After decades of conspiracy theories and shrouding secrecy, the CIA finally acknowledged the existence of Area 51. But that was all. The actions on the enigmatic military base continue to be unknown to this day. Now, a motley crew of military service members, government workers, and lowly technicians find themselves thrust into the center of the infamous site’s darkest mysteries. Soon, they will know exactly what’s happening there-for better or worse. While patrolling the territory’s tunnel system, Master Sergeant Ryan Pierce leads his Special Forces unit head on into a bloody confrontation with something as horrific as it is indescribable. At the same time, another group awakens in a haze, miles underground. If it isn’t the utter confusion that alerts them something’s wrong, then it will certainly be the wave of hallucinations and illness that hits like an avalanche. The explanation is far worse than they could ever imagine.
Alien Domicile is the upcoming sci-fi/horror from director Kelly Schwarze, starring Elly Brown, Ashley Campbell, and Sabrina Cofield. It’s one in a long list of Area 51 films where our heroes go head to head with mysterious and powerful extraterrestrial enemies. It’s a plot that’s sometimes worked well in the past and I was very much looking forward to Schwarze’s vision of the alien threat.
The film starts off in a very confusing matter, with a SAW style “Everyone trapped in a room not knowing how they got there— plot combined with some military mission gone wrong. The confusion unfortunately then persists for the majority of the film. The director's obvious attempts at misdirection work a little too well and when coupled with questionable character development, the result is something of a mess. There was no one that was particularly likable and the lines between protagonist and antagonist were often blurred. The chemistry between the actors was also a little off. While doing pretty decent jobs independently, they seemed to have a hard time with timing and banter, making delivery sometimes feel a little awkward.
The technical aspects of the film were pretty decent. The ambiance was pretty good, adding to the list of positives. The shots, camera work, and editing were all more than acceptable, but nothing to write home about. The set was some old factory or government installation which worked really well for the plot, and the score was actually quite good; eerie and apt while not overbearing. The special effects were few and far between, with the creature(s) given little actual screen time — often behind a banging door or creeping unseen outside a room. When actually in view, there was very little to be impressed about.
I suppose my biggest gripe would be that I felt very disconnected while watching the film. I cared very little for the characters and couldn't connect with the plot. Usually, in that situation, I'd be rooting for the creature, but we got to see so little of it (them) that I really couldn't get excited about the monster scenes. They were unfocused (literally out of focus) and rushed, probably due to budget constraints. Also, they simply weren't scary at all—...
I tried to like the film. I watch a lot of indie movies and know when to set my personal bias aside and just enjoy a bit of heartfelt filmmaking and have a little fun. Alien Domicile made that very difficult. I will admit that I did not predict the little twist ending (not a spoiler) and I have to give points where due, but overall the film was very lackluster. Good score though, and definitely worth a watch if you are into Area 51 style films; there's always an audience for those that love specific sub-genres, and if you love alien sci-fi in secret government installations, this one will tickle your fancy. It didn't tickle mine. Catch the trailer below and as always, stay sordid.
Site founder. Horror enthusiast. Metalhead.