Then the movie switches into “Cloverfield” mode (Jan 18, 2008 on this blog) as it goes back 15 hours and sets the party up, with Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and Elaine (Scottie Thompson). In fact, the movie would be even more effective if shot in dogme with hand-helds, and examined how real people deal with an unknown threat from out of the blue.
The actual extraterrestrial attack is rather overdone. It’s rather like Independence Day. Huge organic octupoid spaceships bud off with little feelers that can probe building, such out people and eat them up.
And I have to say that the sight of people drawn up into the spaceships like moths to a flame, as seen by Jarrod from rear-window-like telescopes. The desertion of the city within an hour or so, with little physical damage, is creepy. But soon the aerial octopuses come looking rather like the SS.
The ending is pretty interesting. Imagine waking up inside the slime of some huge organic vessel, with bodies thrown around you. But if you’re immune, they may give your brain a new body. This sounds like the “warning” originally intended for “Alien”.
Eric Balfour looks “thmooth” – his body waxed absolutely hairless for the movie, and it actually turns out that this is significant – some Freudian games.
Stephen Hawking says we ought to be careful about announcing our presence, because within a few decades aliens from a few dozen light years away could reach us with hostile intentions. It sounds like the equivalent of Chicken Little’s drawing attention to his existence through the Internet.
Seriously, would the power stay on this long? Real aliens would probably knock us out with EMP first.
Movies about how we respond to sudden and unexpected existential perils are inherently interesting. “What would you do?” But the greatest perils are probably more gradual (even like “The Event”). Perhaps the only thing that interacts with Dark Energy is the karma of our own soul or consciousness, and just once in a while breaks in karma release perturbations.
The film comes from Rogue/Relativiy Media, but Universal stuck its own brand on it.
Rogue’s website is this.
For a comparison to Tri-Star's "District 9" see the Movies Blog Aug. 24, 2009.