Right so, I just got finished watching a movie called, oddly enough, "Alien Abduction". Initially, it was called "The Morris Family Abduction", which may be a working title, but its better than the title they went with. Generic is an understatement when it comes to the title, but the movie...oy. Let's just put it this way: I'm a proponent that alien visitation to our planet is a definite possibility and given cases like the Hill, Allagash, and Walton incidents, which are told by people with little to gain and a ton to lose, I can see how the idea of making a movie based on this phenomenon is a titillating prospect for a film maker. Hell, its essentially one of the best horror story ideas some one could come up with; Fire in the Sky, a 1993 film adaptation of Travis Walton's experience showed a lot of little things that made the idea more credible including eye witness testimony, the effect that the missing person had on friends and family and the indignity suffered by someone who has truly experienced (or believes they have) being ridiculed by people who know them. Not to mention it had one of the-for an 8 year old boy-scariest scenes put to film.
"Alien Abduction" says: "Fuck all that, let's be super scary woooooooo"
So basically the plot revolves around the Morris family who are camping in the Brown Mountains in North Carolina, which is a real life UFO hotspot. Riley, the 11 year old autistic camera man- that sounds a lot meaner that it is- records the whole experience as filming is a coping mechanism for him. The first night out, the family sees a triangular UFO, and to the movie's credit this scene is actually really well done until we get to the first problem: the "thwom" sound. This freakin' noise is always present when someone is about to be taken and does NOTHING to add to the fear factor.
Here's the thing, in actual UFO incidents, there is almost NEVER an audible sound to be heard coming from the craft in question.
The next day, the family finds themselves lost on the road to another camp site when the first jump scare is encountered in the form of a dead crow that plummets out of the sky and hits their car, causing the father who had been FREAKING THE FUCK OUT ABOUT HIS FAMILY TELLING HIM WHAT TO DO AND THERE NOT BEING ENOUGH GAS RAGAAHAHAHAHABLAGHA! to swerve all over the place until he snaps at his ELEVEN YEAR OLD AUTISTIC SON for filming him.
This is the second problem with this movie. I didn't buy for one second that these people loved each other. They didn't feel like a family so much as they did a shooting gallery. Not one of these people has any real redeeming qualities about them that make you root or fear for them, they're just there to be fodder for the aliens.
After apologizing to his son, the family get back on the road with the goal of finding a gas station. Eventually they round a corner to see an abandoned car that is mysteriously parked with its lights on and its occupants missing. After a short discussion as to what may have occurred they get back on the road until they reach a tunnel full of empty cars. This is where things start getting stupid. The rest of the Morris family practically beg the dad to turn around, and with good reason! There are a bunch of abandoned cars with no visible signs of their owners and their possessions strewn about, indicating signs of a struggle. If they turn around, they'd probably avoid whats about to come. Sure they'd run out of gas, but odds are a passing motorist would come by and assist. Matter of fact, this is a big plot hole in this flick; among the cars is a police cruiser and its stated later on that when an officer goes missing an APB goes out to find said officer. If they just hunkered down somewhere further back on the road eventually a search party looking for the cop would have come across them. BUT NO! THERE'S NO GAS! Time to get out on foot, take your ELEVEN YEAR OLD AUTISTIC SON AND HIS OLDER BROTHER WITH YOU INTO THE DARK SPOOKY TUNNEL just to move the plot forward. Yeah, I get that you want to keep your eye on him, but maybe LEAVE HIM BEHIND WITH HIS FUCKING MOTHER!
And here we have our first encounter with...the grays. Yeah, just grays. Always out of focus and much too large to be the what I assume is at this point legendary, pint sized freakos with big black eyes.
Once again, pointing to the abduction phenomenon in the real world, the grays are the most common beings encountered in these incidents. They are diminutive in size ranging from three to five feet tall, with the exceptions of what some call the leaders or overseers which can attain six feet or more. When it comes to encounters with possible extraterrestrial beings, the grays are almost always present in the abduction narrative. They have big, black, almond shaped eyes and lack ears and a nose. They are also silent, communicating with what one could assume is a form of telepathy or physical gestures.
The grays in "AA" are LOUD, SCREECHY AND GRABBY! The father is the first to be taken by way of...I don't even know, the camera statics out and the next thing I knew the guy was doing that stupid wide eyed freaky scream thing that seems to be in every jump-scare laden "horror" movie out these days and disappears into a bright pulsey, thwomy light. So Riley and his older brother run back to the family as the grays chase them through the tunnel, get in the car and yell about how the dad was taken and emphasize that those who took them weren't human.
After driving for a while and a crying scene, they encounter a storm of dead, falling birds and proceed to freak out again before finding a road that leads to a cabin where an understandably angry redneck lives.
Here's something I did like about this movie: the redneck, named Sean, is probably the only decent character in the movie. As underdeveloped as he is, he helps the family out after seeing and shooting at a gray. He's pissed off about the fact that these morons lead the damn things to his home, but understands what's at stake, seeing as his dog attempts to chase one of them off and is presumed killed off screen (don't worry, pooch comes back). All too often, the role of the Southerner is the role of an antagonist and its nice to see this rebuked for once. Granted, the guy is one git-r-done from being a total stereotype, but I'll let it pass. There's a little bit of exposition given about the Brown Mountain UFOs by Sean and then his dog comes back.
And so we come to the third act of the movie: family and Sean are stranded in the cabin, Sean's brother is taken off screen through a ham-radio broadcast, Sean leaves after giving the Morris' family ammo and gas to find his brother, grays come, older brother sacrifices his life to save the others and blahdebladeblah. Sean comes back to save the family again with his truck, attempts to fight of the grays when they corner them on the road and attempts to sacrifice himself to save them by drawing the grays off while they run to an abandoned barn to hide, aliens chase family, Sean comes back again, mom and Sean get abducted by a beam of light which for some reason breaks their backs to the point where their heads are at their feet and somehow they're still alive when they get sucked up into the sky.
I'm rushing this because this is the exact way the third act came across to me. They don't really stop to smell the roses during the third act. Matter of fact the whole movie just seems to be a vehicle to get from one jump-scare to the next.
Well, Riley and his older sister ditch the grays for a while before finding their way back to the road that leads to a city. But guess where they come out? The freaking tunnel where this whole thing started. And wouldn't you know it, a cop just so happens to be looking for the lost officer only to find the kids. All three are abducted and the next scene is an alien carrying Riley's camera to a garbage shoot that some how grants it the ability to survive a fall from FUCKING ORBIT! The movie closes with some BS about the footage belonging to the United State's Air Force's Project Blue Book, which was discontinued in 19-fucking-70. There are a couple of scenes during the credits including one that takes place a year later where a police officer finds a naked and shocked Morris family dad.
Right! I don't so much hate this movie as I am disappointed by it. The Abduction Phenomenon, whether it's real or the product of some strange condition in the human brain is for all intents and purposes a real ordeal that some folks are unlucky enough to encounter. The idea of being suddenly and randomly plucked from one's everyday life by beings who are vastly superior to us for purposes unknown is scary, and those who say that the experience is a pleasant one are obviously full of it as so many others are haunted by nightmares of the traumatic ordeal they may or may not have gone through. "Alien Abduction" throws some conventions of the abduction narrative into the mix, but mostly the grays are basically just boogeymen that hide in a bright light waiting to shreik loudly at the actors. Its not a very good movie, but the idea of a family being abducted by aliens could be a great premise for a horror movie if done right.
SO that's my take on it, if you have time to check it out, do so. See what you think and lemme know. In the mean time, have a good day dA faithful, Later!