THE FOURTH KIND
Phony Alien Abduction Story
Release Date: November 06, 2009
Starring: Milla Jovovich, Will Patton,
Elias Koteas, Corey Johnson,
Hakeem Kae-Kazim, and Olatunde
Genre: Horror/Science Fiction
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 98 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi
Executive Producer: Scot Niemeyer, Norma Waitt,
and Ioana A. Miller
Producer: Paul Brooks, Joe Carnahan, and
Terry Lee Robbins
Writer: Olatunde Osunsanmi
Address Comments To:Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman/CEO, General Electric
Jeff Zucker, President/CEO, NBC Universal (A division of General Electric)
Ron Meyer, President/COO, Universal Studios
Adam Fogelson, Chairman, Universal Pictures
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web Page: www.universalstudios.com
Pretending to be based on a real story, the movie combines allegedly real videos of the people who lived the story with actors playing them in re-created scenes. The story focuses on a female psychiatrist in Nome, Alaska named Dr. Abigail Tyler, played by Milla Jovovich. Apparently, her husband, who was researching a series of strange nightmares in the town, recently was murdered in their bed.
Despite this, Abigail continues sessions with three of her husband’s patients. When she begins putting them under hypnosis, they all become hysterical when the strange owl outside their window suddenly morphs into a group of “people” invading their bedrooms to take them away and perform unspeakable acts on them somewhere (the acts are never described or shown in the movie).
One of the patients kills his wife and children, and then shoots himself, which angers the local sheriff. One night, while falling asleep dictating her notes, Abigail’s recorder records her screams as the “people” invade her own bedroom. Abigail cannot remember this event, but lending credence to the recording are some drag marks on her bedroom floor.
Abigail brings in her own psychiatrist and an expert on alien abductions and Sumerian language, which has been heard on her tape and the recorded hypnosis sessions with the other patients. They witness one of the patient’s body levitating under hypnosis and crashing down hard onto his bed.
Eventually, Abigail’s two children are threatened.
The combination of allegedly real videos and re-created scenes in this movie doesn’t quite work. It is interesting to note, however, that, in one mealtime scene with her children, Abigail leads a prayer “in the name of Jesus.” Later, the movie implies that the “visitors” abducting the people in the movie are not necessarily aliens. In fact, one of the garbled Sumerian voices heard on one video says the phrase “I am God” and seems to be quoting the biblical passage in John 10:30 where Jesus claims He and the Father are “one.”
This dialogue is garbled in the movie, however. Then, toward the end of the movie, the allegedly real Abigail says in an interview that she does not believe that the “visitors” are really divine, but that they only “pretend” to be God. Thus, it becomes clear that the beings abducting the humans are evil, but at the end, the movie explicitly leaves it up to the viewer what to believe about these beings. Of course, a Christian could surmise that the beings in the movie are just demons pretending to be God, but since there is no reference to demons in the movie, the movie does not really substantiate this possibility.
Frankly, it’s hard to say what to make of this movie’s religious references. That’s how confusing it becomes.
On the one hand, there is a positive acknowledgement of Jesus Christ in Abigail’s mealtime prayer. On the other hand, the movie seems to be telling people that they should be skeptical about Jesus Christ’s claim to be God and one with the Father, or any similar claims by anyone else for that matter. Then, however, Abigail vaguely hints that the beings abducting the people and terrorizing her and her children represent some kind of demonic force pretending to be God.
Finally (Spoiler Alert), the movie reveals that the autopsy on Abigail’s husband shows that he committed suicide and was not murdered. That just creates more confusing questions, such as, Was Abigail’s husband so terrorized by the powerful beings abducting people that he killed himself or was he just suffering a mental breakdown?
Ultimately, THE FOURTH KIND is a jumbled mess that leads to more questions than it answers. Also, if the filmmakers wanted to cast doubt on the theory of alien abductions in their movie, why did they name it THE FOURTH KIND, which is a reference to the discredited theory of alien abductions? In the new economic depression, it’s probably best just to skip paying to see this movie.
Be that as it may, it is disturbing that this movie makes a very strong attempt to convince the viewer that it is based on a really true story, when there is no evidence whatsoever that Abigail Tyler and the people in the movie ever existed at all. That makes THE FOURTH KIND very dangerous. The world has enough gullible people believing all kinds of ridiculous ideas and bizarre conspiracy theories. The world does not need another phony story about alien abductions, much less a phony story about possible demonic abductions. Universal Pictures should have inserted a big disclaimer at the beginning and end of this picture.
The combination of allegedly real videos and re-created scenes in THE FOURTH KIND doesn’t quite work. It is interesting that, amid all the possible alien abductions, are a positive reference to Jesus Christ and prayer, some other ambiguous references to God and Jesus, and some implications of demonic forces at work. This mishmash turns out to be confusing at best, however, and contains plenty of foul language and intense, scary scenes. It is also disturbing that the movie tries to convince the viewer that it is based on a really true story, when it is not. Media-wise viewers probably should stay away.