UFF Review: Intergalactic Voyeurism With Patrick Donnelly’s ‘The Alien Report’
“Based on reports of extraterrestrial encounters” is the first thing you see when starting Patrick Donnelly’s 2022 found footage sci-fi film “The Alien Report” and it’s a message that attempts to root this story within reality. Pentagon footage, abduction reports and questions of the aliens intentions with humanity quickly set the stage for the story to kickstart with the narrator who states that he has been abducted by aliens repeatedly since his youth. The twist is that he has been able to secretly record these abductions using an implant without the aliens knowledge which gives the viewer a first hand account of these encounters.
These abductions are interwoven with vlog style videos which has the narrator investigating how the aliens operate within the real world with both his iPhone, various hat/bike mounted cameras and a GoPro to document his journey. These shifts in style lead to a bit of a lack of cohesion visually but the standout segments are the first hand accounts of the alien abductions with great use of distorted audio/visuals, atmospheric music and strong alien designs and effects work elevating it. The editing of these sequences together is a bit disjointed with it jumping between a lot of different styles within a short frame of time and even includes a random “Driver” video game sequence that thematically fits but feels a bit disjointed from the rest of the movie.
The narrator believes he’s being stalked within the real world by these aliens (or possibly a human who is working for them) using these mysterious cars that he always sees around him. There’s a decent sense of investigation to the whole thing with the narrator breaking into cars to get to the bottom of what’s going on and it definitely had me invested throughout the movie’s 77 minute runtime. Things get more interesting with the reveal of a half human/half alien hybrid but it ends without giving a clear answer to a lot of the ideas presented in sort of typical found footage fashion.
There’s a lot of intriguing ideas at play here (the beehive like mindset of the aliens is an interesting concept to think about) but it almost feels like an incomplete movie with this being the first movie in a planned trilogy according to the IMDB plot description of the movie and there’s hints of more to come before the credits roll. For fans of extraterrestrial sci-fi I think there’s enough here to warrant a watch for it’s great alien design, effects work, abduction sequences, and interesting ideas but it’s disjointed editing and at times incohesive and ambiguous narrative will leave a bit to be desired for others. “The Alien Report” is available as a rental on their site.