TV SERIES REVIEW
Kids vs. Aliens
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Year Released: 2022, 2023 Streaming on Shudder
Runtime: 1h 15m
Director(s): Jason Eisener
Writer(s): Jason Eisener, John Davies
Cast: Dominic Mariche, Phoebe Rex, Calem MacDonald
Where To Watch: Streaming on Shudder April 14, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: My biggest issue is that the movie KIDS VS. ALIENS doesn’t know what it wants to be. It’s just odd in a way I’m finding hard to describe; on the one hand, it feels like a kid's movie (at least one I would have tried to watch when I was younger) even though it’s TV-MA and not a kid's movie. At the same time, it's just different in an unsettlingly intentional way. It feels almost like the 2006 movie ZOOM meets SIGNS, meets THE GOONIES, meets AMERICAN PIE, meets BRIDE TO TERABITHIA, meets a B horror movie. Even after sitting on it for a day, I still can’t figure it out, and I don’t think that’s bad.
If you’re curious, dive into this home video-inspired universe in KIDS VS. ALIENS, where a group of spirited kids, led by siblings Gary (Dominic Mariche) and Samantha (Phoebe Rex,) must stand together to combat some unexpected invaders during a Halloween weekend. This fast-paced journey offers an entertaining experience, capturing the essence of a nostalgic but modern feel.
The director Jason Eisener, with his love of aliens, gore, and professional wrestling, crafts this monster movie with a mix that will keep you trying to figure it out from the start, but as mentioned above, I’m still lost a day later. The movie's vibrant colors, elaborate costumes, and acting—allow viewers to overlook some of the more B-movie feeling aspects of the film. The film doesn’t shy away from “gore” or profanity, which keeps it out of reach of the younger audiences. However, the young cast's performances and the director's commitment to bringing his vision to life make this film tick.
KIDS VS. ALIENS finds its roots in the short film SLUMBER PARTY ALIEN ABDUCTION from the horror anthology V/H/S/2. The film's relatively unknown cast injects a sense of a real-world vibe into the film. The main cast feels like kids you might know, which is the feeling needed for a movie like this.
The film focuses on middle and high-school-aged kids and puts a fresh spin on the classic alien invasion plot. Another B-movie element is the look of the aliens, they are the definition of stereotypical aliens, which would generally take me out of a movie, but for some odd reason, it worked here. I still have to rank this up with one of the most thought-provoking films I’ve seen this year. It kept me trying to find something to compare it to the entire time I watched and still trying to piece together my feelings about it is challenging.
In conclusion, if you look at the poster or stills from KIDS VS. ALIENS and think for a moment that you should check it out, don’t question yourself and just watch it. This is one of those films that leave some people falling in love and others not liking it. Either way, I think it’s an experience not to be missed.
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[photo courtesy of RLJE FILMS/SHUDDER]