Are you in the mood for yet another found-footage movie?
Alien Abduction is an example of a so-called ‘found footage’ movie. In other words, much, if not all the film is supposedly real and was filmed by victims of some sort of supernatural event. The best example was the hugely successful film The Blair Witch Project—a film that cost practically nothing to make and which earned many, many millions of dollars. It’s odd, but I have seen very few such films, though I thought the Norwegian film Trollhunter was absolutely brilliant and is a real must-see.
When I looked through some of the reviews for this film on IMDb, I noticed that they were a mixed bag. Some really liked it but several didn’t and complained that the genre is oversaturated and other films like Alien Abduction have already been made. I would agree with this sentiment, as although found footage films can be wonderful, after you’ve seen a couple, the well starts to run dry. Because of this, no matter how good Alien Abduction is, for many it’s an example of too many and too late to care. If, however, you’ve not been exposed to these sorts of movies, then Alien Abduction is certainly worth your time.
The film is set around Brown Mountain in North Carolina—a place where many actual reports of glowing lights have been reported by many. Because of this Alien Abduction has an advantage because weird sightings have been reported in this area for years. Interestingly, I actually lived a couple of hours from there and NEVER heard about such stories while I lived in North Carolina…but when I checked online, there were many, many reports. I am VERY dubious about all this, but apparently many people do believe aliens might be involved.
The story concerns a family that is going camping around Brown Mountain. They seem very ordinary in most ways—and this was a positive thing. Because they seemed just like other families in most ways, it made the supposed found footage more believable. The only oddity is that the youngest child supposedly was autistic and loved to film EVERYTHING—and that is supposedly how we got all this footage.
While the family has seen some weird lights, the enormity of the problem doesn’t sink in until they happen upon about a dozen cars all abandoned—with doors open and belongings scattered everywhere. While searching through these vehicles, the men in the family are set upon by aliens; you know–the Roswell types you so often have seen in films. But, being a found footage film, you only catch tiny glimpses and it’s all very hard to make out. What isn’t hard to make out is that Dad disappears—taken by these creatures. Soon, the rest of the family is running for their lives and the aliens seem content at picking them off one at a time.
So is the film any good? Yes. I think it was constructed very well. I loved the music—it was probably the best thing about the film and really helped build the tension. Additionally, the acting was believable and I liked the footage seen at the very end of the video camera being tossed out of the spaceship (which, by the way, was also used at the beginning). All in all, a tense and exciting film in a glutted genre.
By the way, if you do watch, don’t turn off the credits as you’ll get to see what appear to be interviews with folks who have seen these strange lights at Brown Mountain—though, interestingly, none of these people have claimed to have seen aliens.
Review by Lead Entertainment Writer and Film Critic, Martin Hafer