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With: Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Corey Johnson
Written by: Olatunde Osunsanmi, Terry Lee Robbins
Directed by: Olatunde Osunsanmi
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violent/disturbing images, some terror, thematic elements and brief sexuality
Running Time: 98
Date: 10/24/2009

The Fourth Kind (2009)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Alien Probe

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Milla Jovovich appears as herself in The Fourth Kind, explaining that the events in the film are based on real events. She informs viewers that she'll be portraying Dr. Abigail Tyler, a sleep specialist in Nome, Alaska, who begins experiencing disturbing phenomena during her interviews with patients. Filmed re-creations of these sessions use actors as well as video footage of the allegedly real sessions. Director Olatunde Osunsanmi also appears as himself, interviewing a haggard, wasted-looking woman who's identified as the real Dr. Abigail Tyler, who also tells her own story. Through both the "real" and re-created footage, viewers follow Tyler's story as she discovers the truth about alien abductions and begins to suffer terrible experiences of her own.

A good deal of time will be spent trying to determine just how real everything is in The Fourth Kind. Skeptics will have a good time tearing the film apart, while believers will be swayed by the film's presentation. Frankly, without the "based on true events" framing and the video footage of purported real incidents, there's not much here; in other words, if this had been a straight fiction about a doctor and some alien abductions, it would have been a yawner. None of the characters really come to life, and the film spends too much time dangling and withdrawing its details, unable or unwilling to prove or disprove anything; hence, there's very little mystery, and no sequence of events that leads to anything. The horror is too intangible and indefinite to be very terrifying. Regardless, the movie sometimes manages some effective scares and some moody atmosphere, and it may be an effective "check your brain at the door" kind of chiller.

Best Buy Co, Inc.