Film Review: Alien Outpost

AlienOutpost_posterSet in the near future and packing quite a punch, Alien Outpost (Outpost 37) is a sci-fi action film genre fans will absolutely want to check out in theaters or on VOD. Directed by Jabbar Raisani, the film’s pseudo-documentary style does a decent job of setting up a not too far in the future world (2021) decimated by an alien invasion turned into a years-long standoff. Pitting a small yet dedicated group of soldiers against a weakened but still overwhelming force in a small, deadly area between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the men of Outpost 37 will face hazards and horrors from the aliens who have begun to use some of the locals to their advantage.

The film works well on a visceral level because despite some humorous banter flitting in and out between the soldiers, the tone is dead serious and believable to a good extent. It would have been nice to see more of the main enemy, though. Other than a short bit at the camp, those Heavies are only viewed briefly during action sequences and mostly at a distance. However, from the brief but impressive CG footage that opens the film and assorted “news” clips of destruction worldwide, we can see that they came, saw and almost conquered the planet. Troops around the world initially sent out to combat the Heavies end up stuck where they are thanks to the war dragging on so long that it’s become an underfunded albatross of a conflict. Yes, the movie can be seen as a heavy handed allegory, but it’s an entertaining heavy-handed allegory provided you’re not expecting epic battles and don’t mind the mirror the film holds up to current events.

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VOD Review: Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek_MP 

Jung Huh’s excellent, unsettling thriller Hide and Seek (available now on VOD) is a solid and very well made first film that offers up some surprising twists and turns that sweep the film into a few genres during its tidy 107 minute running time. At first, it seems as if it’s just one more Asian horror flick with an urban legend come to life, an opening murder that seems to go unresolved and some strange hallucinatory moments that will give easily frightened viewers a nice case of the chills. But as the film progresses, things take a turn into the unexpected action thriller genre that may disappoint those looking for another Ring or Grudge-like clone. On the other hand, Huh’s assured direction keeps you on the edge of your seat as the film whips your expectations about on its wild ride to the finish…

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