The whole “cabin in the woods” scenario has been done to death in horror movies. Basically, take a handful of young idiots, put them in a secluded cabin in the middle of nowhere, add a hostile supernatural element and enjoy. This perfectly sums up Extraterrestrial, an independent horror flick which combines elements of both science fiction and slasher films. There is also a small amount of comedy to help lighten the mood in between deaths. All in all, it’s not a terrible film. It just isn’t a very good one either.
Foolish young college friends April (Brittany Allen), Kyle (Freddie Stroma), Melanie (Melanie Papalia), Seth (Jesse Moss) and Lex (Anja Savcic) take it upon themselves to spend one weekend together at a cabin in the woods. All is going well until a mysterious flying saucer-like object crash lands nearby. The five friends soon become embroiled in an intergalactic game of cat and house when they kill off one of the pilots of the flying saucer, an actual alien creature. We then are treated to a high paced sci-fi thriller with each character fighting for their very lives.
Many films are like Extraterrestrial, there’s nothing new here. There are however, a few saving graces. The actors, while not Shakespearian thespians, they are attractive and energetic enough to hold one’s attention. Brittany Allen is the main star here and she does her very best to put her name in the running for up and coming scream queen. She may not be Jamie Lee Curtis but she does a pretty decent job running for her life and at times, defending herself. She is also quite a looker but then again, so is much of the cast.
Another highlight is Michael Ironside, who’s made a career out of delivering over-the-top and eccentric roles, mostly within the confines of the sci-fi film genre. With memorable performances in Scanners, Total Recall and Starship Troopers, the man knows what he’s doing when it comes to colorful character acting. His role in Extraterrestrial is no different and it is in this film where he continues to shine as a marijuana-growing, shotgun-toting conspiracy theorist. If you are fan of the man’s work, then I highly suggest you check out this film because he definitely steals the show.
Extraterrestrial is far from perfect but it does offer a few good thrills and some technical wizardry. Directed by Colin Minihan (Grave Encounters, Grave Encounters 2, Theory of a Deadman: So Happy) and written by Minihan and Stuart Ortiz (a.k.a. The Vicious Brothers), Extraterrestrial is an ambitious film to say the least. The cast is talented and the visual effects are certainly worth noting. They help carry the story and provide for some serious eye candy.
Extraterrestrial is a flawed film. This goes without saying. With a plot that is all too familiar and a script that lacks originality, it is difficult to enjoy it. However, with some decent performances and a few well-placed scares, it isn’t a total loss. Watch it for the alien special effects and stay for Michael Ironside’s completely off-the-wall performance.