DVD: Ejecta (2014)

October 8, 2015 | By

 

EjectaFilm: Weak

Transfer:  Excellent

Extras: n/a

Label:  Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada

Region: 1 (NTSC)

Released:  August 18, 2015

Genre:  Horror / Science-Fiction

Synopsis: A conspiracy theorist is arrested by a black ops unit and tortured for information that might temper a potentially lethal alien visitation.

Special Features:  (none)

 


 

Review:

Decades after an alien visitation, a return of the interstellar creatures mandates a troupe of black ops to track them down to as insolated farmhouse where they find William Cassidy, a wiry man (Julian Richings) with a history of publishing conspiracy theories, and a refusal to detail the events of what killed one of their own, and what still lurks outside.

Tony Burgess’ story has a modestly strong opening, blending the torture of nutbar William Cassidy by ball-busting agent Dr. Tobin (Lisa Houle) with ‘found footage’ of a documentarian named Joe (Adam Seybold), but little by little the narrative, as cross-cut by directors Chad Archibald and Matt Wiele, gets messy, even resorting to black edits as though the film’s final half was edited for TV ads. Tobin both watches live feeds of her team in the forest and footage from Joe’s found camera, but the junctures she chooses to look away and torment Cassidy go against the simple logic that if she just shuttled through the videotape, she might find clues and save herself the trouble of killing her best witness to the night’s weirdness.

What should’ve been a complex thread of narratives gradually weaving into one calamitous finale gets clumsy and ultimately dull, mostly because found footage of Cassidy and Joe consists of running around in the forest with fleeting creature encounters, and Tobin being a clichéd sweet-voiced psycho who dispatches insolent or clumsy team members to their graves in an attempt to stabilize ground zero of the alien landing.

Tobin also spouts some crypto-nonsense about not knowing how her torture devices work (but that they hurt a heck of a lot), and something about this moment being the culmination of a 1000+ years.

The film is filled with a series of continuity inanities. When one of Tobin’s men finds Joe’s abandoned Jeep in the forest, he touches slimy alien goo with his bare fingers, kind of making all that military training rather worthless. A later scene has the team finding Joe, slimed like a Ghostbusters character, and yet with a quick turnover of the cadaver, one member is able to accurately conclude the goo is an identical alien substance.

Joe’s video camera is blessed with the world’s smallest battery with the longest energy cells on the market, and it gets a little silly when the perpetually on-the-run Joe and Cassidy manage to make lengthy diary entries with a bright camera light. When a creature is dragged into the barn, Cassidy turns on the radio, easily alerting the creature’s brethren to their whereabouts.

A few effects – notably the alien craft’s landing – are nicely done, and Tobin’s final scene has a certain poetry, with the blood splats on the base wall not coming from a battle with a creature, but futile efforts to blow her brains out and end the alien possession that now positions her to suffer a worse fate than former victim Cassidy.

If there’s any shining light in Ejecta, it’s Richings, a highly underrated character actor often cast for his unique bone structure (he’s easily discernible among the forest mutants in Wrong Turn. Cassidy is one of his best roles, showing the actor as a man tormented by incalculable emotional and physical trauma.

Burgess’ best known work is the far superior Pontypool (2008). Co-directors Archibald and Wiele have produced a series of genre films, including Monster Brawl and Exit Humanity (both 2011).

 

 

© 2015 Mark R. Hasan

 


 

External References:
Editor’s BlogIMDB
 
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Category: Blu-ray / DVD Film Review

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