Lisa’s Week In Review — 9/30/19 — 10/6/19

After 104 posts, the first week of Horrorthon is done!

Before we begin week 2, here’s a look back at the week that was!

Films I Watched:

  1. Alien 2: On Earth (1980)
  2. Beyond the Darkness (1979)
  3. City of the Dead (1960)
  4. Cursed to Kill (2017)
  5. Deadly Excursion (2019)
  6. Earth vs. The Flying Saucers (1956)
  7. Firestarter (1984)
  8. The Fourth Kind (2009)
  9. Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1956)
  10. Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
  11. In the Tall Grass (2019)
  12. Insidious (2010)
  13. Joker (2019)
  14. Mean Girls (2004)
  15. Mr. Deeds (2002)
  16. mother! (2017)
  17. Night of Dark Shadows (1971)
  18. Night of the Ghouls (1984)
  19. Smuggling in Suburbia (2019)
  20. The Spanish Prisoner (1997)
  21. Summertree (1971)
  22. Suspiria (1977)
  23. The Wedding Chapel (2013)
  24. The Witches (1966)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. 9-1-1
  2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  3. The Affair
  4. American Horror Story 1984
  5. Batwoman
  6. Beverly Hills 90210
  7. The Bold and the Beautiful
  8. California Dreams
  9. Couples Court With The Cutlers
  10. Dancing With The Stars
  11. Degrassi
  12. Degrassi High
  13. The Deuce
  14. Doctor Phil
  15. Emergence
  16. General Hospital
  17. Ghost Whisperer
  18. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  19. Judge Jerry
  20. Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court
  21. Medium
  22. Naked City
  23. Parking Wars
  24. Police Surgeon
  25. Route 66
  26. Saved By The Bell
  27. Seinfeld
  28. Shipping Wars
  29. South Park
  30. Survivor 39
  31. Touched By An Angel
  32. True Crime Files
  33. Unforgettable
  34. The Voice
  35. The Walking Dead
  36. The Young and the Restless

Books I Read:

  1. Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology (2010) by Theresa Bane
  2. Italian Horror (2005) by Jim Harper
  3. Shadow of Evil (1960) by Greye La Spina
  4. The Vampire Curse (1971) by Daoma Winston

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Above & Beyond
  2. Adi Ulmansky
  3. Afrojack
  4. Air
  5. Alvin Risk
  6. Aphex Twin
  7. Armin van Buuren
  8. Big Data
  9. Billy Idol
  10. The Black Keys
  11. Blanck Mass
  12. Britney Spears
  13. The Chemical Brothers
  14. Cindy Lauper
  15. Crud
  16. The Cyrstal Method
  17. Demi Lovato
  18. Dido
  19. Dillon Francis
  20. DJ Judaa
  21. Fitz and the Tantrums
  22. Goblin
  23. Imagine Dragons
  24. Jai Wolf
  25. Jakalope
  26. Joywave
  27. Kanye West
  28. M83
  29. Massive Attack
  30. Motionless in White
  31. Radiohead
  32. Riz Ortolani
  33. Semblant
  34. Sia
  35. Taking Back Sunday
  36. Taylor Swift
  37. The White Stripes
  38. Zedd

Links From Last Week:

  1. The Best of Tater
  2. 15 People On Their Experience With The Sleep Paralysis Demon
  3. Amy Klobuchar, Bird Murderer
  4. #31DaysOfHalloween Begins With Three “Inside Your House” Horrors!
  5. Words of Wisdom
  6. The Lady in the Black Dress
  7. Why We Feel So Compelled to Make Maps of Fictional Worlds
  8. Let’s Go To Dracula’s House! “What The Friday?!?!” Can You Sleepover In Vlad The Impaler’s Bran Castle?
  9. Beatles vs. Stones At The Movies
  10. Harry Lennix has Superman anecdotes involving Henry Cavill and Gene Hackman

News From Last Week:

  1. Another Woman Says Al Franken Groped Her
  2. Criterion Collection Hails the King With Trailer for Epic 15-Film ‘Godzilla: The Showa Era’ Box Set
  3. ‘Stranger Things’ Gets Renewed for Season 4 as Duffer Brothers Ink Overall Deal With Netflix
  4. Kanye West reportedly says he’ll only do gospel music from now on
  5. Kanye West’s Pseudo-Religious Sunday Service Sparks Walkouts in New York City
  6. Ida Lupino, the Mother of American Independent Film, Finally Gets Her Due
  7. The blockbuster that wasn’t: inside an alleged $14m scam to make the next Netflix hit
  8. Surprise Fall Snowstorm Makes for Viral Wedding Photo Shoot
  9. Jussie Smollett objects to comparison to girl who lied about dreadlocks being cut
  10. Clint Eastwood’s ‘The Ballad of Richard Jewell’ Enters Oscar Race With December 13th Release Date
  11. Will This Oscar Season Be A Turning Point For These Veteran Movie Stars?
  12. An Exhibition of ‘Twin Peaks’-Themed Art Is Being Sold for a Good Cause
  13. Kim Shattuck, Muffs Singer-Songwriter, Dies at 56
  14. Tom Holland’s Last-Minute Appeal Helped Seal a ‘Spider-Man’ Deal
  15. Robert De Niro subjected female employee to creepy and abusive behavior: lawsuit
  16. Andrew Yang puts other Dems to shame with big cash haul
  17. Michael Avenatti Takes Stormy Daniels to Court for Millions in Legal Backpay
  18. Diahann Carroll, pioneering actress known for ‘Julia’ and ‘Dynasty,’ dead at 84
  19. Martin Scorsese Calls Out Marvel and Superhero Movies: ‘That’s Not Cinema’
  20. Fans Start Petition for Robert Downey Jr. Best Actor Oscar for Avengers: Endgame
  21. ‘Morning Joe’ host Mika Brzezinski publicly supported news vet Brokaw amid misconduct claims, privately apologized to accuser
  22. First James Bond ‘No Time to Die’ Movie Poster Unveiled
  23. Sam Raimi reveals an Evil Dead sequel is definitely in development
  24. 2,294-pound pumpkin sets new record at fair in Massachusetts
  25. Warner Bros. Laughing All The Way To The Bank With ‘Joker’: $93.5M-$95M+ Debut Reps Records For October, Todd Phillips, Joaquin Phoenix & Robert De Niro
  26. New, recent and upcoming horror movie releases for Halloween and beyond

Links From The Site:

  1. Erin shared welcomed you to October and shared some vintage horror posters!  She also shared Manhattan Heat, Rosevean, Phantom Manor, Widow in White, The Vampire Curse, Peril at Stone Hall, and Mistress of Mount Fair!
  2. Case reviewed Sorority Row, Down, N., Joker, the 1st episode of Creepshow, In the Tall Grass, and Two Sentence Horror Stories!
  3. Gary reviewed Island of Lost Souls, Twins of Evil, and Death Curse of Tartu!
  4. Jeff reviewed Wolfman, Raw Nerve, Vampiric Tower, Laser Moon, The Count, Night Hunter, Hamburger Hell, Steel and Lace, Vacation Gone Awry, Someone Behind the Door, Don’t Fire Until You See The Yellow Of Their Niblets, and Class of 1999!
  5. Leonard shared the trailer for Birds of Prey and reviewed Joker!
  6. Arleigh profiled artist Junji Ito and reviewed Ito’s Glyceride!
  7. Ryan reviewed Theth, Kap Trap, and Black StarHe also shared his weekly reading round-up!
  8. I shared music videos from Radiohead, Big Data, Massive Attack, Jai Wolf, Semblant, Motionless in White, and Aphex Twin! I shared the trailer for BBC One’s War of the Worlds! I paid tribute to James Dean!  I reviewed The Wedding Chapel, Boy of the Streets, Deadly Detention, It Stains the Sands Red, Hour of the Wolf, Paperbacks From Hell, Fiend, Zombie Tidal Wave, The Dead Are After Me, Deliverance, Deadly Excursion, Single White Female, The Student of Prague, Air Force One Is Haunted, The Spanish Prisoner, Single White Female 2, The Devil’s Hand, The Ghost, The Lovecraft Lexicon, Guru, the Mad Monk, End of the World, Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology, House, The Madam of Purity Falls, Underworld, Firestarter, Alien 2, The Vampire Curse, The Ghastly Ones, Beyond The Darkness, The Fourth Kind, Italian Horror, and Night School!  I invited you watch The Good Loser, Raiders of the Living Dead, Little Shop of Horrors, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Last Man On Earth, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Creeping Terror, an episode of Degrassi High, Degrassi: Secrets Part One, Degrassi: Secrets Part Two, The Curse of Degrassi, Degrassi: Innocent When You Dream, and Degrassi: Nowhere to Run!  I paid tribute to the years 1970, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979!  I wrote about the making of Halloween and 6 paranormal creatures who deserve their own film I shared scenes that I love from Plan 9 From Outer Space, Dracula, The Witch, The Shining, Zombi 2, and Insidious! And I even shared an AMV of the Day!

More From Us:

  1. Ryan has a patreon.  We encourage you to subscribe to it.
  2. At Days Without Incident, Leonard wrote about Sia!
  3. On Cracked Rearviewer, Gary announced the return of the Halloween Havoc Film Festival!
  4. On her photography site, Erin shared Lamplight, Front Yard Squirrel, Crum Auditorium, Searching, Flood, Past, and Third House!
  5. At Pop Politics, Jeff shared: The Good News About Spider-Man, Nobody Puts Spartacus In A Corner, Brexit Someday, Joker Opens In Theaters Tonight. Will The Country Survive?, The Immortal Voice of Janis Joplin, The AARP Election, and People Are Buying More Guns!
  6. At the Reality TV Chat Blog, I reviewed the latest episode of Survivor!
  7. On my music site, I shared songs from M83, Britney Spears, Dido, The Black Keys, Demi Lovato, Air,and M83 again!
  8. On SyFy Designs, I shared: It’s October, October by Robert Frost, The Class of Beverly Hills, Today is Mean Girls Appreciation Day One Advantage of Being Busy, I Just Went Through Every Cat Owner’s Worst Nightmare, and Doc Update!
  9. On my dream journal, I shared: Last Night’s Family Dream, Last Night’s Fragment of a Dream, A Dream Within A Dream by Edgar Allan Poe, Last Night’s Wasp Dream, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters, No. 43 from Los Caprichos (The Caprices), 1796-1798 by Francisco de Goya, and Another Forgotten Dream!
  10. For Horror Critic, I reviewed The Screaming Woman, Earth vs. The Flying Saucers, Cursed to Kill, City of the Dead, In The Tall Grass, and Night of the Ghouls!

Want to see what I did last week?  Click here!

Horror on TVL Degrassi 11.30-31 “Nowhere to Run” (dir by Pat Williams)

Degrassi goes slasher!

Well, kinda.

In this episode, the latest batch of students at Toronto’s Degrassi Community School decided that the perfect way to end their summer is to go up to an isolated cabin in the woods.  I know, it doesn’t make much sense to me, either.  No one invites Clare because, by this point in the series, Clare had started to transform into Canada’s most dramatic yandere.  However, because Clare is upset over her mom marrying the father of her ex-boyfriend, she goes up to the cabin anyway and ends up getting lost in the woods.

Of course, all sorts of weird things are happening around the cabin.  Are the Degrassi students about to fall victim to the Canadian version of Michael Myers?  Or do they just have an overactive imagination?

This episode originally aired on October 24, 2011, in Canada.  It didn’t make it’s way over to the U.S. until November 18th, which definitely diluted its horror-themed impact.  In many ways, it’s typical of later-era Degrassi, in that the plot is kind of fun and cute but you can’t help but think about how much more fun it would be if it was Ellie, Emma, Manny, Craig, and Spinner in the cabin instead of their replacements.  But then again, that’s true to life.  No one stays in high school forever.

Anyway, enjoy the horrorthon’s final episode of Degrassi!  Tomorrow, we start a new show!

The TSL’s Horror Grindhouse: Night School (dir by Ken Hughes)

Someone is decapitating women in Boston and police Lt. Judd Austin (Leonard Mann) is determined to discover where the killer’s head is at!

The victims seem to come from all walks of life.  A teacher’s aide loses her head while spinning around on a carousel. A worker at the local aquarium has her head tossed into a fish tank where it’s promptly nibbled at by a turtle.  (Interestingly enough, the sharks ignore it.)  Another head shows up in a kitchen and then another one in a toilet and then another one in a pond and …. well, you get the idea.  There’s a lot of heads rolling around.  The only thing that all of the victims have in common is Wendell College.  Some were merely killed near the college.  Others were enrolled in night classes.

Because the murderer wears a motorcycle helmet and a full black leather bodysuit, we’re not sure who the killer is.  However, Lt. Austin promptly comes to the conclusion that the murderer is probably anthropology professor Vincent Millett (Drew Snyder), an unlikely lothario who is notorious for sleeping with his students and who has a collection of skulls in his apartment.  Austin’s attitude is that no normal person would teach anthropology and since it also stands to reason that no normal person would run around Boston chopping off people’s heads, Millett must be the murderer.  Millett doesn’t help himself by continually coming across as being a bit of an arrogant prick.

But is Millett the murderer?  There are other suspects!

For instance, there’s Millett’s teaching assistant (and lover) Eleanor Adjai (Rachel Ward), on whom Millett performs some sort of odd blood ritual while the two of them are taking a shower together, the better so that director Ken Hughes can toss in a playful homage to Psycho.

And then there’s Gary (Bill McCann), the obviously disturbed busboy at the local diner who tries to follow Eleanor home one night.

And let’s not forget the dean of students, Helene (Annette Miller), who is portrayed as being a predatory lesbian because this movie was made in 1981.

And then there’s….

Well, actually, that’s it.  One of the problems with Night School is there there really aren’t enough suspects.  For a film like this to really work, you need a lot more red herrings.  Savvy filmgoers already know that the most likely suspect isn’t going to be guilty because they never are.  Unfortunately, that wipes out 50% of Night School‘s suspects and only leaves two others, one of whom is soon murdered.  It all leads up to a surprise ending that’s not much of a surprise.

Night School is usually described as being a part of the slasher boom of the early 80s.  While it’s true that Night School probably would never have been made if not for the financial success of Halloween and Friday the 13th, the film itself, with its whodunit plot and it’s gloved and masked killer, is more an American giallo than a traditional slasher film.  That said, Night School never reaches the over-the-top, operatic heights of an Italian giallo.  Instead, it’s a rather subdued version of the genre, happy to efficiently do it’s job without getting too caught up in issues of guilt, sin, and absolution.  At the same time, some of the murders are cleverly staged and Rachel Ward brings some class to a film that could obviously use it.  Night School gets the job done, even if it’s ultimately not that memorable.

Robots With A Cause: Class of 1999 (1990, directed by Mark L. Lester)

The year is 1999 and John F. Kennedy High School sits in the middle of Seattle’s most dangerous neighborhood.  Teenage gangs have taken over all of the major American cities and just going to school means putting your life in danger.  However, Dr. Bob Forest (Stacy Keach!), the founder of MegaTech, has a solution.  He has taken former military androids and reprogrammed them to serve as educators.  JFK’s principal, Miles Langford (Malcolm McDowell!!), agrees to allow his school to be used a testing ground.  Soon, Miss Conners (Pam Grier!!!) is teaching chemistry.  Mr. Byles (Patrick Kilpatrick) is teaching gym.  Mr. Hardin (John P. Ryan) is teaching history.  When they’re not teaching, these robots are killing truant students and manipulating two rival street gangs into going to war.

Imagine mixing Rebel With A Cause with The Terminator and you get an idea of what Class of 1999 is like.  Two of the only good teenagers (played by Bradley Gregg and Traci Lind) figure out that the teachers are killing their classmates but they already know that they won’t be able to get anyone to listen to them because they’re just kids who go to school in a bad neighborhood.  Meanwhile, the teachers have been programmed to do whatever has to be done to keep the peace in the school.  Why suspend a disruptive student when you can just slam his head into a locker until he’s dead?  Director Mark L. Lester (who previously directed Class of 1984) is an old pro when it comes to movies like this and he’s helped by a better-than-average cast.  Any movie that features not only Stacy Keach and Malcolm McDowell but also Pam Grier is automatically going to be cooler than any movie that doesn’t.

When Class of 1999 was made, 1999 was considered to be the future and, in many ways, the movie did prove to be prophetic.  We may not have robot teachers (yet) but the idea of arming teachers and expecting them to double as cops has become a very popular one over the past few years.  Personally, I wouldn’t want to send my children to a school where the teachers all have to carry a gun while teaching but that may just be me.

Game Review: Don’t Fire Until You See The Yellow Of Their Niblets (1999, Dan Shiovitz)

“There is a sharp hiss, as if millions of kernels cried out in pain and then were suddenly silenced. And then it arises — dear god, it arises. Something like Venus arising from the waters, or your fat Uncle Albert arising from his arm-chair, the Yellow Beast of Corn draws itself up from the pile of stalks. The broom drops from your nerveless fingers as you contemplate the apparition that has appeared before you. “Why me, why now, why here?” you can’t help but ask yourself, even knowing that the question is futile. To kill, to kill, that is the purpose of the Nibleted One, and anyone in its path will perish.”

Don’t Fire Until You See The Yellow Of Their Niblets by Dan Shiovtiz

In this text adventure game, you are working the night shift at Big Foods Super Market.  You have just finished sweeping up the produce aisle and you are looking forward to finally getting off work when suddenly, the Yellow Beast of Corn rises up, looking to destroy you.  This may be because Big Foods has started receiving it’s corn from The Dark Brotherhood instead of Pete’s Produce Wholesalers.

You have three directions in which to run and two aisles in which to hide.  Each aisle features a different way to kill the Yellow Beast of Corn but you’ll have to figure it out quick.  Take too long and the day crew will only find a few pieces of you left in the morning.

Don’t Fire Until You See The Yellow Of Their Niblets is a game that was specifically designed to be played in less than a minute.  Figuring out how to destroy the corn monster is not difficult.  Instead, the challenge is making sure that you get to the aisle with enough time left to put a plan into action.  It’s a fun game and you may have already guessed that it’s not meant to be taken too seriously.

Don’t Fire Until You See The Yellow Of Their Niblets can be downloaded from here.  You’ll also need a TADs interpreter to play the game, which can be downloaded, for free, from

Horror Scenes That I Love: The Clock Ghosts From Insidious

After all of the sequels and the rip-offs, it’s easy to forget just how scary Insidious was when it was first released, way back in 2011.

Believe it or not, it’s still pretty scary.  Take the scene below, for instance.  I screamed the first time I saw it and then I screamed again rewatching it on YouTube.

The reason this scenes works is because, from the start, you know that those two ghosts are going to show up.  You just don’t know when.  With each click, you know you’re getting closer and closer to something bad appearing in that hallway.  And then when they do finally show up and the movie’s soundtrack goes “BOOOOM!” and then you see the smiles on their face — AGCK!  Seriously, this is one of the best jump scares of the past decade.


Book Review: Italian Horror By Jim Harper

As our long time readers know, I absolutely love Italian horror.  I was very lucky to discover the greatness of Italian horror when I was a teenager (it was a double feature of Suspiria and Blade In the Dark that did it for me) and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to spend the last few years studying everything that made the Italian horror films of the 80s and early 90s so memorable.

However, I do realize that not everyone has spent the past few years watching the films of Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, Lamberto Bava, Michele Soavi, and Joe D’Amato.  For those who are just starting to learn about the history of Italian horror cinema, I highly suggest Italian Horror by Jim Harper, a short but highly readable overview of the genre.  Covering the years of 1979 through 1994, Italian Horror contains insightful reviews of films both famous (The Beyond, Dellamorte Dellamore) and infamous (Zombi 3 and so many others).  Even better, there are reviews of several of the more obscure Italian horror films, the ones that actually take some effort to track down.  For instance, I never would have seen Ratman if I hadn’t come across it in Harper’s book.  And I know that you’re probably saying, “Would it be that a bad thing if you had never see Ratman?”  Listen, Italian horror fans understand.

If you’re trying to start your studies of Italian horror off on the right foot, this is definitely a good book to start with.  Read it and prepare to have a hundred new movies to watch afterwards.

International Horror Film Review: Beyond the Darkness (dir by Aristide Massaccesi, a.k.a. Joe D’Amato)

An odd film, this one is.

Now, me, I absolutely love Beyond the Darkness.  However, this 1979 Italian film is definitely not for everyone and I’m always very careful about recommending it.  At it’s heart, it’s a story about a man named Frank Wyler (Kieran Canter) who is so in love with Anna Volkl (Cinzia Monreale, who Italian horror fans will immediately recognize from her iconic role as Emily in Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond) that he won’t even allow death to keep them apart.  At the same time, the film contains scenes of cannibalism, gore, and nudity (poor Cinzia Monreale had to spent the majority of the movie naked and pretending not to breathe) that were so graphic that the film was actually banned in several countries.  Did I mention that Frank’s a taxidermist?  If you’ve ever wanted to see a film about how messy taxidermy can be, I guess this would be the one to go with.

Frank is a young man who has inherited a villa in the country.  He lives there with Iris (Franca Stoppi), the servant who has literally raised him from his birth.  Frank is a handsome but strange man, one who spends most his time locked away in his garage and stuffing dead animals.  (Before anyone panics, there’s no animal cruelty to be witnessed in this film.  Though there is a bit of human cruelty….)  Frank is in love with Anna but Anna has recently been taken ill.  She’s in the hospital, where the doctor’s simply cannot figure out what’s wrong with her.  Could it have something to do with the voodoo curse that the jealous Irish has placed on her?

When Anna finally dies, Iris is convinced that she’ll have Frank to herself but Frank has other ideas.  After the funeral, Frank promptly digs Anna back up and then takes her body back to his garage.  Unfortunately, along the way, an obnoxious hitchhiker (played by Lucia D’Elia) decides that Frank’s going to give her a ride.  The hitchhiker ends up passing out in Frank’s van.

So, here Frank is.  All he wants to do is stuff his dead girlfriend.  But he’s got this obnoxious hitchhiker running around the garage and knocking over buckets of intestines!  Frank kills the hitchhiker and Iris, despite being disgusted by the fact that Frank has insisted on bringing Anna home, helps him dispose of the hitchhiker’s body.  The problem’s solved, except for the fact that Frank is now becoming obsessed with cannibalism….

Okay, it’s a weird film and it only gets weirder from there.  As I said, it’s definitely not a film for everyone and there’s certain scenes that would be incredibly offensive if not for the fact that the film is so well-directed and Canter, Monreale, and Stoppi are all so well-cast and give such sincere performances that you can’t help but get caught up in the film’s storyline.  Frank may be a spoiled, cannibalistic murderer and Anna might be dead but their love for each other is so sincere that you can’t help but feel for both of them.  Director Aristide Massaccesi (who was usually credited under the name Joe D’Amato) creates an ominous and gothic atmosphere while Goblin provides a pulsating and moody score that perfectly mirror Frank’s descent into madness  (Admittedly, Frank doesn’t have far to descend.)  Massaccesi often said that he only made the film to gross people out but an accidental success is a success nonetheless.


4 Shots From 4 Films: Alien, Beyond The Darkness, Fascination, Zombi 2

4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

This October, we’re using 4 Shots From 4 Films to look at some of the best years that horror has to offer!

4 Shots From 4 1979 Horror Films:

Alien (1979, dir by Ridley Scott)

Beyond the Darkness (1979, dir by Joe D’Amato)

Fascination (1979, dir by Jean Rollin)

Zombi 2 (1979, dir. Lucio Fulci)

Horror Film Review: The Fourth Kind (dir by Olatunde Osunsanmi)

“I’m actress Milla Jovovich, and I will be portraying Dr. Abigail Tyler in The Fourth Kind. This film is a dramatization of events that occurred October 1st through the 9th of 2000, in the Northern Alaskan town of Nome. To better explain the events of this story, the director has included actual archived footage throughout the film. This footage was acquired from Nome psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler, who has personally documented over 65 hours of video and audio materials during the time of the incidents. To better protect their privacy, we have changed the names and professions of many of the people involved. Every dramatized scene in this movie is supported by either archived audio, video or as it was related by Dr. Tyler during extensive interviews with the director. In the end, what you believe is yours to decide. Please be advised, that some of what you’re about to see is extremely disturbing.”

And so began the 2009 film, The Fourth Kind!  Milla Jovovich plays Dr. Abbey Tyler, who is still emotionally devastated by the murder of her husband and who finds herself interviewing a lot of potential UFO abductees in Nome, Alaska.  You may remember that, when this film came out, there was a lot of online debate over whether or not it was based on a true story.  That’s because the film was advertised as containing actual “documentary footage” of Dr. Tyler talking to hypnotized alien abductees.  Often times, during the film, a split screen was used so you could watch the “original” Dr. Tyler interviewing a patient while, at the same time, Milla Jovovich and an actor “recreated” the scene for the film.

Of course, the really interesting question here isn’t whether or not the documentary footage was real.  Instead, to me, the real mystery of the film is why, if you had all of this amazing footage of real people freaking out under hypnosis, would you then make a movie starring Milla Jovovich, Will Patton, and Elias Koteas?  It seems like a better idea would be to just make a documentary and save a lot of money on paying the cast.

Anyway, as you probably already guesses, the documentary footage was faked as well and there is no Dr. Abigail Tyler.  Still, you have to admire the amount of effort that director Olatunde Osunsanmi put into trying to convince us that we were watching something based on a true story.  I mean, he went far beyond just using the whole shaky cam stuff that most found footage horror movies fall back on.  Wisely, Onsunsanmi made sure that none of the actors in the found footage were more attractive than the actors in the movie that was supposedly based upon it.  Anyone who has seen enough “based on a true story” movies knows that the real people never look as good as the people hired to play them.  I mean, honestly, this is a gimmick that Orson Welles would probably have appreciated.  That said, Welles probably would have gotten better performances out of the actors in his fake documentary.  When Milla Jovovovich is more convincing as a psychologist than the woman who were told actually is a psychologist, it’s a problem.

As for the film itself, it has a few effective jump scares.  There’s a lot of people yelling in strange voices and, when Abbey’s daughter vanishes, Milla Jovovich does a good enough job communicating the anguish that any mother would feel if her child was abducted by aliens.  Dependable actors like Will Patton and Elias Koteas show up and do what they can with underwritten roles.  The Fourth Kind isn’t a bad movie but its storyline and characters are never as interesting as its gimmick.  It’s the type of horror film that might make you jump while you’re watching but, a week later, all you’ll remember is Milla Jovovich introducing herself.