It may be a little unfair to compare one movie to another---but we all do it. In this case, when I first saw the trailer for The Fourth Kind, it was around the same time Paranormal Activity came out and both had “found” footage---ala The Blair Witch Project. Comparisons were drawn, I mean, it’s not like Hollywood can be y’know creative and unique after all.
Novel concept, I know.
I had originally wanted to see The Fourth Kind in theatres when it first came out (my love for Milla Jovovich is sadly, very blind), but after hearing a lot more hype about Paranormal Activity, that was the movie that we went to see and jesus, it was probably the single scariest movie I have ever seen. I mean, that was the movie that gave me goosebumps just TALKING about it. Like DAYS later. Did I mention it was in the middle of the day?
Anyways, it wasn’t until recently upon a movie marathon night that I did rent it. I had been curious (see above re: girlcrush) and we decided to pick it up but didn’t quite get to it that night--a story for another time perhaps. Anyways, to say I was disappointed is a bit of an understatement.
The main issue with Fourth Kind is the fact that it tried to do too much (almost in a similar vein of Iron Man 2). It tried this hybird of being both a “found footage” movie and a bit of a psychological thriller, adding real actors to “recreate” certain scenes, often done in a split screen.
Probably the biggest question to come from this discussion is why?
If you have the footage there why are we bothering to recreate it? Why can’t you just show us that footage? Especially when there were a couple of moments when there were legitimate scares to be had.
I mean, the reason “found footage” movies work is that it leads you to believe that this could happen. That this /did/ happen. Not in some sort of movie world where there are famous actors portraying characters, but the idea that someone picked up this and that it did happen. In your world. To people just like you.
The problem with trying to add this with some recreations is that it takes you out of this environment, often taking any tension that may have been built up out of it. The split screen removes that sense of “this could happen to you” as the graphics come up and it feels like you’re watching a bad crime show on tv.
Sadly, add a meandering “plot” and some rather cheesy graphics and you are left with a less than stellar hybird, that doesn’t really fit into any category.
Well except for maybe one:
Failed attempt at a decent movie.