Anytime that a film claims to be based on true events, I tend to cringe a little. At that point, its already practically a gimmick for the film and when the film has to do with alien abductions (that's what "The Fourth Kind" means for those of you whom don't know) then color me a bit skeptical. I've read about the events of Nome and the abductions a few times and its easy to see how it could make a movie. So thusly, we have the gimmicky "The Fourth Kind" for viewing pleasure.
Milla Jovovich plays Abby Tyler, a psychologist trying to get to the bottom of a series of sleep disorders that are affecting the people of Nome, Alaska. When she starts to put people into a hypnosis, she finds that there is more to their sleep disorder than a repetitive claim of seeing white owls...and that its going to affect her and whats left of her family.
It must be made clear that "The Fourth Kind" is pretty much as gimmicky as it seemed to be. With its real footage crossed with filmed footage style, split screen moments, and interview splices and voice overs from the actual Abby Tyler, more often than not you are going to feel as though you are watching a very expensive and fancy episode of "Unsolved Mysteries" with its melodramatic scenes and its rather hit or miss acting. If you can put aside the gimmicks and move ahead of the fact that they will beat you in the face with the idea that "THIS MIGHT BE REAL!" then you might uncover that the film is somewhat enjoyable. It's well paced and Milla does a decent job as Abby. Hell, I also love Casey Jones...err..Elias Koteas in the film and its a nice addition. The use of the split screen is well put together (although still cheesy) and the direction was pretty solid. It's a pretty solid film that is sugar coated in gimmick that actually takes away from the film far too much.
Also, the thing about "The Fourth Kind" is that its not as scary as many claimed it to be. Like the hype around "The Blair Witch Project" or "Paranormal Activity" most of the scares you see or only partially see through the real or acted footage have already been done to death in the Horror and Science Fiction genres. If you are a fan of the genres than you've pretty much seen this movie ("Fire In The Sky" anyone?) done a few times before.
With my low expectations going into it, I was relatively surprised with how solid "The Fourth Kind" was, as long as one can overlook the ridiculousness of its style. It's a rather unique watch though and worth the rental if you so desire, but its not one that's going to be played over and over due to its awesomeness.
Written By Matt Reifschneider