03rd Apr2020

‘Alien Outbreak’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Katherine Drake, Ritchie Crane, Philip Alexander Baker, Michael Terry, Ian Rowe, Chris Barnicoat, Peggy Salmon, Tom Menary, Jason Collins, Aaron Deakins, Gemma Wilks | Written and Directed by Neil Rowe


What better time to watch a film about people being quarantined that during a worldwide lockdown? Probably bad timing or poor taste but here we are…

Set in a small rural community which is quarantined by an alien presence, Alien Outbreak follows local police officers Zoe and Patrick as they battle through the night to take control after being cut off from the outside world. Residents begin to behave strangely and mass panic spreads throughout. With the help of others, Zoe and Patrick begin unraveling the mystery and soon discover it is not all as it seems.

OK, OK. So Alien Outbreak is not about a natural-born killer virus making everyone stay indoor and over-shop for toilet paper and pasta. Instead this British-made sci-fi thriller deals with an alien invasion and how it affects the population of a small village. I say affects because not only do the aliens invade, they also seemingly launch a virus that forces people to commit suicide!

You’d think that a film made by someone skilled and experienced in SFX work would be something of a showcase of their skills, and in the case of Alien Outbreak that’s certainly true. The aliens and their robot dogs (because that’s what they clearly are: robot dogs with limbs like the Imperial Probe Droids in The Empire Strikes Back) look stunning. Both in terms of appearance and how creepy they are – in particular the “grim reaper”-looking cloaked aliens standing quietly behind their minions. It beggars belief that a low-budget film such as this has such superb FX work. CGI it may be but there’s nary a sign of the alien hunter(s) looking jarringly out of place, something other low-budget films suffer from.

However Alien Outbreak is not just an SFX showcase. It’s actually a taut, tightly-paced film that blends horror and action tropes to perfection. Horror insomuch that the effects of the alien invasion are terrifying and theres plenty of blood-filled FX scenes. Action in that Alien Outbreak, for a lot of its running time, takes place in one location – in a similar style to “under siege” films like Assault of Precinct 13 or Fort Apache: The Bronx- with our heroes Zoe and Patrick trying to keep people alive whilst pending off an alien attack. Hell, even the soundtrack, with its pulsating tomes and throbbing baseline, remind me of Carpenter’s Precinct 13!

With a fantastic Twilight Zone-esque denouement that says a LOT about the self-centred, arrogant nature of man, Alien Outbreak is a stunning film that proves you don’t need big budgets to tell a tremendous sci-fi tale. Definitely seek this one out as soon as you can!

Alien Outbreak is out now on DVD and Digital from High Octane Pictures.


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