Hello again, ghosts and ghouls! As many of you probably know, I’m a huge fan of the “X-Files”. Mostly Scully, but my fiance is partial to Mulder – he’s terrified of aliens, and I’m relatively skeptical. Do I believe there’s life on other planets? Absolutely. Do I think they’re little green men with giant eyes? Probably not.
Now, when I go on trips with my friends, I make sure that I know where I’m going, that we have enough gas, and I make sure that the owner of the house isn’t a Bigfoot enthusiast with a map of all the places he’s searched for the monster. No, THE GRACEFIELD INCIDENT is not about Bigfoot (I would’t have agreed to watch it if it was, I think Bigfoot is lame).
A group of friends go on a vacation to a beautiful cabin in the woods (how most horror movies start) where there is no cell reception, and their car is almost out of gas. Sounds reasonable enough, right? It’s just a fun vacation for some friends who have been through a lot, like Matt, who lost his eye and his baby in a tragic car accident. When a large mass drops what looks like a meteorite in the middle of the woods, the group decides to bring it home to examine it. What they don’t know: how important that rock is to a few other beings lurking in the forest…
What’s really cool about this film is they use the accident to make this film a found-footage film like you’ve never seen before. He actually installs a camera in a glass eye, so you’re seeing his recordings as if he’s looking right at the stuff, not through a camera. I’ve never seen anything like it before – it’s genuinely one of the most interesting found-footage tactics I’ve ever seen. Yes, you do get some typical hand-held camera shots, but this definitely made it worth it.
The film itself is horrifying. At one point I really did scream, and I don’t even typically like alien films. For most of the film, it’s totally gut-wrenching and your heart is pounding. The only issue that I have is with the last half hour. It really starts to go off the rails and things become very far-fetched very fast. I’ll give you an example: they use balloons that the aliens left in the woods to hook up their camera to look for crop circles. The balloons are hardly floating in the field (and they’re regular, helium-filled balloons), so how are they floating 1,000 feet in the air with a camera attached…?
There’s also a painfully long shot of the alien that’s SINISTER 2-level cheesy. It looked fine, but it was just too much…the film itself was AMAZING not seeing the aliens or just seeing quick glimpses…this was a straight up CGI alien standing there for almost 5 minutes. It ruins the opportunity for the viewer to make their own idea of whether or not the aliens are more or less terrifying – they show you eeeeeverything.
Other than that last half hour, the film is actually really, really great and I would definitely watch it again. If you’re interested (or scared of) life on other planets, this is a really good watch that keeps you on your toes for the entirety of the film, minus the last 30 minutes, which I still think is very much worth it. I actually think this opened my mind to give other alien-based films a shot!
THE GRACEFIELD INCIDENT will be in select theaters and On Demand/Digital HD July 21, 2017