Seriously?! Right after watching the travesty that was Area 407, I decided to watch Alien Origin.
One-Line Haiku Review: Mark Atkins does all, see Alien Origin, never get time back.
Alien Origin (2012) – Not Rated
“Recently discovered footage from a lost military expedition exposes some horrifying truths about the genesis of life on earth in this action-packed thriller from writer-director Mark Atkins.”
Yes, Alien Origin is another of those insipid found footage films. Sigh. At least this one takes place in Belize and there are a few nice nature shots.
I swear I am not making this up. Mark Atkins is not only the writer and director but also the cinematographer, editor, visual effects artist, and composer of Alien Origin. His quality of work may be poor but you cannot fault his quantity. I wonder if he collected separate paychecks for each of his hats.
Now as for writing, this movie is simply Predator meets Quarantine. The plot is that a journalist is embedded with some troops going on a mission (a la Quarantine) that goes badly when they encounter an alien. Apparently there wasn’t enough story so the characters who produce the found footage continuously come across found footage of their own.
Speaking of Quarantine, I forgot to mention that movie in my found footage rant. I really enjoyed Quarantine and for those who don’t know Quarantine is an almost shot-for-shot remake of the excellent Spanish horror film [REC]. There were sequels to each of those. [REC]2 is an excellent and very tense sequel but Quarantine 2 is just campy and gory, losing all tension but still a guilty pleasure.
In addition to all of this, found footage made the leap to television last season with The River. I think that I might have liked The River if it hadn’t been for the found footage angle. It also didn’t fare well with the public.
So let us see if Alien Origin hits all the highlights of the found footage genre:
Annoying shaky cam – CHECK
No name stars (presumably this adds to the ‘realism’ quotient) – CHECK
Terrible dialogue (aka ‘natural speak’) – CHECK
Poor special effects obscured by camera angles – CHECK
Overuse of zoom lens – CHECK
Poor sound resulting in incomprehensible dialogue – CHECK
Augmented night vision cam – CHECK
Pointless camera focusing on something that looks neat but has nothing to do with the plot – CHECK
Short running time that feels like eternity – CHECK
Augh! I get through this whole movie and then find out that it was made by Asylum. I think the MPAA should add a rating specifically for Asylum movies so everyone can steer clear.