CATEGORIES Reviews
Ten years after 'The Blair Witch Project' frightened (and fooled) a massive audience with grainy, hand-held, "found" footage, it seems we're having another pseudo-documentary thriller moment. With 'Paranomal Activity' pulling in more than $87 million (and counting) at the box office, everyone wants a piece of that low-tech, high-profit action.

Filmed with a decidedly higher budget, the new thriller 'The Fourth Kind' mixes "archival" footage with "reenactments" to investigate a series of purported alien abductions in Nome, Alaska. The film stars Milla Jovovich as Dr. Abigail Tyler, a psychologist who, while videotaping her sessions with a series of traumatized patients, documents the disturbing "evidence" seen in the film. Ten years after 'The Blair Witch Project' frightened (and fooled) a massive audience with grainy, hand-held, "found" footage, it seems we're having another pseudo-documentary thriller moment. With 'Paranomal Activity' pulling in more than $87 million (and counting) at the box office, everyone wants a piece of that low-tech, high-profit action.

Filmed with a decidedly higher budget, the new thriller 'The Fourth Kind' mixes "archival" footage with "reenactments" to investigate a series of purported alien abductions in Nome, Alaska. The film stars Milla Jovovich as Dr. Abigail Tyler, a psychologist who, while videotaping her sessions with a series of traumatized patients, documents the disturbing "evidence" seen in the film.

So is the footage real or is it all a hoax? Or perhaps the bigger question is, will 'Paranormal's' audience be wooed by that same bag of tricks? Jovovich has a solid track record luring sci-fi fans with her role in the 'Resident Evil' franchise, but if audiences heed critics then 'The Fourth Kind' might have a eerily quiet weekend at the box office.

Here's what the reviewers are saying:

Village Voice
: Even the we-are-not-alone crowd may be forced to concede that the only thing one senses lurking beyond the edges of 'The Fourth Kind's' frame is a PA holding a reflector board.

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
: 'The Fourth Kind' is a pseudo-documentary like "Paranormal Activity" and "The Blair Witch Project." But unlike those two, which just forge ahead with their home video cameras, this one encumbers its flow with ceaseless reminders that it is a dramatization of real events.

Hollywood Reporter: While writer-director Olatunde Osunsanmi puts a lot of work into the film's "is it or isn't it" (as in a hoax) conceit, the gimmick proves more distracting than disturbing.

Variety: "The Fourth Kind" none too cleverly bids to pass off mock-documentary footage of levitating psychological patients--and, scarier still, ordinary talking heads--as the real deal.

Entertainment Weekly: 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.

Daily Variety: Even the most gullible auds will be challenged to buy into the pic, billed as "based on the actual case studies" and, in any case, rendered rather boring by writer-director Olatunde Osunsanmi.