SciFi and horror go hand in hand for the most part. It’s hard to imagine something scarier than the themes depicted in a good alien flick. Unfortunately…a good alien flick is really hard to come by. Contrary to popular belief, that’s not necessarily a new problem. In the horror genre, it’s easy to recycle themes and create something completely watchable with a very limited budget, and frankly, a very limited imagination. When dealing with Science Fiction though – creativity, scope, and budget play a much bigger role. So does Ejecta have what it takes to break free from the mundane releases of late?
We follow William Cassidy. A man who lives “off the grid”, and claims to have been abducted by aliens 39 years ago. Since that night, residual feelings have made his life hell. Sometimes he wakes up in odd locations, covered in blood in front of mutilated animals, or floating on water in an isolated area with no shore in sight. These events sound interesting, and would probably make for some damn good cinema. But we don’t see anything like that. Instead, William sends an email that he doesn’t remember and invites an aspiring filmmaker out to his previously undisclosed location to make a film. So yeah…not nearly as interesting.
Ejecta bounces back and forward between POV “found footage” from the aspiring filmmaker and cinematic scenes from the “current” time. Sound slightly disjointed? It is. As odd as these conflicting styles may be though, neither of them look bad. Beyond that, Julian Richings (William) has a genuinely admirable performance. It’s too bad that the rest of the cast and less than stellar CG effects drown that performance out.
As hot and cold as Ejecta may seem – it is the story (or lack thereof) that pulls the whole thing down. Any questions that may arise go without answer, and character motivation seems to be conflicting at times. To the point where nothing really makes any sense. Even the behavior of the “visitors” is explained one way…but then they act a completely different way when they arrive. As if they have no control at all. Wildly running after humans in the woods. Yes, really.
Ejecta has its strong points. It’s aesthetically pleasing and has at least one solid performance. It just does’t have legs to last an hour and a half. If this were a 15-20 minute short film, I think we would be having a very different conversation. Alas, that’s not the case, and what we are left with is simply another entry into the increasingly disappointing alien sub genre. Ejecta is best left in a galaxy far, far away.
Decent production values and a strong lead character aren’t enough to keep these visitors in focus for long. Things get off track and tedious beyond the point of repair. Ejecta is best left in a galaxy far, far away.