16th Mar2015

‘Extraterrestrial’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Brittany Allen, Freddie Stroma, Melanie Papalia, Jesse Moss, Anja Savcic, Sean Rogerson, Emily Perkins, Mike Kovac, Fred Keating, Gil Bellows, Michael Ironside | Written and Directed by The Vicious Brothers

extraterrestrial

Horror fans usually know where a film is going when they see a group of walk into a cabin in the woods, it means that blood is going to flow as freely as the alcohol they brought with them.  This is the perfect example of what to expect with Extraterrestrial, you can tell what is coming because it never deviates from what is expected.  In truth though this may be exactly what the Vicious Brothers were aiming for anyway.

When April (Britanny Allen) is asked by her father to take pictures of their holiday cabin in the woods that they are selling her boyfriend Kyle (Freddie Stroma) decides to invite a few friends so they can party all weekend.  When they witness something fall from the sky and investigate the crash site they soon find evidence that something may have survived the crash and be loose in the woods.  Heading back to the cabin they soon discover they may have been followed.

One thing that stuck in my mind when watching Extraterrestrial is the word generic.  The film sticks rigidly to every cliché in the horror and science fiction rule book.  The aliens look like exactly how you would expect, the main characters are in a cabin in the woods, and in the surrounding area people have been abducted and farm animals mutilated, oh and we can’t forget the crazy Vietnam veteran living out in the woods who turns out to be the fount of all knowledge when it comes to aliens, because he is the best thing about the movie.  Cult fans will know why when I mention his name…Michael Ironside.

Michael Ironside is one of those actors who fully understands what a role requires of him and he’ll go that step further, it’s exactly what makes him a cult icon alongside actors like Ray Wise.  The moment Ironside appears on-screen all attention is on him, and when he goes to war on the alien that invades his weed farm he shows what a badass he truly is.  In a way it is a sign of just how serious this film takes itself when you take note of what I just said there…Michael Ironside plays a Vietnam vet who tracks objects in the sky while growing drugs in his back yard, it is perfect for a horror comedy film.  The only problem with this is that Extraterrestrial doesn’t bring in enough comedy to make it funny enough to take the potential it has and run with it.

The problem with Extraterrestrial it is that it seems to want to be a serious horror film, while all the time having elements perfect for comedy.  When horror and comedy find the right mix then it really does take a film like this to the next level.  Extraterrestrial never really aims for the comedy but does have a dark comic humour at times.  The problem is it just wants to be horror and that is a shame.  The fact that Michael Ironside’s scenes work so well may be the sign of the potential that is sadly missed and remains hidden.  Ironside makes the scenes funny because he understands his character.  He’s a comedy character trapped in a film taking itself too seriously and when he isn’t a part of the film it really does suffer.

However much Extraterrestrial missed its potential there is one fact that I can’t deny about the film and that is that it has it does charm you into enjoying it, you just can’t help but like what it is trying to be.  I do believe that if the comedy had actually been added successfully then it would have been a much better movie.  So is Extraterrestrial worth watching? I’ll answer that by just saying Michael Ironside, because to the right people that is all they need to know.

Extraterrestrial is available on DVD and Blu-ray now from Signature Entertainment. Check out Phil’s review of the film (from it’s cinema debut last November) right here.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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