Cinematic Releases: The Gracefield Incident (2017) - Reviewed

Found footage films are a real hit or miss. Some rule. Most totally suck. As a massive fan of the genre as a whole, hopes were high that The Gracefield Incident would deliver. Unfortunately, Mathieu Ratthe's new project is a barely mediocre effort that pits a group of brainless adults against a gang of nightmarish space creatures. 

From the creative highlights like Cannibal Holocaust, Chronicle and The Blair Witch Project to the dregs of the later Paranomal Activity flicks, the genre is definitely here to stay with mixed results. The better entries always try something new and weird or find a way to remix the trend in crazy ways. With The Gracefield Incident, the creators sit on their laurels and don't push any buttons or find interesting ways to change it up other than giving the main character a digital eye that can record his surroundings. Instead of capitalizing on their setting and ideas, they seem bored with the material, only giving us a few creepy scares layered by unintentional cheese and horrible acting. 

Usually, these movies have extremely limited budgets that can give the overall product a more homemade feel. This is used to make the viewer feel like they're part of the movie. It puts us in the center of the action.  It's also the main factor in creating a sense of realism and horror. The Gracefield Incident does muster up a few jump scares that are backed up by a few dark delights. Sadly though, anything positive is scrapped when the main characters begin walking around screaming each other's names for more than half the movie. Not only does it make the movie super annoying, it's a horrible directive for the plot. Why are people that are freaked out about their mortality walking around screaming at the top of their lungs? Why not just hide? Why make yourself more of a target for the awfully designed computer rendered creatures?

Guess who?

The Gracefield Incident is just a rehashing of nearly every one of these movies we've seen before. There is nothing fresh or innovative. Every time it seems to be getting some creative footing, audiences are slapped back down with awful looking CGI aliens, more screaming, and undeniable similarities to far greater found footage films. Where [REC] and The Sacrament score high points for pushing beyond the limitations of their shooting style, movies like The Gracefield Incident and Bobcat Goldthwait's Willow Creek are the dismal results of people that think it's easy to make these types of movies. It isn't. 

If you're a fan of horror or alien abduction films, I would definitely not suggest this as a weekend watch. You'll be wasting your time and money. There are far greater things to do with your time. Watch paint dry.