Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Round-Up#22


Film Review: The Fourth Kind: No, it's not real. Any of it. Let me explain.

Before The Fourth Kind came out, Universal Pictures pulled out all the stops with an aggressive promotional campaign, claiming that the film was based on true events and that it incorporated real archival footage. Sorry, folks. It turned out to be a hoax. All of it. But that doesn't take away the fact that this is a hugely entertaining thriller. It's dark, suspenseful, and occasionally terrifying. It tells the tale of Dr. Abbey Tyler, a psychiatrist who is out to find out who, or, rather, what killed her husband. Her quest for the truth leads her into a bizarre mystery involving sightings of owls, and nightly visits by omnipotent, malevolent creatures. Director/Co-writer Olatunde Osunsamni uses every trick in the book, visual and narrative, to make a film that is slightly cheesy, yet strangely effective and unsettling. Earnest performances by Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas and Enzo Cilenti also add a touch of class to the proceedings.

So, forget the promotional campaign, forget Jovovich's cheesy intro in which she tells you that it's all real, and sit down and enjoy this film for what it really is: a stylish and entertaining thriller.

Extra! The Voice of the Night by Dean Koontz: This edition's Extra! selection is the novel The Voice of the Night by Dean Koontz. Part horror novel, part psychological thriller, and part coming-of-age tale, this early, atmospheric work by Koontz, is unlike anything he's ever written, and it is one memorable and disturbing tale. Worth dusting off.

That's it for me. So, till next time, keep browsing those shelves.

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