Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Fourth Kind (2009)

The Fourth Kind is a 2009 American mockumentary science fiction-thriller directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi, starring Milla Jovovich, Charlotte Milchard, Elias Koteas, Will Patton, and Mia McKenna-Bruce. The title is derived from the expansion of J. Allen Hynek's classification of close encounters with aliens, in which the fourth kind denotes alien abductions.

The film purports to be based on actual events occurring in Nome, Alaska in 2000, in which psychologist Dr. Abigail Emily "Abbey" Tyler uses hypnosis to uncover memories from her patients of alien abduction, and finds evidence suggesting that she may have been abducted as well. The film has two components: dramatization, in which professional actors portray the individuals involved, and video footage purporting to show the actual victims undergoing hypnosis. (At some points in the film, the "actual" and dramatized footage is presented alongside each other in split-screen.) Throughout the film, Abbey is shown being interviewed on television during 2002, two years after the abductions occurred.

The film was a box office success, earning US$47.46 million worldwide, from an estimated $10 million budget.

The Plot

Chapman University hosts a televised interview with psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler (Charlotte Milchard & Milla Jovovich). She tells a story of a close encounter incident at Nome, Alaska, in October 2000.

In August 2000, Tyler's husband, Will Jammeson, is mysteriously murdered one night in his sleep, leaving her to raise their two children, Ashley (Mia McKenna-Bruce) and Ronnie (Raphael Coleman).

Tyler tapes hypnotherapy sessions with three different patients, all of whom have the same experience: every night they see a white owl staring at them through their windows. Tyler puts two of the three patients under hypnosis, and while under, both patients recount similar terrifying stories of creatures attempting to enter their homes. Tommy Fisher (Corey Johnson), her first patient to go under hypnosis, returns home, kills his family and commits suicide.

After hearing the similarities in the accounts of nightly occurrences, Abbey suspects these patients may have been victims of a non-human kidnapping. There is evidence that she herself may have been abducted. Dr. Abel Campos (Elias Koteas), a psychologist from Anchorage and Tyler's colleague, is suspicious of the claims. Later, Tyler calls upon Dr. Odusami (Hakeem Kae-Kazim), a specialist in ancient languages who was a contact of her late husband, to identify the mysterious language that is spoken during the supposed abductions. Odusami identifies the language as Sumerian.

Later, Tyler's daughter, Ashley, is abducted and Sheriff August (Will Patton), not believing in her abduction theory, accuses her of her daughter's disappearance. Tyler undergoes hypnosis in an attempt to make contact with these beings and reunite with her daughter. Campos and Odusami videotape the session, and once hypnotized, it is revealed that Tyler witnessed the abduction of her daughter. The camera scrambles, sounds of violence are heard in the background, and a volatile voice yells "Zimabu Eter!" which supposedly translates to "Spirit from whom you cannot be saved" in English.

The film cuts to an interview with Tyler in which she explains that all three were abducted during that hypnosis session and none have memory of what happened.

The film returns to the aftermath of Abbey's hypnosis session. She wakes up in a hospital after breaking her neck in the abduction. There, Sheriff August reveals that Will had actually committed suicide, showing that Abbey's belief that he was murdered was merely a delusion. Later it is shown that Abbey is paralyzed, presumably due to her neck injury.

In the film's epilogue, it states that Abbey was cleared of all charges against her, leaves Alaska for the East Coast, but still continues to search for Ashley. Campos remains a psychologist and Odusami becomes a professor at a Canadian university. Both men, as well as Sheriff August refuse to be involved with the interview, while Abbey's son Ronnie remains estranged from Abbey and still blames her for Ashley's disappearance. However, Ashley is never found. The TV host then leaves the conclusions up to the viewer.

During the credits, audio recordings of people recounting UFO sightings begin to play.


The Fourth Kind was panned by critics, garnering a 17% rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with the site's consensus being "While it boasts a handful of shocks, The Fourth Kind is hokey and clumsy and makes its close encounters seem eerily mundane." IMDb rated the movie with an average 5.9 out of 10, based on 272 reviews and Metacritic rated it with 34 out of 100 based on 27 reviews.

The Cast

Milla Jovovich as Abbey Tyler / Herself
 Will Patton as Sheriff August
 Hakeem Kae-Kazim as Awolowa Odusami
 Corey Johnson as Tommy Fisher
 Enzo Cilenti as Scott Stracinsky
 Elias Koteas as Abel Campos
 Eric Loren as Deputy Ryan
 Mia McKenna-Bruce as Ashley Tyler
 Raphaël Coleman as Ronnie Tyler
 Daphne Alexander as Theresa
 Alisha Seaton as Cindy Stracinski
 Tyne Rafaeli as Sarah Fisher
 Paul Stefanov as Timothy Fisher
 Kiera McMaster as Joe Fisher
 Sara Houghton as Jessica
 Julian Vergov as Will Tyler
 Yoan Karamfilov as Ralph
 Charlotte Milchard as Dr. Abigail Tyler

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