Friday, September 4, 2009

Alien Abduction Flick Stirs Controversy

In what's being called a "Blair Witch style" producion, The Fourth Kind presents as factual, a fictional series of events to explain a very real rash of deaths and disappearances in Nome, Alaska in the first few years of 2000.

Starring Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil, The Fifth Element) as a psychologist brought in to interview troubled locals who share frighteningly similar experiences, the film posits these disappearances may be the work of alien abductors.

However, some - especially in the Nome area - aren't too pleased with the hypothesis NBC Universal will be presenting theater-goers come November 6. Calling it "insensitive" to the family and friends of those missing, local activists who fought hard to get the story to the attention of the media and law enforcement are denouncing the film publicly.

In 2006, the FBI did get involved and eventually ruled out that any type of serial killer had been at work in the region. They concluded that excessive drinking and the harsh winter weather were strong contributing factors in many of these missing persons reports. Despite the intimation that people had vanished into thin air, some of those who died had fallen into the icy Snake River.

From a purely cinematic point-of-view, I must confess the trailer is compelling and makes me want to see the film. I've long been a fan of Milla Jovovich and felt she's a better actress than most of her films will allow. If handled properly, The Fourth Kind could be the next The Mothman Prophecies or Fire in the Sky: that is, a film that transcends the paranormal genre to present a well-crafted story instead of another fright-fest.

If you want to read more about the controversy surrounding this film and how its marketing plays with the truth, you can read a more in-depth article HERE. However, I would take it all with a grain of salt. With guerilla marketing strategies, you can't believe anything - including the controversy.

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