Thursday, February 26, 2015

EJECTA Movie Review - Javi's Take

Directed by: Chad Archibald and Matt Wiele
Written by: Tony Burgess
Starring: Julian Richings, Lisa Houle and Adam Seybold
Synopsis: A paranoid blogger is kidnapped by a mysterious government agency and interrogated about his supposed alien abduction.

Low budget is usually not a bad thing with horror. As many directors have shown before, the darkness is much more terrifying than anything people can come up with. EJECTA is a very intimate sci-fi horror movie dealing with a secret malevolent group and a paranoid man that's a bit of an Internet legend who talks about an alien abduction he experienced a long time ago. The story is one hell of an efficient production with some good scares but is light on mythology. The movie is written by author Tony Burgess from PONTYPOOL fame, and the similarities between both movies are pretty obvious.

The best part about the movie is its structure where it's told in two parallel stories. The first one deals with a filmmaker Joe Sullivan, who gets contacted by a mysterious man, William Cassady. Cassidy  is a really mysterious figure in the alien abduction community online. He sets up this meeting to finally talk to someone about what  he's experienced ever since he was taken by aliens decades ago. This meeting culminates to a fateful night when it appears that aliens crash land nearby. Out of the actors, Julian Richings, puts on the best performances as Cassidy. He looks and acts the part of a very disturbed man that's lived a hard and haunted life.

This is then intercut with scenes from what happens after that night. Cassady has been taken by an evil military/government agency who try to force him to cooperate through some outlandish forms of torture, what he knows about the alien visitors and his relationship to them. There's some pretty cool dialogue here that implies a lot of back story about this agency, and how much they know about the aliens already. The torture scenes have a tendency of being extreme and strangely enough show the limited budget for special effects here.

The main antagonist is Dr. Tobin, played by Lisa Houle, who was in PONTYPOOL. To be honest, her performance was a little over-the-top, but she seemed to be having fun chewing the scenery. It still bordered on being unintentionally funny.

The parts where the movie really works is when Joe and William were trying to look for and are subsequently pursued by aliens, where you can only see them for a split second on camera. You only get very short glimpses of them, but that's what makes them scarier. What's even worse is you don't really quite know what their end goal is, which adds to the suspense of the movie.

Unfortunately, the movie uses so many well-known horror tropes that it all feels a little too familiar even if that is not the movie's goal. This leads to the movie being somewhat predictable and the movie feels like it lags in the middle third.

EJECTA doesn't really break new ground as a genre movie, but it does well with the what it has. The movie has the potential to have a cult following in a few years much like PONTYPOOL, did but that might be a perspective that only time will allow.

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