat and mouse chase with the authorities. The shots of the alien at the beginning are fantastic, and reminded me a little of when the kids see the alien out the window in the film Signs except the visual effects in this movie are far better. However, being a PG film (I only found this out after watching), the film never takes off quite the way you want it to, though I’m sure plenty of youngsters will get a thrill out of the blend of sci-fi and action presented on-screen. I’d love to see what the FX team could do with a 15 rated film instead as there’s some brilliant ideas here that would easily fit into the adult sci-fi genre to truly explore alien abduction rather than the human aftermath.
PROXIMITY is impressively well-made and feels bigger than the budget it’s working with. Unfortunately though, the story just doesn’t quite hit the mark and, by the time the conclusion comes, the questionable climax is a weak response for the events leading up to it, which in this case spans a period of decades. This is one movie that is better taken as mild entertainment – just don’t expect it to scratch more than just the surface.
Signature Entertainment presents Proximity on Digital HD from May 18th 2020.