Stars: George Katt, Jen Burry, Taylor Negron | Written and Directed by Brian Ackley
Reality check: Alienated isn’t a science fiction film. I know, I know, it’s got “alien” in the title, and yes, there are UFOs involved in the story. However, Alienated is as much a sci-fi film as two pieces of bread with jam smeared lightly on the crust is a sandwich. No, this film’s filling is very much a drama, with a light sprinkling of sci-fi on top.
I found Alienated a very interesting film to watch. It quickly became apparent that this film wasn’t going to be as alien heavy as I had initially hoped, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. The more I watched the more I realised that the writing in this film is really, really good. Basically, the film is about a married couple arguing about the issues they have in their relationship on the brink of a possible alien abduction and, thanks to superb acting and writing, that is exactly what you get. I found myself getting emotionally involved in the argument because it felt so real (and the characters were so frustrating!) Alienated feels like an argument that we have all had with someone at some point in our lives (maybe with less UFOs though), and in that sense it is very easy to empathise with.
However, the film, when you get down to it, is basically an argument that lasts for about one hour and twenty minutes, starting with veiled insults and subtle pokes all the way up to yelling and swearing at each other. I will admit, I found it quite tiring after a while – but in a way, it made sense because that is exactly how the characters were feeling as well.
On the downside, Alienated is not a pretty film. After starting straight off with a very poorly CGI’d UFO, it didn’t get much better throughout. This is not much of a problem, as the majority of the film is set in one location, but it does feel like we’re watching a lot of the film through a hand held camera as we uncomfortably stand in the room with our friends arguing. Some of the camera angles were also a bit odd and distracting.
Ultimately, Alienated is a well written and well acted drama film which begins and ends on a surprising sci-fi note. Alienated goes on limited release in the US on March 25th before hitting VOD on March 31st.