This one’s a little NSFW, guys, but the “#GetProbed” promo should clue you into the unsafe parts.
The world of cinema could do with an alien abduction thriller drought, but it doesn’t seem likely that we’ll ever get one. As such, we can hope that the sub-genre’s future is taken to the extremes showcased by the upcoming horror Extraterrestrial, which just released this first trailer. By “taken to extremes,” I’m not directly referring to the “anal probing from the probe’s point of view.”
Extraterrestrial is the sophomore feature from the Vicious brothers, who first made waves with 2011’s found-footage haunter Grave Encounters, a film that was made for barely any money but has still managed to gain a large cult following. (Some truly creepy imagery in that one.) It’s pretty awesome that they’re turning their gung-ho attitude on sci-fi, though I wish it headed into lesser-known territories.
In the colorful and grainy Extraterrestrial, a gang of college students all take a trip out into the woods for a party weekend. (If you happen to be writing a story or script that starts off in that same way, just stop now.) They happen upon a crashed alien spacecraft, and further investigation leads them to a most frightening realization. Namely, their time on Earth is limited, thanks to that spacecraft’s operator.
The world opens up from there, apparently, and also manages to include a conspiracy-driven plot where the U.S. government has been in cahoots with aliens for years, relying on an intergalactic peace treaty of sorts to keep animosity to a minimum. (Think of V, only it’s nothing like that at all.) Michael Ironside shows up in the trailer for what is almost certainly a cameo, explaining the first rule of Alien Club is you don’t engage Alien Club. But of course someone does. Also, Gil Bellows (Ally McBeal) plays a small town sheriff. Because, heyyyy. Also, weird looking outer space!
Early reviews from the film’s Tribeca Film Festival debut praised the Vicious Brothers’ ability to create a good-looking film with such a low-budget. The script and actors, however, did not receive such kind words. And that’s what this trailer boils down to, as well. A lot of tension and nifty-looking practical effects bogged down by little character development and adherence to contrived plot mechanics.
Still, I thought Grave Encounters was going to be a bust and was pleasantly surprised by it. I’ll definitely be scoping out Extraterrestrial when it hits VOD on October 17. Those wanting to find it on the big screen will have to wait for its limited theatrical run starting November 21.