The Horror Movies of Tribeca 2014

04/23/2014 12:42 PM |

Extraterrestrial, Directed by the Vicious Brothers

Extraterrestrial
Directed by the Vicious Brothers

This movie seems less conventional than defiantly conventional—like, it’s a toss-up whether the film is awful or some kind of parody of awful movies. Even if your scoffing was intended by the filmmakers, the laughs are too minor and infrequent to overshadow the sea of blandness they bob around in. Whether terrible or purposefully terrible, turns out the effect is the same.

The alleged thriller (which screens at the festival tonight and Saturday night) begins with a group of vapid friends traipsing off to a weekend of debauchery at a cabin in the woods, a troupe filmmakers should know to retire after Cabin in the Woods skewered it so deftly. (Extraterrestrial even borrows that film’s intro, its heroine gratuitously bouncing around in panties, a promise of luridness it fails to deliver on.) From there, as a marriage proposal is spurned on the grounds that we’re alone in the universe, wouldn’t you know it, aliens crash their UFO nearby and hunt the members of the group.

About those aliens: the Vicious Brothers, who directed the film (and previous festival entry Grave Encounters), offer a creature design so devoid of creativity—South Park uses the same one—that it seems intended as homage. Does that extend to the rest of the film? Is the Syfy-quality acting intentional, or a sign that the actors want to be there even less than we do? The directors do end with their best shot, seemingly done in one long take, but it’s too little—and at least 20 minutes too late.