The Fourth Kind

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The Fourth Kind
The Fourth Kind.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byOlatunde Osunsanmi
Produced byPaul Brooks
Joe Carnahan
Screenplay byOlatunde Osunsanmi
Story byOlatunde Osunsanmi & Terry Robbins
StarringMilla Jovovich
Elias Koteas
Hakeem Kae-Kazim
Will Patton
Corey Johnson
Music byAtli Örvarsson
CinematographyLorenzo Senatore
Editing byPaul Covington
StudioGold Circle Films
Dead Crow Productions
Distributed byUniversal Pictures (USA)
Entertainment Film Distributors (UK)
Release date(s)
  • November 6, 2009 (2009-11-06)
Running time98 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$10 million
Box office$47,709,193[1]
 
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The Fourth Kind
The Fourth Kind.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byOlatunde Osunsanmi
Produced byPaul Brooks
Joe Carnahan
Screenplay byOlatunde Osunsanmi
Story byOlatunde Osunsanmi & Terry Robbins
StarringMilla Jovovich
Elias Koteas
Hakeem Kae-Kazim
Will Patton
Corey Johnson
Music byAtli Örvarsson
CinematographyLorenzo Senatore
Editing byPaul Covington
StudioGold Circle Films
Dead Crow Productions
Distributed byUniversal Pictures (USA)
Entertainment Film Distributors (UK)
Release date(s)
  • November 6, 2009 (2009-11-06)
Running time98 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$10 million
Box office$47,709,193[1]

The Fourth Kind is a 2009 American mockumentary science fiction-thriller[2] directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi, starring Milla Jovovich, Charlotte Milchard, Elias Koteas, Corey Johnson, Will Patton, and Mia McKenna-Bruce. The title is derived from the expansion of J. Allen Hynek's classification of close encounters with aliens, in which the fourth kind denotes alien abductions.

The film purports to be based on actual events occurring in Nome, Alaska in 2000, in which psychologist Dr. Abigail Emily "Abbey" Tyler uses hypnosis to uncover memories from her patients of alien abduction, and finds evidence suggesting that she may have been abducted as well. The film has two components: dramatization, in which professional actors portray the individuals involved, and video footage purporting to show the actual victims undergoing hypnosis. (At some points in the film, the "actual" and dramatized footage is presented alongside each other in split-screen.) Throughout the film, Abbey is shown being interviewed on television during 2002, two years after the abductions occurred.

The film was a box office success, earning US$47.71 million worldwide, from an estimated $10 million budget.[3]

Contents

Plot

Chapman University hosts a televised interview with psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler (Charlotte Milchard & Milla Jovovich). She tells a story of a close encounter incident at Nome, Alaska, in October 2000.

In August 2000, Tyler's husband, Will, is mysteriously murdered one night in his sleep, leaving her to raise their two children, Ashley (Mia McKenna-Bruce) and Ronnie (Raphael Coleman).

Tyler tapes hypnotherapy sessions with three different patients, all of whom have the same experience: every night they see a white owl staring at them through their windows. Tyler puts two of the three patients under hypnosis, and while under, both patients recount similar terrifying stories of creatures attempting to enter their homes. Tommy Fisher (Corey Johnson), her first patient to go under hypnosis, returns home, kills his family and commits suicide.

After hearing the similarities in the accounts of nightly occurrences, Abbey suspects these patients may have been victims of a non-human kidnapping. There is evidence that she herself may have been abducted when an assistant of hers gives her a tape recorder, the tape plays her voice and then there is the sound of something entering her home and attacking her. The attacker speaks in an unknown language. Abbey, though, has no memory of it. Dr. Abel Campos (Elias Koteas), a psychologist from Anchorage and Tyler's colleague, is suspicious of the claims. Later, Tyler calls upon Dr. Odusami (Hakeem Kae-Kazim), a specialist in ancient languages who was a contact of her late husband, to identify the mysterious language that is spoken during the supposed abductions. Odusami identifies the language as Sumerian.

Later, Tyler's daughter, Ashley, is abducted and Sheriff August (Will Patton), not believing in her abduction theory, accuses her of her daughter's disappearance and remove Ronnie from her custody. Ronnie, though, goes with them willingly, not believing the alien abduction theory either.

Tyler undergoes hypnosis in an attempt to make contact with these beings and reunite with her daughter. Campos and Odusami videotape the session, and once hypnotized, it is revealed that Tyler witnessed the abduction of her daughter and also shows scenes of her own abduction, showing part of the abductors ship and it is hinted that they possibly took some human egg cells from Abbey as well. the camera scrambles, and Abbey begs to the alien that abducted Ashley to return her, the creature replies, saying that its own child was never returned to it and then calls its self the savior, then the father and finally ends with "I am ... God". when the encounter ends Campos and Odusami rush over to the now unconscious Abbey and then they notice something out of camera's view, the camera scrambles again, and a volatile voice yells "Zimabu Eter!" which supposedly translates to "Spirit from whom you cannot be saved" in English. When the camera unscrambles it shows that all three of them are gone.

The film cuts to an interview with Tyler in which she explains that all three were abducted during that hypnosis session and none have memory of what happened.

The film returns to the aftermath of Abbey's hypnosis session. She wakes up in a hospital after breaking her neck in the abduction. There, Sheriff August reveals that Will had actually committed suicide, showing that Abbey's belief that he was murdered was merely a delusion. Later it is shown that Abbey is paralyzed, presumably due to her neck injury.

The film then returns to the present interview, where the Interviewer asks Abbey how they, he and the viewers, can believe her if most of what she thought was only in her mind, Abbey tearfully tells him that she has to believe that Ashley is still alive, the interviewer ends the interview as Abbey breaks down in tears.

In the film's epilogue, it states that Abbey was cleared of all charges against her, leaves Alaska for the East Coast, but still continues to search for Ashley. Campos remains a psychologist and Odusami becomes a professor at a Canadian university. Both men, as well as Sheriff August refuse to be involved with the interview, while Abbey's son Ronnie remains estranged from Abbey and still blames her for Ashley's disappearance. However, Ashley is never found. The TV host then leaves the conclusions up to the viewer.

During the credits, audio recordings of people recounting UFO sightings begin to play.

Cast

Production

This is the first major film by writer and director Olatunde Osunsanmi, who is a protégé of independent film director Joe Carnahan.[4] The movie is set up as a re-enactment of the original documentary footage. It also uses "never-before-seen archival footage that is integrated into the film."[5]

The Fourth Kind was shot in Bulgaria and Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. The lush, mountainous setting of Nome in the film bears little resemblance to the actual Nome, Alaska, which sits amidst flat tree-less tundra on the shore of the Bering Sea.[6]

To promote the film, Universal Pictures created a website with fake news stories supposedly taken from real Alaska newspapers, including the Nome Nugget and the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. The newspapers sued Universal, eventually reaching a settlement where Universal would remove the fake stories and pay $20,000 to the Alaska Press Club and a $2,500 contribution to a scholarship fund for the Calista Corporation.[7]

Disappearances in Nome

According to a CNN story, there was a real string of disappearances in Nome.[8] The FBI was brought in to investigate in 2005:[9] "The FBI looked into about 20 cases, finding alcohol and frigid temperatures to be causes. Nine bodies were never found."[8]

Critical reception

The Fourth Kind was panned by critics, garnering a 19% rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with the site's consensus being "While it boasts a handful of shocks, The Fourth Kind is hokey and clumsy and makes its close encounters seem eerily mundane." American critic Roger Ebert gave it one and a half star out of four, comparing it unfavorably to Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project, while praising Milla Jovovich's acting.[10]

Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly called the film, 'Rote and listless'.[11]

References

  1. ^ The Fourth Kind. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  2. ^ 'The 4th Kind' Banners Go Through Step by Step
  3. ^ "Box Office Mojo: The Fourth Kind". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  4. ^ "Milla Gets a Thriller". Wired News. 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 
  5. ^ Tyler, Josh (2009-08-13). "The Fourth Kind Trailer: A Movie For Believers". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 
  6. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1220198/
  7. ^ Richardson, Jeff (2008-11-11). "Alaska newspapers, movie studio reach settlement over 'Fourth Kind'". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Retrieved 2012-03-16. 
  8. ^ a b Breeanna Hare (2009-11-06). "'The Fourth Kind' of fake?". CNN.com. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  9. ^ "Unsolved cases in Nome attract FBI (11-13-2005): Murder Trial". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 2010-09-01. 
  10. ^ Ebert, Roger (November 4, 2009). The Fourth Kind (review). Chicago Sun-Times
  11. ^ Entertainment Weekly November 20, 2009 pg. 71. 

External links