Every sub genre in the horror films have its cycles, and while I think that the zombie theme could use a little rest (Just like demonic/paranormal possessions) it’s great to see that slowly, but surely the genre of the visitors from outer space is having a comeback. I just had the chance to see a interesting film called “Ejecta” and boy, I’m glad I did.
In this movie we meet William, a reclusive hermit that is also a legend on the internet due his conspiracy theories, and after years of hiding his true identity decides to contact Joe, a documentary filmmaker, to discuss the experience he had long time ago when he was abducted by aliens, and the consequences of that encounter. That night in the middle of a solar storm, a strange object falls from the sky near Will’s house, and when he and Joe decide go into the woods to document the incident on video, they find themselves running for their lives after a creature that clearly is not from this planet starts hunting them.
If being chased by an violent alien wasn’t bad enough, things take an unexpected turn when a strange military group appears and takes William hostage, convinced that his past abduction and this new encounter are not coincidences. Despite Will’s claims to not know anything about what is happening, Dr Tobin, the woman in charge of the investigation, decides to resort to a cruel interrogation to get all the secrets in Will’s mind, no matter if he dies in the process, or even if he doesn’t know said secrets himself…
For some time I have said that in order of tell a good story, you don’t need tons of special effects or big budgets, nor have big name’s stars, this film is an interesting example of that, and Ejecta” brings us a simple but very entertaining story, following the vein of the apparently returning “space invader” theme, along with other films like “Extraterrestrial”, “Alien Abduction” and (SPOILER ALERT) “Honeymoon”.
And I for one, couldn’t be happier.
While trying to not fall on the Spoiler realm, I’ll try to give you my impressions on the film:
The story itself is simple, but it is told in a manner that is entertaining and keep us guessing until the end of the film (and after the credits start to roll, in fact) about the motives of several characters, and if in fact the menace from outer space is the lesser of two evils. The movie actually made me jump on my seat a couple of times, and did so without relying on cheap scares, something that I really appreciate. I would not call this a “Found Footage” movie, because although has a lot of scenes where we observe from a camera’s lens perspective, it is balanced with a lot of scenes done in the traditional way. Another nice surprise that I welcomed.
I got no complaints in the acting department. Although there were some characters that felt a little bit off, there was nothing that took me out of the movie. Props goes to the actor that portrays William, he did a great job portraying his suffering due the alien’s first visit and how he more than welcomes death as a way out of it. There are several questions that were left open to our own conclusions, and in contrast with most of the films that leave things open-ended, in “Ejecta” they are clearly not left due to lazy writing, but to actually get a last scary, eerie feeling while we try to get the answers… Do the aliens really had a motive for their actions or are we just some disposable playthings to them? Who else has gadgets left from their visits? Those questions and the last scene of the movie have been stuck on my head for several days now.. Those are the kind of films I love.
There are not that many special effects on the film, and as far I could tell, most of them were practical. The very few that I could call CGI were done pretty much in the right moments, and they were effective, so we got no problems there. The sound effects were very good and got me on the eerie mood without any problems, so was the music, used in the right places and just as needed. If I had to look for something to complain about this movie, it would be the mandatory “Shaky camera” moments that can cause some dizziness in the audience, but fortunately they are very brief and not too many, but I do think you need to be warned. After that, I have no problems recommending this movie, although I am aware that might not be for everyone.
In the cast we have Julian Richigs (Lor-Em in “Man Of Steel”, Benjamin Kertland in “Orphan Black”) as William, Lisa Houle (Sydney Briar in “Pontypol”, one of my favorite movies, BTW) as the Doctor, and Adam Sybold (“Exit humanity”, “The Chair” and coming soon “Hellmouth”). The Script was done by Tony Burguess, who also wrote the script from “Pontypool” (Based on his own novel) and the film was directed by Chad Archibald who co-wrote “Antisocial” and directed “Kill”, “The Downsman” and “Neverlost” among others.
In conclusion; “Ejecta” is a very atmospheric, effective film, that we might call simple, but very well done. Highly recommended and on my «Must watch» list for this year, specially for the aspiring filmmakers as an example of how to tell a good story even with limited resources.
You can see «Ejecta» on VOD and select theaters on February 27th.