Dr. Abigail Tyler (Milla Jovovich) is a psychologist in Alaska whose patients all seem to have repressed memories of being abducted by aliens. (The title comes from Allen Hynek’s scale for UFO experiences, being, respectively, sightings, physical effects, and the actual presence of aliens, though Hynek did not posit a fourth kind himself–thank you, Wikipedia. For the love of all that is holy, give them some money, folks.) Her home life is also complicated by the recent death of her husband, resulting in her daughter going blind and her son being hostile toward her. Her patients start exhibiting extremely erratic behavior, and one seems to be warning her to stop her investigation of the phenomenon. When Abigail’s daughter is abducted too, she’s at her wits’ end.
Ostensibly The Fourth Kind is based on a true story. The movie is inter-cut with supposed footage and sound clips from the “real” Dr. Tyler’s collection, along with interviews with Tyler by the director of the film. IMDB claims the film is a hoax and has a filmography for the supposed “real” Abigail Tyler (Charlotte Milchard). Nevertheless, Milchard gives a smashing performance with her skeletal face and dead eyes.
While the footage of the “real” victims adds a sense of realism and is suitably creepy, it’s difficult to try to watch a continuous split-screen with two sets of audio. The film tries to be authentic, but now all I can see is hoax.