You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to believe aliens built theSpace Needle.
Look, we have no historical records of its creation. It's got the word"space" right there in its name. Plus just look at the thing: unlessyou like the idea of sleeping in a hammock slung between two girders,it's totally unfit for human habitation.
So aliens must exist, Q.E.D. Still, it's a little out there to thinkthey're dropping in on us all the time, be it for experiments or justfor yuks. Space is bigger than all our houses put together.Probability suggests we're not the only beings out there, but in ourrelatively sparse arm of the galaxy, our nearest neighbors couldeasily be hundreds of light-years away. Unless they've got Alien HBO,I doubt they'd want to make that trip, much as movies such as TheFourth Kind would like to convince us otherwise.
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After the murder of her husband, psychologist Abbey Tyler (played bothby "herself" and Milla Jovovich) continues his work treating thecitizens of Nome, Alaska, several of whom suffer from the same strangevisions and troubled sleep.
But when Jovovich hypnotizes one patient to find out what he reallysaw, he freaks out and shoots his family. She doesn't want to believeit, but they seem to be victims of alien abduction — and soon learnsshe is, too.
The Fourth Kind was marketed as a dramatized documentary ofreal events, crosscutting interviews and real footage with TVmovie-style recreations of events. None of it's truly real, but Ididn't know that when I watched it and I still walked out happy thatsomeone else pays for my tickets, and not just because I'm so poor mydinner plans were to hitch a ride home, stick my head out the windowand open my mouth really wide.
Because as creepy and distressing as a lot of that "real" footage is,it also interrupts the story like an automated interrupting machine.Drama is hard to come by in the first place when so much of what'shappening is being summarized by a lady being interviewed becauseshe's a fruit loop. In yanking us in and out of the real world and thedramatized one, the dreamlike state a good movie puts you in never hasa chance to take hold.
It's a pretty questionable technique from writer/director OlatundeOsunsanmi. He shows a lot of talent in other areas, though, especiallythe movie's sound: we never see the aliens, but we sure hear a hell ofa lot of them, and they sound so scary I can only imagine they looklike 12-tentacled monsters with a different power tool attached tothe end of each arm.
Incredibly, the documentary visuals fuzz out whenever serious alienbusiness is about to go down, but the audio paints a more frighteningpicture than video could.
Softened up by that, I wasn't quite ready to suspend my disbelief(just like during my three years in the deserts of Gujarat, India, Icouldn't get over the levitation), but I was ready to send it todetention.
The more Tyler told her story, however, the more I realized that's allit was: The Fourth Kind has no outside commentary, no impartialexperts or oppositional perspectives to help put its events incontext. All we've got is a lot of weird shit explained by a woman whomay not have been crazy at the time, but sure is now.
The movie's repeated exhortations to draw our own conclusions don'tcarry much weight when all we've got to draw on is a single side ofthe story delivered by a highly unreliable and repeatedly traumatizedsource. In some ways, it's better to learn the whole thing's made up.Then you can admire Osunsanmi for how he builds credulity instead offrowning on all the ways he strains it.