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Blu-ray Review: Extraterrestrial

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ExtraterrestrialFor those who remember either of the two “Grave Encounters” movies, you’re already familiar with the works of the Vicious Brothers. And though “Grave Encounters 2″ noted that there’s no such thing as the Vicious Brothers in the first place, as I recall, apparently they’re still making movies. So if you ignore the continuity lapse, you’ll get “Extraterrestrial,” a copy of which our friends at Scream Factory sent for us to review.

Extraterrestrial introduces us to April, a young lady still shaken up by her parents’ recent divorce. Her boyfriend, believing she needs to get out and recover, semi-forcibly packs her up to join her friends out at the cabin where April often spent summers as a little girl. What should have been a quiet trip down memory lane with friends, punctuated by occasional drinking, turns so very wrong as a fireball drops from the sky and lands in the nearby woods. Going to investigate the fireball kicks off a chain of unimaginable horror, as two things become clear: one, the fireball may have been occupied, and two, whatever was in it may have survived the crash.

Those familiar with the Vicious Brothers’ earlier works will be pleased to note that their penchant for scares and tension building will carry through to this, though the early portion of things will be a bit on the slow side. But it will step up reasonably quickly, giving us several different thrills ranging from the “what is that” thrill to the “it’s coming to get us” thrill. The special effects are somewhat familiar, with the reinterpreted gray aliens of X-Files fame taking on the gaping maws and blank black eyes of the Vicious Brothers’ asylum ghosts.

The last half hour or so will likely be the worst part of the whole thing, as in the most unnerving and the lowest quality. There’s a lot going on here with very little in the way of explanation; it’s almost torture porn in a way, in that it focuses on doing something horrible to someone for an extended period of time with little in the way of connection to the plot. Oh, and anyone who ever wondered what an anal probing might have looked like, hold on to your lunch, because you’re going to see it. Like it or not. I certainly didn’t. And the sneaky quality of the five minutes or so is a low blow. Even lower than the anal probing.

Special features include a commentary track and a set of audio options, your choice of English or Spanish subtitles, a set of deleted scenes, a making of featurette, and trailers for “The Babadook,” “Dark Summer,” “Alien Outpost,” and “Extraterrestrial.”

“Extraterrestrial” is a terrifying, thrilling romp that repeatedly punches its viewer in the spirit, particularly in the last half hour. Those prepared for the ending’s downer nature should do nicely here, enjoying the thrills, but those who can’t stand an unhappy ending are advised to stay well clear of this thrill ride with a heavy scoop of tragedy.

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