Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Project Terrible: Alien Origin (2012)

Oh snap, horror fiends! You better believe I came back for some more terribly awesome movies in this latest round of Project Terrible. Along for the ride are my good buddies Alec from Mondo Bizarro, Robert from Gaming Creatively, and Maynard from Maynard Morrissey's Horror Movie Diary. This round I've got an interesting combination of movies that has aliens, zombies, and robots - and all those words in the titles, too! First up is Alien Origin, assigned to me by Alec.

Alien Origin is a found footage movie about a documentary crew (and by "crew" I mean one videographer and a chick that carries around a Flip camera) following a small group of the Belize Special Forces on one of their missions. We know that they are all going to die because the beginning of the movie tells us this, as they so often due with these FF movies. Anyway, when they go off to look for two missing archaeologists, they have to deal with a bunch of aliens that we never see.

This is one of those movies that kind of makes your brain hurt a little bit after watching it. The brain-hurting is not so much from the movie's suckiness, though, as it is from its complete and utter DULLNESS. Sure, there are some terrible things about Alien Origin but mostly the damn thing is just boring. Found footage can indeed be a very effective technique at upping suspense and fear - it just works a lot better if you have an interesting story to back it up.

I can't fault the movie too much for the actual FF filmmaking technique because they do it quite well for the most part. The framing is good and all that jazz, and it looks like every other FF movie out there. Granted, most of what we have watch is not that interesting to begin with. There are far too many big chunks of the movie that involve nothing more than following the group as they walk through the jungle. No dialogue, no suspense that anything is going to happen - just walking. The last 30 minutes is even worse as they try to add some action in there of the guys shooting at something that keeps launching grenades and shit at them, but to us it looks like they are shooting at nothing. So I was bored. Again.

Not only is the plot incredibly boring and uninteresting, the characters also bring absolutely nothing to the story. For one thing, there is no main character to follow. You think it's going to be the documentary host, Julia, but she ends up not only totally disappearing about 20 minutes until the end, but she also gets just as much screen time as anybody else. That's good for the actors, I guess, but not for the audience, as we have to follow a bunch of no-names that we don't care about. And we don't care about these guys because the actors do not give any of them any sort of personality or character traits. The guy who is supposed to be in charge of the group is hilarious because he has the most un-commanding and unimposing voice and mannerisms. Nobody would take orders from this dude. He stutters, and he uses these ridiculous quasi-military hand gestures that I'm pretty sure he made up as he went along.

Another thing that became a major problem for me is something a little strange, I guess - the title cards. They have the typical ones that show what day of the mission we are on and the time of day, but there are also these ones give little plot synopses and such. Now, I didn't think it was possible to screw up a title card, but seriously, these guys weren't even trying. They were all just white text on a black screen with horrible grammar. They were all left-justified on the screen instead of centered so that some entries
looked like somebody
was having
with the
and some were completely missing punctuation and capitalization. That would have been, like, a two-second fix. I think y'all had time for that.

(Did you like what I did earlier there??)

Lastly, as for the alien action, there was fucking NONE. There's a dead alien skull and a little bit of an alien spaceship but I never saw the dang thing. Those guys could have been shooting at giant ferrets for all I know. Every time the alien supposedly showed up in the camera's sights, the video conveniently goes all wonky with interference so only a small glimpse is given. I seriously feel cheated. Was it just not in the budget or did they think it would make the movie more mysterious or something? Hate to break it to you, but... not so much. Oh, then they add this whole stupid thing at the end about one of the archaeologists explaining about how the alien (or giant ferret) actually shared 70% of our DNA, making them ancestors of the human race (and hence the title). Aliens are our ancestors. Sure. Why not.

Hopefully I didn't say anything that would make you even remotely curious about Alien Origin because it is so not worth the effort. Even if you enjoy found footage like I do, you won't find anything to enjoy with this borefest - especially if you actually want to see some damn aliens.


  1. Yeah, there's a reason why I gave this film to you and didn't watch it myself. It looked like crap.

    Naturally, it was.

    On the plus side, maybe you'll appreciate 'Prometheus.' That film has a lot of haters out there, but I'm sure that more people like it than this, The Asylum's version.

  2. I remember that I wanted to see this when it came out, but then I saw the trailer which looks so generic and so unineresting, I just had to skip =)