Truth in advertising? “Alien Abduction” is about just that.
And it’s as simple in concept as it is in title — a hand-held camera/found
footage bogeyman thriller in the “Blair Witch” mold.
A family of five heads to the mountain of North Carolina. There, they come to
discover what “The Brown Mountain Lights” are and what the critters using those
lights can do.
The autistic tweenage boy in the family, Riley (Riley Polanski) documents
their trip — from hikes and setting up tents, to getting lost on the roads,
pounded by crows that hurl themselves at their mini-van and then stumbling into
a remote highway tunnel filled with freshly-abandoned cars, trucks and a police
The doors are open, the emergency flasher lights still blinking.
“This doesn’t seem right,” is the obvious response.
“The people who own these cars HAVE to be somewhere!” is another.
Flickering images seen through the blinding light of “arrival” show us some
perfectly conventional “Signs” that we’re not dealing with bear attacks, here.
Before a day and night have passed, they will face horrific attacks and team
up with a no-nonsense, well-armed mountain man/redneck.
“I don’t know what to tell you,” Sean (Jeff Bowser, who has great screen
presence) drawls. “It is what it is.”
It’s amazing the chills you can accomplish with just sound effects of
gurgling, growling beasties, and with high wattage lights. Hiding from those
lights in a cabin, a car or a barn, with beams searing through the cracks and
windows, is as creepy today as it was in “Close Encounters” back in Spielberg’s
Director Matty Beckerman makes great use of his most expensive “abduction”
effect. But it, like the situation, the story and the style, is nothing we
haven’t seen before.
This is lowest common denominator horror with a space alien twist. The
opening shot, of something hurtling out of something in orbit, is a doozy. But
the performances are perfunctory and the scenario standard-issue even if the
execution of this no-budget thriller is top drawer.
Credits: Directed by Matty Beckerman, written by Robert Alvin Lewis. An IFC
Running time: 1:15