When you think of Milla Jovovich, you probably think of Resident Evil or The Fifth Element. However, she’s also been in a lot of other movies, many of them quite scary. The most well-known among them is an absolutely creepy movie from 2009 called The Fourth Kind. This movie just arrived on Netflix for streaming and is surprising new audiences with some of the unique elements here. The owls? The pseudo documentary style? This movie is just different.
What genre is The Fourth Kind? Well, sometimes it’s classified as a thriller. It’s also a mystery, horror, and science fiction movie. The story surrounds a mystery happening in an Alaskan town. Milla Jovovich talks directly to the camera, introducing the story as a documentary with dramatic reenactments. She plays Abigail Tyler, a therapist using hypnosis to uncover her patients’ memories about alien abductions. Charlotte Milchard plays the “real” Abigail Tyler for the fake archival footage. Sometimes, the footage of Milchard as Abigail Tyler plays side by side with Jovovich as the character. This pseudo-documentary style serves to make the entire situation more creepy. You can get a feel for this 2009 movie by watching the trailer below.
Are you prepared to be afraid of owls? Because this movie will definitely make you feel suspicious of the nocturnal birds. Why do their heads turn like that? Their eyes are just so large. And what’s with all that night time activity? Clearly, owls were made to be written as creepy monsters for this Milla Jovovich movie. Of course, in 2009, most audiences already associated owls with Hedwig from Harry Potter. Taking something so many people view as lovable and turning it into the creepiest mystery in your movie was a bold move in 2009.
Did it pay off? Well, probably not. It’s never good to limit success by defining only one metric as “successful” for a film, but The Fourth Kind just didn’t perform all that well by any metric. While today, it has risen up as one of Milla Jovovich’s better known films, and it is definitely creepy, the movie didn’t do great at the box office or with critics.
The Fourth Kind earned $47.7 million at the worldwide box office on a budget of $10 million. That’s really not so bad. The New York Times brutally said in their review that, “The Fourth Kind may be humorless, paranoid nonsense, but its biggest failure is its inability to scare.” Many said that the premise for the movie was interesting, but the film itself was full of gimmicks, cheap scares, and a flat ending. It has a rating of 18% on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 5.9 on IMDb. While those numbers are brutal by any measure, there are still many who are die-hard fans of this film. It’s regularly being rediscovered and called an underrated piece of Milla Jovovich’s history. As with most movies, it’s really about your audience. The people who love psuedo-documentaries? Who are all about creepy alien abductions and strange mysterious owls? This is their movie.
This 2009 movie came right between Resident Evil: Extinction in 2007 and Resident Evil: Afterlife in 2010 for Milla Jovovich. That same year, she was in another thriller, this time with Timothy Olyphant. A Perfect Getaway centered around two couples on a Hawaiian vacation exploring an island while hearing that somewhere on the island were a couple murdering people. That movie performed poorly at the box office, but did slightly better with reviews.
These days, Milla Jovovich is gearing up to finally be in a movie based on stories written by the Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin. The actress first signed on for the movie, called In The Lost Lands, in 2015. The actress is a Game of Thrones fan. She was partial to the short stories the movie will be based on and the warrior main character she’ll be playing. Now, she’s joined by her director husband, Paul W.S. Anderson, who she has worked with for the Resident Evil franchise. Her co-star is Dave Bautista, known for playing Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Her most recent project was Monster Hunter. This 2020 adventure fantasy movie was written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. The story was a video game adaptation and mostly considered forgettable but fun. The pair are set to work together again in the upcoming thriller Hummingbird, where Milla Jovovich will be starring and Anderson is working on a script revision.
While these projects are a far cry from the creepy movie The Fourth Kind, it shows how varied Milla Jovovich’s career has been, even when she so consistently plays badass female leads. If you’d like to check out one of her creepier roles from more than a decade back, you’ll want to look up The Fourth Kind while it’s still on Netflix.