Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

[Review] THE ALIEN REPORT [Unnamed Footage Festival]: Unique Found Footage Science Fiction Effort Belies Its Lower Budget

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 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

The Alien Report screened as part of Unnamed Footage Festival, which took place March 17–20, 2022 in San Francisco, California.

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.
Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5. He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.