The Asylum has the potential to surprise every so often (Paranormal Entity is a better film than Paranormal Activity; there, it’s been said), which is why I get excited whenever a new film of theirs comes out (which is practically weekly at this point). Alien Origin has the premise of a cool film – a found footage alien invasion flick – but, unfortunately, nothing “cool” or “fun” comes out of the 88-minute runtime.
Alien Origin, which is clearly The Asylum’s answer to Prometheus, supposedly shows footage that has been recently found of a lost military expedition. This footage provides proof of aliens, plus gives some revelations about the genesis of life on Earth. At least this is what all the synopses claim. I didn’t get anything more out of the story than “this is a military expedition that aliens destroyed”. That’s the basic premise of the story in its entirety, and it is as dull as it sounds.
The CGI is surprisingly sparse in this one, which is highly unusual for the sci-fi Asylum movies I’ve seen. This helps the movie because The Asylum’s CGI is generally terrible. What’s disappointing is that they decided to never clearly show the alien spacecraft, or the alien race. Instead they use an effects filter that distorts the image whenever an alien is on-screen.
The premise starts out promising, and even has some believable acting in the beginning. From there, though, the movie comes to a screeching halt, crawling through the 88-minute runtime. The story is practically non-existent past the fact that these people went out in the forest, and their footage was found. It’s like a mix of The Blair Witch Project and Predator, but without anything that made either of those movies great (tension, effects, and general bad-assery). Alien Origin is an Asylum film that isn’t worth anyone’s time.
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.