IFC is not exactly synonymous with science fiction, but through their Midnight imprint, they’ve tacked the genre a time or two. Their catalog is primarily horror, but they dive headlong into sci-fi now and again, like with their upcoming alien invasion actioner Alien Outpost, which recently delivered this fancy new trailer.
The thriller stars Highlander’s Adrian Paul, Rick Ravanello (The Cave), Reiley McClendon (Pearl Harbor), Douglas Tait (Star Trek), Joe Reegan (The Crazies), and Matthew Holmes (Salem), and is directed by Jabbar Raisani, who is most known for his visual effects work on things like Game of Thrones and Predators. It’s also found footage, which is going to automatically turn some of you off (I’m automatically skeptical of the format, though it can be used well on occasion).
In the year 2021, aliens fighters, called Heavies, invade Earth. Humans are able to beat them back, but the result is a brutal continuous war at the fringes. Most of the fighting has been relegated to the areas around a few Outposts. Though the world at large seems to have forgotten about them, the soldiers stationed there come under fire every day. Following two documentary cameramen hanging out at one of these outposts, the film shows the combat, and it looks like the Heavies are planning a new invasion, and these forces may be the only ones who can stop it.
There are definite nods to Independence Day, especially during the scenes that show the first invasion, and you can’t help but think Battle: Los Angeles when you look at this, though it will hopefully be way less shaky and jittery, though I wouldn’t bet on it. Overall, however, this most closely resembles a straight up war movie in appearance, but one where the enemy just so happens to be hostile alien invaders from another world.
You can see definite potential here, and with IFC behind it, you have to assume that there was something to this that’s different from your standard fare, some element or another that captured their attention. Hopefully that means there will be enough to elevate this into something special.
More than anything, the found footage element is what gives me pause here. Even movies that I generally enjoy that use this approach—Ti West’s The Sacrament from this year comes to mind—have problems. It seems like no matter what, they often get to a point where the framework can’t possibly show you what you need to see, and as a result there are either pieces missing or you have to ask for huge suspensions of disbelief from your audience by showing things where a camera can’t possibly be.
Hopefully Alien Outpost will be able to avoid the pitfalls of its kin when it opens in select theaters January 30.