By: Wonko The Sane (Six Pack) –
A Journalist follows a Belizean Special Forces Unit into the jungle to cover an anti-drug expedition. In the midst of the misson they encounter an unseen force that is hunting them. Could they be Aliens, or an early form of humanity itself, under-evolved and evil? And how exactly is it that we’ve never encountered these creatures before if the area they’re operating in has seen heavy traffic from both the paramilitary and smugglers?
Please don’t think about that last sentence too long… or brain fluid will start gushing from your tear ducts.
Well, they tried. I mean, the filmmakers are in a real jungle, with a cast of soldiers who seem legitimate enough. And the Jaws approach tends to be best when you don’t have the budget to make a decent looking monster. But honestly…
One of the biggest problems with all “found footage” movies is the danger of boredom. A good film employing this technique uses quiet moments to build tension or for character development. In this case, the quiet moments seem to exist almost solely to pad the running time. Eventually the pattern devolves into; “Walk around, find something strange, shoot at unseen stuff.”
I have no idea whether some of the soldiers are actually from Belize, but what is certain is that their accents are near incoherent. Additionally, it feels like the dialog was improvised on set, without sufficient time to make it seem natural. I wouldn’t be surprised if the production was so rushed as to not have a working script, with the filmmakers shooting random locations. The editing style feels only a little more coherent than dropping a film can and a sack of wet cement into a dishwasher.
And the story was clearly doctored at the last second to add a few tacit connections to Prometheus in order to market the film. Which makes it all the more interesting that the plot bears more resemblance to Predator. This puts the film in the same tradition of the Asylum’s Transmorphers, which is really a rip off of the Terminator franchise (although if you want to be generous you could argue that Terminator Salvation ended up ripping off of Transmorphers… kind of).
Come to think of it, Transmorphers is a hell of a lot more fun than Alien Origin… Check it out.
While I credit the film for shooting in a nice location, I still take issue with the use of CGI effects. This is something I am more than forgiving of in their sillier releases (In that case the insanely bad CGI is often a positive boon). However, this movie feels intended to be legitimately scary, and inexpensive CGI effects are rarely real enough for me to suspend disbelief. It might have taken a little more time and money, but with a bit more effort the film might have stood a chance against B-Grade horror, instead of staying relegated to Z-Level failure.
On a similar topic, there are moments in the movie where they try to make the film look washed out, or grainy, and like every other Asylum found-footage movie, they make no effort for it to appear more convincing than an iMovie effect.
Make it a whole Keg…
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for shots of people walking through the woods, an Asylum trademark.
Take a Drink: when you can’t understand what the soldiers are saying
Take a Drink: when they shoot at something you don’t see
Drink a Shot: Whenever you get bored (warning: results may vary, drink responsibly)