Who’s In It: Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton, director Olatunde Osunsanmi, and a bunch of "real" alien abductees
The Basics: You know how all those people who say they’ve been abducted by aliens or seen UFOs sound super crazy? Well, they’re not! Director Olatunde Osunsanmi has proof that otherworldly visitors have been coming to Earth for years. His evidence: home videos of people freaking out under hypnosis. I mean, clinically insane people wouldn’t just make that stuff up, right? The Fourth Kind proves it by presenting archival footage of a “real” psychologist who treated alien abduction victims in Nome, Alaska in 2002 before becoming one herself...
What’s The Deal: You have to applaud a movie that begins with actress Milla Jovovich telling the audience that she’s actress Milla Jovovich and that what we’re about to see is a reenactment based on true events. After all, actress Milla Jovovich wouldn’t lie to us, would she? Before it devolves into a Not Without My Daughter kind of Lifetime movie, The Fourth Kind kinda-sorta works for a while; if you let yourself just go with it and suspend your disbelief, it’s even pretty fun. And don’t get me wrong: it’s well-filmed and lushly lensed and its PG-13 jump scares and shockers will make you scream and then laugh at yourself. But when you start to see through its cracks, The Fourth Kind becomes messy and tedious to watch and poor Milla Jovovich becomes trapped in an altogether different, much sillier-and-not-in-a-good-way movie than the one she started out in, and you wish you were watching her killing zombies or kung-fu fighting on a space ship instead. You know, something believable.
If You Think This Movie Is Even Partially True, Then It Was Made For You: The easily entertained will leave the theater believing that this is a true story. They will believe that in Nome, Alaska, shadowy alien figures break into their victims’ houses by politely opening the doors at exactly 3:33 am every night to borrow them for painful science experiments before brainwashing them into forgetting everything that happened, save the vague visual memory of an owl that’s not really an owl. Sadly, from there the film descends even further into a downward spiral of silly sci-fi mythology and melodramatic plot turns. If Osunsanmi had more restraint, I might have believed The Fourth Kind. Instead, it’s an X-Files-styled hoax that takes advantage of gullible movie-goers. (Remember how everyone thought the Blair Witch really ate some college kids in the woods? Yeah. That was a hoax, too. Sorry for spoiling it for you.)
Why You Should Learn How To Pronounce The Name “Olatunde Osunsanmi”:
It takes a bold young filmmaker to put himself in his own Hollywood debut, but director Olatunde Osunsanmi does just that. His scenes “interviewing” the “real” Dr. Abigail Tyler are by far the worst of the film (partially because the uncredited actress they got to play her speaks in a comical monotone whisper and has naturally creepy googly eyes, like a poor man’s Judy Greer). In addition to casting himself, Osunsanmi clearly likes to play tricks on his audience and has a really tough name to pronounce, all of which brings me to one conclusion: Olatunde Osunsanmi is the next M. Night Shyamalan -- for better, and clearly, for worse.