Milla Jovovich thinks she's found alien abduction. (Universal Pictures)
"The Fourth Kind" is the third best paranormal film currently in theaters, running way behind the comic "The Men Who Stare at Goats" and the cheapie phenom "Paranormal Activity."
Apparently Hollywood thinks we're interested in this stuff. And we might be if, in the case of "The Fourth Kind," it was a lot less hokey.
This film is different in that the "not normal" stuff being dealt with here is alien abduction -- that would be space creatures kidnapping humans, not immigrants kidnapping Americans -- rather than psychic prowess or hauntings. It is also different in that it is so unintentionally, laughably bad.
Beyond that, it's mostly boring and an enormous cheap tease. Milla Jovovich plays Abbey, a psychologist based in Nome, Alaska, apparently recovering from the murder of her husband while counseling patients with a sleep disorder.
Their disorders, it turns out, are all very similar -- a white owl comes and wakes them up every night. So Abbey decides to try hypnotizing them.
Director Olatunde Osunsanmi does have a somewhat novel approach as he split-screens between actors playing the roles and the supposed documentary tapes of the real thing going on. Unfortunately, most of the crucial stuff is disrupted when it comes to the highly suspicious documentary evidence.
The hypnotic experiments lead to various tragedies, which lead to ... nothing, really. The film ends without any aliens -- or immigrants, for that matter -- on videotape, and we're offered no clear idea of what actually went on.
The entire enterprise is sort of a mix of the worst episodes ever of "Unsolved Mysteries" and "The X-Files." The great paranormal question this film actually poses is, how did it ever make it to movie theaters?