The Fourth Kind
is a science fiction/thriller/horror movie starring Milla Jovovich
The movie follows a psychiatrist, Dr. Abigail Tyler, as she investigates abnormal sleep patterns in the Alaskan town of Nome. Prior to the events of the movie her husband was killed by an intruder and her daughter went blind from the mental trauma. She continues her study in an attempt to keep a normal life and notices that a connection links certain people together; many people remember seeing a white owl outside their window looking at them. She puts one participant under hypnosis and finds that they don't remember an owl at all... no, they remember something much worse...
The movie was advertised, and is strictly enforced throughout the movie itself, to be based on real case studies and to use actual real-life footage. However the claims are at best questionable, any attempts to corroborate the events on the movie are met with dead ends or bogus websites.
Contains examples of the following tropes:
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Milla Jovovich is obviously more attractive than the "real" Dr. Tyler.
- Adult Fear: Having your child stolen from your home, and being absolutely powerless to stop it.
- A God Am I: The aliens seem to believe this. Whether or not they are gods is up for debate (Tyler seems to believe that they just have huge egos) but it crosses over with God Is Evil if they are.
- Alien Abduction
- Ancient Astronauts
- Based on a Great Big Lie: The movie was loosely based on a rash of disappearances that occurred in Nome and the surrounding area, but in the end it turned out most of them had just gotten lost and died of exposure because they were drunk.
- Black Speech: The aliens speak Sumerian in deep and highly distorted voices.
- Body Horror: An effect of Tyler's last attempt to contact the aliens. Her spine is snapped like a toothpick and when we see her in the present we see that her eyes look as though they've enlarged to an unsettling degree and she looks like a chemo patient. It's also shattered her mental state. At the first moment that the interviewer questions what all happened she instantly breaks down into tears and completely loses coherency.
- Cosmic Horror Story: Hinted at, anyway.
- Creative Closing Credits: The end credits aren't accompanied by music but by ostensibly real phone calls from people who've had alien encounters ("What if they come back?"), with the time and date of each call appearing on screen.
- Downer Ending
- Driven to Suicide: As it turns out, Will Taylor shot himself in the head. Abbey invented the murder as a way of dealing with it.
- Dueling Movies: With Paranormal Activity.
- Faux Documentary
- Found Footage: Partially.
- From Bad to Worse: The more Tyler pushes in her investigation, the more violent the retaliation seems to be. Taken to it's most audacious conclusion in the end with the aliens taking Tyler's daughter and utterly breaking Tyler in body and mind out of pure spite.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: The aliens.
- Jerkass: Sheriff August, even before multiple people have been hurt by the research he demands that the research be shut down. He has apparently confused his legal authority with that of Judge Dredd.
- Jump Scare: Scott's hypnotherapy features one when he suddenly sits bolt upright, screaming.
- Mind Screw
- Nightmare Face: The "owl".
- Abbey's face after being put under hypnosis.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The "documented" footage becomes scrambled whenever the aliens appear.
- Pater Familicide: Tommy and his family.
- Police Are Useless: Sheriff August, overlapping with Rabid Cop at times.
- Psychological Horror
- Shout-Out: The owls are not what they seem.
- Under hypnosis Tommy says the aliens smell like "putrid cinnamon," a reference to Whitley Strieber's (the author that brought alien abduction into popular culture) recollection that the Visitors have an "organic sourness" to their scent and "a subtle overtone that seemed a little like cinnamon."
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens
- Through the Eyes of Madness: Will was never murdered by an intruder - he actually shot himself. The trauma caused Abbey to invent the murder.
- The Mountains of Illinois: Did the filmmakers EVER even visit Nome before shooting this movie?
- Trailers Always Spoil: The movie might have been a little more scary if the trailers hadn't spoiled all the scariest moments.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Scott.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: The psychologists treat hypnotism therapy as the default solution to every problem, ever.