ALIEN VALLEY (2012)
So if you have read half of my previous reviews you know by now my disdain for found footage. Yet somehow when the movies come in and we do our picks I always seem to select a found footage film. This go around was no different!! Alien Valley is just that pick, it opens with a warning that reads, “The following film is a compilation of leaked footage, documentary analysis, and material provided by the ALC network.” So let’s just say I was beyond thrilled from the time the credits rolled, but like any movie I went in with an open mind and did not let my mind drift back to the film I hate that started all this found footage hoopla.
The movie opens with a news story about a group of Paranormal investigators, who are in San Luis Valley looking into the more than 20,000 cases of cattle mutilation over the last few decades. We quickly jump to May 31st 2010 and Dave Freeman: Cameraman For Paranormal Mysteries. The film is a VERY slow burner. Which for me made it a very tedious film to get through. Alien Valley has a total run time of 1 hour and 18 minutes with most of the first hour being just interviews and character introduction. If I had gone into the film expecting a ufo-documentry I would have got a bit more enjoyment out of it.
After doing a little bit of research online I did find that since the 1960’s San Luis Valley where the film is based has suffered a string of unsolved cases of cattle mutilation. I wish they would have focused more on this and gave the movie more bases to the idea that it really was found footage. The two “Hosts” of Paranormal Mysteries are Eric who is sort of a Jersey Shore douchebag reject type who I was rooting for to die from the first time he talked. Than the other host is Andrea who was the “hot girl” who they got to be the host just geeky paranormal guy will tune-in and watch.
The movie plays out like a cross between Paranormal Investigators tv show and The Fourth Kind. There is not much I can say good or bad about the film. Personal view I enjoyed the documentary aspect of it as I believe in aliens. As film though it was very slow and drawn out. The other good aspects of the film were the interactions between Eric, Rose, Dave and Andrea, IMDB has most of the cast except Rose has the characters listed as Himself or Herself. So that is most likely why the interaction seemed to be genuine. The film work is not much to discuss as it is found footage so it is not meant to be great camera work. When the movie finally makes the turn from usdo-documentry to found footage it takes off running and does not stop. I was pleasantly surprised and happy that I sat through the first 45 minutes once everything started to happen.
In closing while I am still not a fan of found footage films, they are slowly growing on me. I better understand they make for directors who do not have the big budget for the greatest cameras or the best special effects to put their film to the masses. Alien Valley while it was mundane to start ended up being a found footage film I enjoyed more than some “Big Budget” found footage films. If you were on the fence about buying this movie I say take the plunge as long as you know it is not going to Alien Vs Predator where it grabs you from the start and runs; but it does satisfy in the end.
Reviewed by Shawn