The Fourth Kind Review

Published 5 years ago by

Short Version: IF you let it draw you in with its factual approach, The Fourth Kind will creep you out more than Paranormal Activity.

the fourth kind review The Fourth Kind Review
Screen Rant reviews The Fourth Kind

After the extreme split in opinions on Paranormal Activity (I liked it), I was curious to see The Fourth Kind to see which side of the fence I fell on. I can understand how you can either love or hate the former, and I have a feeling something similar will happen with this film: Either you buy into the whole premise and let it suck you in, or you stand back and call B.S. on the whole thing.

The Fourth Kind opens unexpectedly, with Milla Jovovich as herself talking plainly to the audience. She speaks matter of factly and seriously, telling us the details upon which the film we are about to see are based. In addition to actors portraying real people (most of whom will have their names changed in the film) there will be scenes of actual video shot during the events portrayed in the movie. It will be disturbing, she tells us.

What will be so disturbing? The account of Alaskan psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler (played by Milla), taken from her notes, videotapes (and a personal interview by director Olatunde Osunsanmi) which tells the story of the strange nocturnal experiences of a number of residents of Nome Alaska in the Summer/Fall of 2000. A number of townsfolk have all been experiencing the same unique visions and sleeplessness at night – similar in details that could not be coincidental, and they’ve individually turned to her for help in determining what these things mean.

They all share visions of being watched by a strange white owl in the middle of the night. This sounds goofy, but when they intercut footage of the actual people in her office relating their story – each on their own and each story with the same details – the creepiness factor starts to escalate. And it only gets worse as Dr. Tyler delves deeper into their psyches to unearth buried details via hypnosis.

What starts her down the path of “something really weird is going on” is the fact that going back to the 1960s there have been (for a town of its size) an awful lot of unexplained missing people in Nome. The FBI has gone out multiple times to try and find answers and has always come up blank. One of her sessions leads to a very tragic event, putting her at odds with the town sheriff who believes she is stirring people up and causing harm. Eventually things come to a head, get really crazy and out of hand, and bring us to the present day interview that is threaded throughout the film.

The creep factor comes in from assuming that what you’re watching is, in fact, true and that the homemade videos are all in fact legitimate. However I will say that the farther you get into the film the more you have to suspend your disbelief – especially with some of what appears in the supposedly real camcorder footage. I won’t give anything away, but you’ll understand if you see the movie.

If you don’t buy into that concept at least a little bit, then The Fourth Kind will leave you as cold as Paranormal Activity did for people who didn’t go along for the ride with that film. However if you let it get in your head, I think you’ll find that The Fourth Kind is even more effective at freaking you out and causing you some nervousness after you turn off the last light at night and head off to bed.

Our Rating:

3.5 out of 5
(Very Good)

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  1. totally loved this movie.
    don’t care if it’s real or fake or somewhere in between, this movie creeped me out more than anything i’ve seen in along time.
    (i’m one of the rare people who neither loved nor hated PA.)
    i thought the stuff they did with the video footage was really unlike anything i’ve seen before and i found it to be a very powerful storytelling device.

    interesting that most mainstream critics are bashing it, but most of the user reviews i’ve seen are far more positive than negative. always interesting to see which films create that sort of split…

    i’m really glad i went to see this one early. much like PA, i think people who have seen the fourth kind are going to be talking about it a lot after. it’s one of those movies that sticks with you and brings out a lot of opinions in people. which always strikes me as a nice bonus when i see a film.

  2. @ziggy, I’m really curious, what did you like about the split screen thing?
    I found it really distracting and unnessecary. Thought it would be a lot better if it was either just ‘mockdoc’ or thriller, but the hybrid thing seemed really awkward without adding anything. I cant say its a style I’d care to see repeated

  3. Thank you James. Your forthright comments without impudence or rancor are appreciated as well. Your right I haven’t seen the movie. No movie is made in a vacuum of rules or guides though. Yes I’m trying to understand enough about the story to see if I want to rent it. I’ve already determined , with your help, that I’m not going to the theater to see it. It’s done in a pseudo documentary style from what everyone has said. If you haven’t seen the following movies they are worth renting; “Apocalypse Now:Redux,” “Eraserhead,” “Twin Peaks the series,” “Tarkovsky’s Stalker & Solaris,” “Naked Lunch,” and don’t forget to catch this;

    ScreenRant should get around to it eventually. One of the few movies that use the multi screen technique is “Andromeda Strain” and I think “Fantastic Voyage” too.

  4. I’ve just read through this entire thread… and I am asking myself: “Myself, did I just read an entire thread of people arguing whether this film used real archival footage or not?”

    I’m amazed that ANYONE could even have the slightest suspicions as to the authenticity of the “archival footage” in this film.

    Its a horror movie. Good or bad, it’s just a horror movie.

    If all this stuff were actually “archival footage”, there would be congressional hearings, an FBI task force, etc…

    Not “now playing at a cineplex near you!”

    Are people REALLY that gullible?

  5. @Mike E,,,
    It was billed as real footage. Knowing that it was more than likely staged I was willing to suspend disbelief while watching the film. As I stated, my opinion of the film depended on the footage being real. As it stands now it looks like we’ve all be taken for a ride and regrettably the field of alien abduction continues to be looked on by the mainstream as a huge conspiracy or hoax…
    You also said:
    “If all this stuff were actually “archival footage”, there would be congressional hearings, an FBI task force, etc…”
    Not really Mike as child abductions and murder suicides take place all the time. New Mexico has the highest rate of missing children in the US as well as one of the highest rates of ufo sightings…
    The FBI knows what’s really going on and they’re not going to investigate it,,, The real Fox Mulder’s and Dana Scully’s don’t rock the boat,,,

  6. @james
    i thought having to decide where to look made me more involved in the movie. your mind becomes more active as you process the different images, the story, and question how real is “real”.
    i agree, it’s not a style that needs to be repeated. or at least not in the same way. a novelty to be sure. but unique and worked to present the film in a different way.
    i wouldn’t want other tv shows to use the same techniques that 24 does. but for the purposes of what they’re doing it’s novel and effective. i think same applies to this movie.

  7. Just came back from viewing the movie.

    The split screen wasn’t too bad. I liked seeing the footage from 2000 while seeing how they acted it out.

    The movie was ok imo but entertaining in an x-files type of way. My main feeling leaving the theater was that I just felt bad for the mother and the family but the mom was obviously just insane. Other than that, I didn’t take much from it.

    Wait for video.

  8. Have you ever been afraid?

    I mean truly in fear, lost in the woods in an unknown location by yourself late at night with no idea which way to walk so you don’t move until dawn?

    Or put it this way, you are standing on the 30th floor of a building. You are in the window sill and looking down at the people and street below, nervousness sets in, your heart starts beating faster. A man yells at you from behind, you turn just in time to see him throwing a metal chair at you. You duck, it smashes into the window, and shards of glass sting you as they hit your face. You are off balance, in shock and he runs up and tries to push you out the window. You can see the street below now, hear the sounds of the outside world, and feel the wind on your face. It is cold today you think, oddly, as the nervousness becomes absolute fear. The man is so enraged and hitting you so many times you know you are going to die. Your death will be after the fall, you think to yourself.

    Next Friday night I am having a party at my family’s high-rise office building in downtown Charlotte. I would like you all to email me your S.S.N., home address, telephone number and a brief write up about yourselves. One lucky winner will get to come with me as my personal guest!

    How many of you will do that for me? What was the point?

    If you know nothing about alien abduction…if you are afraid of the dark, or being lost. Do not seek out this evil.

    “All our knowledge merely helps us to die a more painful death than animals that know nothing.”
    -Maurice Maeterlinck

    On the other hand if you are a “buff” all I can say is…vacation in the Caymans. Alaska has too much downside risk.

    “When you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back at you”
    -Friedrich Nietzsche

    Which Kind are you?


  9. @Dave Mowers, if your a buff, you know that some of these beings feed off of fear,,,

    Which kind are you?

  10. Unfortunately, members of Skull and Bones are not allowed to answer that question. I am displaying my horned hand signal to you though! Ding….sorry my child treat just finished in the oven..gotta go.

  11. Lol, how are things at Harvard these days?

  12. You know the usual, professors studying and proving with study how to justify stealing your money in the name of capitalism. Hey, there’s good money in this racket. Pst…Yale Society SAB.

    Now SLEEP…Edi Mene Onk

  13. “””Btw, how the hell did this guy know they were speaking sumarian? Nobody knows what sumarian sounds like spoken. IF real you would think these recordings would be a linguists or anthropologists wet dream.

    Man, I could go on”””

    uneducated America, some research on the EVENTS of this film, and more confusing stuff at this point wouldent matter if the film is fake or not, because there is alot of FACTS in that film to make it believeable.

    Sumerian is a MUCH older version of Aramaic, which is a older version of assyrian, assyrian is the current language of…yup you guessed it, assyrians..i AM assyrian, my ancestors where descendants of Sumerians. the sculptures of men in space suits are all real artifacts, and is it a coincidence that sumerians where worshipers of the stars and during the SAME time of there worship of stars, those artifacts date back to the same time…

    think of it this way… ancient sumerian language, you will find bits and pieces of it, now remember what the alien was saying…..sounds extreamly familiar right?…

    anyways fake or not, this film was very interesting if you know your history facts right…this movie had alot of them!

  14. @conbot
    its Hilarius that u anticipate transformers 3 lol

  15. I haven’t seen this either but would anyone honestly go into this believing that it might somewhat be plausible?? Have none of you learned your lessons from blair witch? If they were showing actual abduction footage or footage of little green men than wouldn’t that make it to the news first rather than your local theater… But hey it’s not a crime to WANT to believe :)

  16. @Fenix, the footage was very convincing and doesn’t contain any little green men.

    Maybe you should see it first before you critique it?

  17. Yea obviously I wasn’t really expecting actual green men. I guess it tough to emote sarcasm on a board…. I don’t care how convincing it was guy.. its a movie. Nothing you can say will change my opinion on THAT. The movie looks entertaining tho and I’m into ETs and stuff so i’ll check it out. This is random but I watched a good scary movie last night called The Descent. Best horror/thriller I’ve seen in years. I actually was thinking about the movie as I went to sleep which I never do and it honestly scared me a little.

  18. Fenix says: “I don’t care how convincing it was guy.. its a movie.”
    So is a documentary.

    Adrain says: “there is a lot of FACTS in that film to make it believable.” The best Pseudo Documentaries do. Nice to have someone that knows a little about the Sumerian language comment about it. Knew it was being mistaken as something impossible…

  19. I heard the story above of people being abducted there in NOME, Alaska but it was not that person that is mentioned. The way I heard (while living in Alaska for the past 5 years)was that there were some aliens that landed there and that the ones involved were the Chief of one of the tribes…….Killed his family. Also that he even killed one of the aliens there. That also there were many FBI agents there thereafter.
    The Aliens had abducted a lot of people in NOME. I have to ask my father-in-law more about it though. He and his family are all from there.
    One of the only places that I did not travel to in Alaska was Nome. Glad I didnt. Scary movie and when I was traveling it was during those times that the movie was saying the audio was recorded. I got to see more places in Alaska then most people that have lived there all their lives have. Beautiful, beautiful places there in Alaska.

  20. well, the language is almost impossible, they haven’t figured out all the words yet, even Aramaic is little known.

    the movie is very factual, and i am perusing a degree in sumerian language and history..good to know where your ancestors came from. if you would like very interesting facts on the things in the movie, email me and i would gladly enlighten you on some pretty cool things.

  21. @adrian….Stupid American? WTF was that for?
    Well stupid ‘what ever you are’ Sumarian is NOT an older version of Aramaic. It simply isnt. Who ever told you that was full of it, and I guess you believed them….so put that in your smart little pipe and smoke it.

    Second, nobody speaks Sumarian. We only know it indirectly and are reconstructing it from a very imperfect mnemonic writing system which had not been basically aimed at the rendering of morphophonemics.
    So no, you would not just recognize sumarian if someone started speaking it….Do you? Because please, there is a nobel prize waiting for you.

    Now, next time you start calling some one stupid, you might want to do it without saying something completely wrong and stupid like “Sumerian is a much older version of Aramaic”….go read a book, professor.

  22. Seriously dude, you are perusing a degree in Sumerian language and history and you Think Sumarian is an older form of Aramaic? I mean, that is so completely wrong, I dont even know where you got it from. They arent related at all.
    Man, I hope you read this so I can save you from flunking out of school.

    While we’re on the subject, how about this…The professor in the film keeps referring to Sumarian as the ‘oldest language in the world’…when that’s not even true, its the oldest WRITTEN language we know of. And even this may not be so, since the discovery of the Tataria Tablets in Romania that predate Sumarian Cuneiform by a thousand years. Regardless, Writing is not equal to speaking, and languages had existed for thousands of years before Sumarian civilization.

    Your Friend,
    James the Educated American

  23. james, sorry that i said a older form of Aramaic, i typed that pretty late at night. i ment too say, assyrians are pretty much descendants from Sumerians. alot of assyrian words have roots to sumerian, also our religion is the same as sumerian(worshiping stars turned too christians) and even our sun(AN..pronounced AH-N) is in our flag. and our clothing had a very tight resemblance. and yes its the oldest written language, but sumerians invented the alphabet, and time keeping(a day to 24 hours, and a hour to 60 minuets). i am glad you are a educated american.

    but some things are off, you cannot tell me my language that i speak every day does not have roots too sumerian. and my culture has its roots too the sumerian’s also.
    coincidence that our nation was right where the sumerian citys were of uruk and ur..babylon?

    alas, good argument, and thank you for catching me on my mistake.

  24. and like i said james, you failed yet again, because assyrian words have there roots too sumerian…and Aramaic sounded very very close too sumerian, the very few OLDER assyrians know how to speak Aramaic, the words are close too what they have in sumerian.
    you look assyrians lived in the meso. era, if you look too your right you will see, sumer and then you will see down the list Assyria.

    “First, some definitions: Mesopotamia, in general, refers to the area of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Assyria, was the northern portion of Mesopotamia, who’s capital was Ashur (until 883 BCE, when it was moved to Calah/Nimrud) and whose reach included the major city of Nineveh (Ninua). Sumer refers to the southern delta region, whose primary cities included Ur, Uruk, and Eridu. Akkad was a region north of Sumer which included the area around modern Baghdad as well as the ancient sites of Babylon, Kish, and Nippur.”

    now look at how assyrian and sumer sound similar? nineveh is (ninua is how its pronounced in assyrian)and now sumer which has eridu, ur, uruk. assyrian also was calah/nimrud(nim-rood)

    and we all lived around the same times.
    when they tell you aincent assyrians did this or that, normally you see sometimes artifacts from sumerians, the wheel they say was invented by sumerians, further looking you see it was also invented by assyrians by some people.
    thoes are the only two “counties” that are said to have invented the wheel.

    assyrians arent sumerian par se, but we have blood lines through them.. i might have 1% sumerian in me like millions of other assyrians in the world. a ancient person.

  25. I didn’t realize my Western Civ Proff read screenrant too….

  26. An Anu
    Ki/Ninhursag Aruru, Mammi
    Enlil Ellil
    Enki Ea
    Nanna Sin
    Inanna Ishtar
    Utu Shamash
    Ninlil Mullitu, Mylitta

    are you finished arguing with me?
    first list is sumerian, second is assyrian.
    inanna is the Babylonian and Assyrian goddess of love and fertility and war, ishtar is our version of saying it.

    so how do you pronounce sumerian words?

    look at assyrian “anu”….pronounced AHN-oO….now take away the U and you have “AHN”
    watch the history channel, they have it on that also.

    sorry, american, but thousands of years of assyrian heritage compared to what moderns have JUST found. scary isent it? your talking to a person who has a bloodline in the past tense.
    who in 4 generations (400) years before america was …america, my great great great great gramps was in present day iraq, which was once assyria, which was once partialy sumer.
    im done, i’ve presented enough facts.
    listen to me, or listen to what the internet says.

    what you believe…….is YOURs to decide.

  27. Adrian,

    I believe that an educated person never underestimates a group of people. Neither would an educated individual think that his bloodline dictates his level of knowledge.

    But back to the main subject at hand, The Fourth Kind.

    You stated this;
    “anyways fake or not, this film was very interesting if you know your history facts right…this movie had alot of them!”

    I’m curious, what other FACTS are presented in this movie other than the whole Sumerian language/history issue?

  28. @adrian, I’m actually a really nice guy :), but the condescending little tone you wanted to come at me with is the reason I’m talking down to you.

    And no, no matter how much you want to wish it so Assyrian does not have roots with Sumarian, it shares roots with Akkadian, which was a completely different language with completely different roots. They both adopted cuneiform from the Sumarians because that was dominant system of writing in the area (and that does not make them anymore related than Polish and Malay, which both currently use the Latin Alphabet). However, Aramaic had its own alphabet based on the Phoenician script (you do know that that language came from the Fertile Crescent area, not Mesopotamia, right?).

    I’ll give you the simple version, because I dont feel like writing term papers on screen rants. There were Sumarians, they spoke a language which was what is known as a language isolate. They were NOT a Semitic and spoke a non Semitic language. They were later conquered by the Akkadians, who were a semitic people who spoke a semitic language, and Akkadian became the lingua franca of the region (replacing Sumarian). Assyrian and Babylonian have their roots in Akkadian. Aramaic is also a semitic language and shares that with Akkadian and Assyrian. Which all has NOTHING to do with Sumarian. The fact that Akkad conquered Sumar, does not make Akkadian the same thing or even related to Sumarian. I think this is where your confusion is from. Maybe You are confusing Akkadian and Sumarian. Who knows? Maybe your obsession over some genealogical mythology is clouding your thinking.

    “thousands of years of assyrian heritage”…means nothing. My great great great grandpappy was a Turk, so what, doesnt make me an expert on Troy. Personally, Its kind of sad that people have to wrap themselves up in some ancestral mythology (5000 years ago there was a civilization there, and you act like you had something to do with it…lol, in reality its as much your actual heritage as it is mine). I never got that…does believing you may have a Sumarian ancestor from 5000 years ago actually make you feel special? Ah, whatever.

    Anyway, I’ve actually been to Ur several times (near modern Nasiriyah), and would have loved to discuss this stuff with you in a nicer way in a different forum… But you want to get all undeservably pompous with your ‘uneducated American’ stuff…I’ll knock you back to the Gutian period.

  29. Ziggy rules, and as far as this goes..

    “I’m curious, what other FACTS are presented in this movie other than the whole Sumerian language/history issue?”

    Imagine you are involved at any level with what is claimed to have occurred in the film. Would you really keep pushing it? Really? Even if you are FBI you are not stupid, screw saving lives and doing your job when you are up against something like this, ever see The Entity?

    Everyone involved in that ordeal gave up on that poor woman and wants nothing to do with a supernatural power that can KILL you at will.

    How is this for a fact, who cares what it is doing this or why or finding out any evidence, screw that. the He!! with Nome, Alaska.

    Whether or not it really happened no one who came against this thing will EVER want to talk about it and that is not the issue. The issue is that this was a damn good movie. If you are into the “alien thing” then…

    James made Adrian’s point by the way, all languages came from somewhere and Sumerian is the oldest known. Assyrian, Akkadian- whatever.


    I am descended from the middle-eastern tribe of Conan who is responsible for the destruction of Assyrians, and subsequent enslavement therefore I cannot really be on Adrian’s side due to the whole family member killing your ancestors thing.