Here's actress Milla Jovovich to tell us that the film we are about to see is true, she is playing a real person, and we will see actual footage of what happened intercut with the reconstructions; she then advises us that we can choose to believe it or not, it is up to us. We then see that Milla has taken the role of Abigail Tyler, a psychiatrist in the Alaskan town of Nome, who had suffered a personal tragedy one night when her husband was attacked by an intruder and killed in their bed, leaving her a widow and their two children fatherless: their little girl was struck blind by the trauma. But what if it was not a human entity that struck that night?
Way back in the early to middle years of the twentieth century, once the idea of space aliens visiting our planet really took off, there were those who styled themselves contactees, claiming to have met these space brothers and even travelled on their craft to far off worlds. Call them eccentrics or call them charlatans, their stories now seem far more quaint and amusing than what came along next, as the fashion for abductees grew in scale, with such famous cases as the encounter of Betty and Barney Hill setting the standard for otherworldly weirdness. By the time of the eighties and nineties, these tales had been melded with the conspiracy theories of the day, so that benign aliens were now sinister, manipulative Greys.
Which is where The Fourth Kind entered into the fray, purporting to detail the true case of a spate of strange happenings in one area of Alaska, but was actually all made up. Once a spot of investigation had gone into backing up the events in the film, it was obvious the whole thing was a badly organised hoax, which led to quite some degree of ill-feeling towards the filmmakers: there was no Dr Abigail Tyler, although there had been disappearances in Nome none of them matched the details expounded upon here, and the entire plot had been a barefaced lie. Not surprising, then, that so many had a bad reaction to it, and not the one the filmmakers had intended as it was Blair Witch Project time again as far as their machinations went.
Paranormal Activity showed that the Blair Witch phenomenon could be replicated, but perhaps only once in every ten years, as The Fourth Kind missed the lucrative boat as far as pretend real scaremongering went. What did not help was the fact that it was excruciatingly boring, so dead set on being ambiguous so as to render an authenticity about its shenanigans that it fumbled every setpiece. This meant those big scares were put across with mocked up video footage "from 2000" that a child of five could have seen through for the poorly orchestrated phoney baloney there were, all confusingly littered throughout the movie even though the actors playing the real people were patently not genuine.
To complicate matters, the actors playing the actors playing the real people were hardly convincing either, leaving a thorough sham of an entertainment that insulted the intelligence by presuming the audience would take this blatant garbage as the truth. Not even the most dedicated ufologist would have any trouble in dismissing what didn't even have the pay off of a big special effects sequence at the end, nope, you don't get to see even one little person dressed up in an alien suit. Communion was more enjoyable than this, and a lot more believable for that matter, which spoke volumes about the quality of The Fourth Kind. Once the Von Daniken-styled Sumerian voices were introduced, it was a hardy viewer who didn't either feel like walking out or switching off their television, with only the promise of a few cheap laughs the main reason for anyone to keep watching. Offensively dreadful all round, then. Music by Atli Örvarsson.