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John’s Horror Corner: Alien Abduction (2014), a found footage horror that uses all the tropes but packs none of the punch.

April 13, 2014

     alien-abduction-posterMY CALL: This movie captures a good idea, but does so very poorly. There are a couple good scenes here but they are largely outweighed by the bad and the very bad. I give this two disfigured alien thumbs down. MOVIES LIKE Alien Abduction: Some good and not so good alien abduction movies include Skinwalker Ranch (2014; TRAILER HERE), Dark Skies (2013), The Fourth Kind (2009), Fire in the Sky (1993) and Signs (2002). TRAILER: You can find the trailer for this movie in my Horror Trailer Talk.


This found footage film opens with the following caption: “The following is actual leaked footage from the US Air Force.” It’s cute when obviously untrue stories masquerade as true stories just to add mood or generate buzz. The Fourth Kind (2009) had people rushing to Google to check stats of people disappearing and FBI investigations in Gnome, Alaska. They did it well. Although that was about all they did well.

“For centuries, people have been disappearing on and around Brown Mountain, North Carolina. Locals believe the disappearances are directly linked with sightings of THE BROWN MOUNTAIN LIGHTS.” News casts, accounts from locals and witnesses, and testimonials from paranormal experts follow. These segments represent one of few things that were done well in this movie.

A family goes on a camping trip in the Brown Mountains. The parents and kids are somewhat likable, normal people and their trip is filmed by their youngest son. On their first night, the kids see lights in the sky moving in a way no star possibly could.

lights in the sky alien ufo

The acting is far from top notch. When the father gets them lost and loses his temper his behavior is totally unfounded. When they run out of gas (which I don’t see happening on a family road trip into the mountains) the family tension escalates and the father becomes rage-y, again unconvincingly. Then again, even if they nailed their lines, the writing wasn’t great either. They come by several abandoned minivans and SUVs…as if some camping family Rapture had taken them all, leaving their cars and camping gear behind like a scene from The Walking Dead but without the walkers or corpses.


We come across all the standard alien invasion film tropes. Birds becomes disoriented and fly into things creating jump scares, obscured film of extra terrestrial figures in the darkness, lights in the sky, satellite interference, alien mind control telepathy attacks a la Independence Day (1996), aliens examining humans, tractor beams, monstrous alien sounds…you name it, these filmmakers borrowed it.


Almost none of this is executed well. But there is one really cool, brief scene in the entire movie when a tractor beam gets someone, cracking and contorting their body while being levitated.


The aliens follow the most simple of paradigms. They’re tall, lanky, grey-skinned, big-eyed, four-fingered extra terrestrials that sound, at times, like the Predator (1987) mating with a velociraptor while slitting a pig’s throat. Later we hear them communicate with the bubbly blip sounds from Signs (2002).


First-time director Matty Beckerman does a hardly serviceable job delivering an entertaining movie. The biggest faults are clearly found in the writing (also done by a first-time writer) and acting, especially the loner mountain man the family encounters–worst performance in the movie by far. There are some pacing issues as well, with some seriously dull lulls between periods of action. This movie actually goes from okay, to bad as we transition from the first act. It just seems to get worse and worse and the film wears on.


Maybe I’d take a chance at whatever this director does next, but I won’t get my hopes up. At one point in the movie the mother describes Brown Mountain saying “It’s like Deliverance, minus the anal rape.” As far as my enjoyment of this movie goes…well… it’s like Deliverance, with the anal rape. There were short segments of this film that were done well, but too much was poorly for me to recommend this to anyone.


Almost any movie may find both haters and lovers.  For a more favorable second opinion of Alien Abduction 2014, check out the review by Parlor of HorrorThey don’t suck at movie reviews.  I promise.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2014 1:55 pm

    LOL, I am writing my review of this right now and I enjoyed the film. I did think the Father’s acting and reactions were a bit much, but I thought the rest of the characters were played well by their actors. I thought there were quite a few creepy parts and having taken many road trips through different parts of the country since I was a youngster, I related to the atmosphere of the situations. I did include in my review it’s not for everyone though 🙂

    • johnleavengood permalink
      April 13, 2014 2:01 pm

      The Amazon reviews seem to be extremely bipolar (1s and 5s, little in the middle) just like they were with Paranormal Activity. I am not a fan, but the film had its moments. Please post a comment hyperlinking to your review when it’s done. I welcome all opinions.

  2. Victor De Leon permalink
    April 17, 2014 2:42 pm

    Well, I’ve read Mike’s AND yours, so now, I’m on the fence, lol.

    • johnleavengood permalink
      April 18, 2014 8:31 pm

      At the end of the day, we all see pretty much everything. The only difference will truly be how you prioritize it.

  3. April 12, 2020 5:51 am

    Thank you for posting


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  3. Alien Abduction (2014) – movie review | parlor of horror
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  7. John’s Horror Corner: Fire in the Sky (1993), mastering the fascinating terror of alien abduction. | Movies, Films & Flix
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  9. John’s Horror Corner: The McPherson Tape (1989; aka UFO Abduction), a very early found footage film about alien abduction that paved the way for Signs (2002). | Movies, Films & Flix

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