Found footage. Alien Abduction. I’m there.
Main Cast: Katie Sigismund, Riley Polanski
Director: Matty Beckerman
Alien Abduction, written by Robert Lewis and directed by Matty Beckerman (first credits of these kind for both, although Beckerman has produced The Experiment and Isolation), is a 2014 found footage movie about, well, alien abduction. This time the focus is on the Brown Mountain Lights, a real life phenomenon centered around the “unincorporated community” of Brown Mountain, North Carolina. Peter and Katie Morris (Peter Holden–Lovelace–and Katie Sigismund–Transformer: Dark of the Moon, respectively) have taken their children, Corey, Jillian and Riley, (Corey Eid–”Raising Hope”–Jillian Clare–“Days of Our Lives”–and Riley Polanski–Airline Disaster, respectively) on a camping trip into the mountains. Late their first night, Riley wakes up and videotapes a trio of strange lights in the distance. Riley is slightly autistic and the constant companion of his video camera is his coping mechanism, which is a hell of an interesting–and logical–way to explain its use throughout the movie and I appreciate that the makers thought to include that little tidbit as it made the experience feel more real.
The next day, they pack up and try to move on to a different campsite, but instead get blocked at a tunnel when they find it full of abandoned cars. Father Peter gets attacked and the rest of the family flee back to a driveway they spotted a couple of miles back. There they find mountaineer Sean (Jeff Bowser, “The X-Files”) who lives in a cabin with his brother. Sean gives them refuge after viewing the tunnel incident on Riley’s camera, but later that night insists he has to leave to find his brother, who had tried to contact Sean on the CB only to lose the signal. If Sean isn’t back by morning, he tells them, take the gas can, get in your truck and get out of here.
While Sean is gone, the aliens appear in the cabin, take off with Corey, and leave the rest of them for Sean to find later. He throws them all in his brother’s truck and they take off, but are soon found again. He gives Katie and the two remaining kids a flashlight and directions to an old barn where they can hide out, then tries to draw the aliens away.
As you can see, the general plot of the movie is nothing special at all. Really it’s just a series of chase scenes broken up by a series of hiding scenes. But for a found footage movie, the production quality is surprisingly high. Sigismund gives an excellent performance as the harried mother, while Bowser gives himself over fully to the part of backwoods recluse.
The aliens weren’t kept too hidden, but neither were they overused, only showing up on screen when the effect could be maximized, then disappearing again into the shadows. When they are shown, they look as I expected them to look, only meaner. The special effects in this movie are alright, but are used to best effect in the light and sound production as opposed to the makeup. There’s plenty of tension here and, even though we know most of the stops along the way from start to finish, somehow Beckerman and the cast kept my interest anyway.
I won’t say this movie is for everyone, though. It really is a very very simple plot, so simple in fact it could probably put off a lot of viewers who are tired of the same old same old. I admit, when it comes to certain genres, I need more variety too, but for a found footage movie called Alien Abduction, this one delivers exactly what I was expecting and hoping for.
Can’t fault it for that, right?