Fourth Kind leaves one questioning the skies
 

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posted Friday, November 13, 2009 - Volume 37 Issue 46

Fourth Kind leaves one questioning the skies
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

The Fourth Kind
Now Playing


One either believes there's a government conspiracy to cover up the appearance of alien craft and that people are seeing things that aren't weather balloons or high-powered Air Force planes, or one doesn't. I'm not sure the new Mila Jovovich film The Fourth Kind (in which lovely Mila gives perhaps her most heart-wrenching performance as a psychologist determined to find out what really happened to her husband) will do anything to make non-believers into believers.

The title refers to the kind of alien encounter where not only contact is made (which is the "third kind," from the Steven Spielberg movie), but where the innocent victim is taken aboard an alien craft and horrible things are done to them. There's lots of "sciencey" footage that is supposedly based on actual events that happened in Nome, Alaska, in October 2000, and real interviews with patients Dr. Abigail Tyler (played by Jovovich in the film) questioned in her hope to discover what was behind Nome's high disappearance rate.

Dr. Tyler, in sepia-colored footage, looks like something as horrible as alien probing and egg harvesting (what most people who have supposedly been abducted report) has happened to her. Her eyes remain dead and resigned, a few tears leaking out as she recounts how her reputation is ruined, her children have been taken away, and the town sheriff - a touchy, unhappy man (Will Patton) who just wants people to stop dying on his watch - has charged her with murder.

"I don't know what's going on here, but people die when they're around you," he spits at her after one of her patients undergoes hypnosis, then blows his whole family and himself away, and another ends up paralyzed from the neck down in the middle of being hypnotized by Dr. Tyler. And though she begs him to be compassionate - after all, they never found her husband's killer and he was murdered (or something) right beside her - but the sheriff is resolute and decides to take her son away after her daughter goes missing. It doesn't help that her son sides with the sheriff on this unhappy occasion.

At the beginning and end of the movie are Jovovich and the director (newcomer Olatunde Osunsanmi) saying "you'll decide for yourself," but this does nothing but obscure what is presented as factual. Still, as someone who has wondered what's out there, and has seen things in the sky that couldn't be explained (and who might have had a real-life encounter, according to my ex, on a deserted Wisconsin road back in the '70s), the film does chill and some of the footage is a bit scary, like Jovovich as Tyler screaming under the hypnosis done by her friend, a fellow psychologist whose name is not given (played by Elias Koteas). Her rising off the bed in archival footage and supposedly being "abducted" is pretty creepy, too.

Let's put it this way: if you're a believer in all things UFO and a conspiracy theorist, this film might make you salivate a bit. If you're a skeptic, all The Fourth Kind will do is confirm how improbable alien abduction is, though it still might get you wondering why the aliens always do things in isolated areas, to people like Tyler and the other folks in this film. If anything, it's a pretty scary movie and I recommend it for that reason alone, pseudo-science and sketchy footage aside.



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