Writer/director Patrick Donnelly’s The Alien Report (2022) is one of the most ambitious and best-looking found footage features in recent memory. Boasting high-quality practical and visual effects, including terrific footage of creepy extraterrestrials, the film is well worth seeking out.
Braxton Hale stars as the unnamed narrator, a teenaged alien abductee who has planted tiny cameras on his body to record his close encounters of the fourth kind, as well as his run-ins with Men in Black — and his unfortunate encounters with people who he has mistaken for those mysterious entities. Though this protagonist’s story begins with the expected “nobody believes me” slant, his character gains more depth as the film moves on, and Hale does a fine job of portraying an emotionally troubled, psychologically scarred youngster who has gone through some truly scary ordeals.
The narrator promises revealing footage of the aliens at work, and Donnelly and his crew members deliver on this big time. Unlike many found footage films, The Alien Report doesn’t skimp on showing the creatures, nor does it make viewers wait until the final few frames for a first — and last — reveal, if any. The super work from Visual Effects Supervisor Dan Walden and SFX Makeup Artists Catherine Woods, J. Anthony Kosar, and Anna Cali is on display from early in the proceedings, and shown quite frequently. DP Kevin Schroeder captures everything marvelously.
The climax goes out there, in more ways than one. Avoiding spoilers, it’s visually trippy and takes viewers to an unexpected place.
The Alien Report aims high and the result is a quality science fiction chiller offering some truly unsettling and eerie imagery and circumstances. Well acted by a sizable cast and helmed impressively by Donnelly, the film is a fine example of solid filmmaking on a microbudget.
For more information, visit https://earthsdreamland.com/alienreport.html.(3.5 / 5)
The Alien Report screened as part of Unnamed Footage Festival, which took place March 17–20, 2022 in San Francisco, California.