Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Alien Raiders (2008)

Movie quotes:
Seth (Mathew St. Patrick): What the hell what that? Was that Ken?
Ritter (Carlos Bernard): Define ‘Ken’.

At a glance:
Director Ben Rock proves that he can make a tense, entertaining alien horror film with relatively inexperienced actors on a shoestring budget

Our review:
There are plenty of directors who can competently direct action set pieces, but how many of them can also glean commendable performances from B level actors? Ben Rock has impressed on both these counts. On a shoestring budget, he has created a tense, suspenseful alien hunt film. That alone isn’t easy. But he’s also assembled a cast of unknown, low-experience actors, and, working with a script that gives each of them some personality, has shown an understanding of dialogue and how to deliver it.

The premise is simple: a gang breaks into a supermarket. They look like thieves but they are there to find and eliminate an alien creature that, like many of their ilk, burrows into the human body and uses it as a host. The situation for gang leader Ritter (Carlos Bernard) is complicated when his alien spotter is killed, and when he finds that one of his hostages is the step-daughter of the hostage negotiator Seth (Mathew St. Patrick).

This is a perfect example of how to make a suspenseful film on a low budget. Excellent casting pulls obscure actors who deliver effective, sometimes riveting performances, especially from Bernard as Ritter. Mathew St. Patrick’s pedigree emerges as well – he was excellent as a gay lover with a volatile personality on Six Feet Under. Here, he has a little less to work with but he still stamps the role with his intensity.

 Rating: 2.75 of 4

Other reviewers said:
"Suffice to say that Alien Raiders has a few modest surprises up its sleeve, and that's more than most low-budget genre concoctions even attempt."
- Scott Weinberg (FEARnet)

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