The Fourth Kind It's been established that Paramount came close to remaking Paranormal Activity with movie stars and then releasing that version in place of the no-budget original.… The Fourth Kind It's been established that Paramount came close to remaking Paranormal Activity with movie stars and then releasing that version in place of the no-budget original.… 2009-11-06 PG-13 PT98M Horror Mystery and Thriller Milla Jovovich Corey Johnson Will Patton Universal
Movie Review

The Fourth Kind (2009)

MPAA Rating: PG-13
Milla Jovovich, The Fourth Kind | NIGHTMARE SCENARIOS Milla Jovovich and Enzo Cilenti cope with things that go bump in the night in The Fourth Kind
Image credit: Simon Vesrano
NIGHTMARE SCENARIOS Milla Jovovich and Enzo Cilenti cope with things that go bump in the night in The Fourth Kind
EW's GRADE
C

Details Release Date: Nov 06, 2009; Rated: PG-13; Length: 98 Minutes; Genres: Horror, Mystery and Thriller; With: Milla Jovovich; Distributor: Universal

It's been established that Paramount came close to remaking Paranormal Activity with movie stars and then releasing that version in place of the no-budget original. Had the studio followed through on that blundery plan, it's possible that the result would have looked something like The Fourth Kind, an alien-abduction thriller that flirts with the sort of ''reality''-based fear factor that is likely to become the new vogue in horror. Except that the movie, weirdly, has one foot in each camp: scary-real and glossy-fake.

At moments, we see what is purported to be documentary footage of ordinary people in Nome, Alaska, as they experience alien encounters. The screaming and (at one point) levitating are creepy and unsettling in a power-of-suggestion, could this be authentic? way. So are scenes with a spooky waif of a psychologist (she's like Carol Kane playing Joyce Carol Oates) who recalls the violent death of her husband. But wait…the film zigzags between these ''actual'' events, which are shivery to see, and an overtly staged Hollywood version in which Milla Jovovich plays the psychologist and the ''real'' scenes are reenacted. This is meant to make the ''documentary'' stuff look more real, but it just hits you over the head with the fact that the movie itself is a cornball contrivance — and a draggy, rote, and listless one at that. Too often, The Fourth Kind makes the paranormal look disappointingly normal. C

See all of this week's reviews

Originally posted Nov 04, 2009 Published in issue #1075 Nov 13, 2009 Order article reprints