Sexed-up teens, aliens and anal probing! Oh my! Grab a blender. Got it? Good. Now toss in every genre stereotype known to man and mix it with some pretty cool visuals and The Vicious Brothers, et voila! Ninety minutes later down slides Extraterrestrial out the Indie horror poop schute. This was one of the most referential and derivative films I’ve ever seen and I’m including the DVD of my birth (shocker, I came out a vagina, SO original… NOT). But for everyone in on the joke, it was a hell of a good time. When I wasn’t laughing at the idiotic dialogue and eye-rollingly predictable plot, I was busy chugging whiskey and jotting down indecipherable notes alongside cutting-edge business ventures (you can’t tell me adult diapers with built-in sub-woofers isn’t gonna take off).
Extraterrestrial follows April (Brittany Allen) and Kyle (Freddie Stroma) as they take an arbitrary and totally innocent group of wild and crazy friends on a weekend trip up to a remote cabin in a tiny town rife with almost as much inexplicably weird shit happening as (I assume) goes on in Paris Hilton’s vagina. Cue alien abductions, livestock mutilations and totes awks relationship drama overwrought enough to choke a Honey Boo Boo and this Indie flick delivers on a glorified gory good time.
Notable is the mostly solid acting with nods to Allen and Stroma for believable (if at times Twilight-esque) chemistry as well as Sheriff Murphy (Gil Bellows) a character, for once, being kind of a sharp, kick-ass small town law enforcement officer bucking the bumbling stereotype with lines like “remind me to punch you in the dick” even when given shit to deliver like “anyone there?” to an empty room (BRB gotta go vomit the last of my dignity into an infinity scarf) Bellows is engaging and fun to watch. Not to mention Michael Ironside as Travis (paranoid, isolated, hillbilly Vietnam Vet extraordinaire, nailing his batshit crazy role with effortlessly entertaining ease).
If you enjoyed this farcical sophomore effort from The Vicious Brothers (Extraterrestrial being, at the very least, a technical improvement on their first rodeo, Grave Encounters) like I did, then it was relatively simple to overlook this formula-driven cliché-fest of sideshow horrors and shallow B-movie shenanigans and enjoy the obviously adoring homage to the genre (with notes of X-Files, The Evil Dead, Alien, The Blair Witch Project, Cabin In The Woods and Independence Day to name a few. Seriously, you can’t swing a dead co-ed without hitting a genre reference).
Extraterrestrial is a self-aware, balls-to-the-wall, shamelessly pointless carnage-fest and I loved every minute of it. For the discerning genre afficianado, this film will dazzle and delight through its sheer retro classicism. Nothing’s an accident, and there were a few easter-egg surprises hidden along the way to showcase this Indie film’s cult horror chops. But sit back, relax and dive headfirst into the cliché kiddie pool for maximum enjoyment (from the ominous sheriff’s warning, to the creepy barking dog, to a weird scarecrow Nixon/paranoid hillbilly, to the tree blocking the only road back into town, Extraterrestrial doesn’t fail to deliver on genre tropes by the blood-filled bucketful).
The pacing was largely Jennifer Lawrence’s ass, I mean Chris Hemsworth’s abs, I mean tight and on-point. Extraterrestrial starts slowly building tension, ramping up to insanity after insanity, culminating in a massively enjoyable genre tweak guaranteed to leave you with a shit-eating, WTF laugh on your lips. Less tongue-in-cheek and more on-purpose campy, Extraterrestrial is an irreverent, nose-thumbing genre classic to be enjoyed because of it’s faults (not despite them). Taken at face-value this Indie horror flick is a derivative crapfest. Taken with booze you “borrowed” from your roommate (WHATEVER, SCOTT, I KNOW YOU JACKED MY POT BROWNIES LAST WEEK, BRO) Extraterrestrial is not only really hard to spell when hammered, but a gleefully mediocre rollercoaster ride though the horror genre.
I can honestly say this movie was better than a lot of mainstream horror films I’ve seen this year, if only for the absolutely joyful banal badassery. Extraterrestrial is horror fluff and genre filler, empty as fuck and entertaining as hell. Much like a penis (or vagina) don’t look directly at it, let it do what it’s supposed to, and enjoy the results.