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Movie Review

The Fourth Kind a.k.a. “The 4th Kind”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violent/disturbing images, some terror, thematic elements and brief sexuality.

Reviewed by: Katie Thomas

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Suspense Thriller Drama
1 hr. 38 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
November 6, 2009 (wide)
DVD: March 16, 2010
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

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Lying in the Bible


Aliens (extraterrestrials)

What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

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Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer

Questions and Answers about The Origin of Life


Demons in the Bible

DEMON POSSESSSION and Influence—Can Christians be demon possessed? In what ways can Satan and his demons influence believers? Answer

Dreams in the Bible

Featuring: Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton, Corey Johnson, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Enzo Cilenti, Daphne Alexander, Alisha Seaton, Tyne Rafaeli, Mia McKenna-Bruce
Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi
Olatunde Osunsanmi
Producer: Gold Circle Films, Dead Crow Productions, Focus Films, Fourth Kind Productions, Paul Brooks, Joe Carnahan, Guy Danella, Michele Greco, Jeff Levine, Ioana Miller, Scott Niemeyer, David Pupkewitz, Terry Robbins, Jonathan Shore, Dylan Tarason, Norm Waitt
Distributor: Universal Pictures

“There are four kinds of alien encounters. The fourth kind is abduction. Based on the actual case studies.”

“The Fourth Kind,” from director Olatunde Osunsanmi, is not the normal horror film, by any means. I’ve never seen a film quite like this actually. There is no witty script to dissect, no offensive language to be upset by, and too much to it to discuss entirely in a simple review. And, in most ways, a film left so open to interpretation is very challenging to review.

The film is set in Nome, Alaska and follows psychiatrist Dr. Abbigail Tyler (Abbey—played by Milla Jovovich), as she tries to unravel the cause for many of her patients’ strange dreams and sleep deprivation. She discovers quickly that each of them report seeing an owl outside their window, and this unnerves them greatly. Abbey gets the idea to hypnotize them in order to tap into their subconscious and reveal what it is they aren’t remembering, or perhaps are being forced to forget. What she discovers through these sessions changes everything in her life and the entire town.

“The Fourth Kind” is a very straight-forward project, and is said to be based on true events, and to prove the point, actual archive footage from the therapy sessions, police surveillance and such are interlaced into the film to give it more of a documentary feel. While I cannot say for certain if the footage they claim to be real is or not, I can say that it definitely does the job. Several scenes display the “archive” footage (date stamp and everything) on one side of the screen, and the actor’s portrayal on the other, playing side by side. This is both unsettling and effective. I could give the director great credit for such a fantastic way of luring an audience were faux documentaries not all the rage right now (“Paranormal Activity,” “Cloverfield,” “Quarantine,” etc.). That aspect was the only thing that truly kept my attention. Further research on the film’s authenticity leads me to believe that it is very loosely based on the disappearances of residents in Nome, with alien abduction being only one of the theories that has been considered, and that all facts represented before the end credits are true.

The first half is fairly slow, and I found myself waiting for “something good” to happen. More therapy footage, something to remind me that this could be real. The second half (and I won’t give away any spoilers) kept me focused on top of being terrified. The scariest parts were the last three pieces of “footage” shown. I was honestly pinned to my seat with my jaw hanging open. Whether or not they’re real (and I pray they are not), they are absolutely mortifying to witness.

One scene shows a man being put under hypnosis on his bed and suddenly popping to life, levitating, with a demonic voice coming from him. This scene cuts between the “reality” shot and the reenactment, because whenever a supernatural (or, as they present it, alien) entity appears, the footage goes static. Another is a police surveillance shot from the hood of a police car where a large, black blur appears and the screen, again, goes static. The worst of the swearing occurs here, which is the witnessing officer shouting the s-word maybe once and repeating “Oh my God” a few times.

The final, and most terrifying of all, consists of Abbey being hypnotized and taken over and arguing with by what is obviously a demon speaking in a dead language, with the translation on the right side of the screen. The force in her says things like, “I am God.”

Besides the utterly scary moments, the movie remains surprisingly clean for a horror film, and for that I must give the director credit. The worst of it is very early on, with a quick, steamy flashback of Abbey and her husband kissing on the bed, a short murder scene in which a man is stabbed and blood spills on his chest, and another man throwing up. Vulgar language is moderate (s-words, “hell,” “damn”), but profanity include 12 misues of “God” and 1 of “Jesus” and 1 of “Christ.”

“The Fourth Kind” brings a lot of tough issues to center stage like the supernatural realm and what it’s capable of, faith, family, demons, and so much more. I have a hard time recommending this film to people because of all the mixed messages, not so much because of the content. The film was done well, presented its case, and I walked out not sure what to think of it all. It definitely calls for thought and processing, and I liked that about it. For once this was a horror film that was not just senseless violence, or self-indulgence, but, even though many of the “facts” are false, there is an undeniable level of intelligence.

I could not in good conscience recommend this to most, especially a Christian audience. It takes a certain type of mind to truly appreciate this type of film for what it has to offer, and a truthful mind to recognize the sadness of its falsehood.

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

Demons in the Bible

DEMON POSSESSSION and Influence—Can Christians be demon possessed? In what ways can Satan and his demons influence believers? Answer



Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—First of all, the movie is just fiction. The documentary style and based on-real case-files, were actually a campaign by Universal Pictures to promote the film. A week ago, they had to settle a case with Alaska Press Club for $20,000 for using fake news archives to promote the movie. Universal acknowledged that they made fake online news articles and obituaries to make it appear that the movie had a basis in real events. It’s one of those movies that is designed to make you wonder if there is intelligent life out there. So, if you are watching the film, just watch it as a plain sci-fi horror film and enjoy.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Cyril Thomas, age 30 (UK)
Positive—I know that some Christians may not agree with me about the offensiveness of the content of this movie, or my positive rating, but I ask that I be heard before a verdict is made. I knew walking into this movie what I would see; I was certain that it was about demonic activity, NOT alien abduction. I believe that all “alien” activity is actually demonic, and that Satan plans to use a world desensitized and brainwashed into believing that aliens are present here to usher in the strange and “miraculous” events that are described in Revelation. It just makes sense to me, as the world has easily embraced the idea of the existence of “aliens,” but has rejected the existence of an omnipotent God, and even more so, our mortal enemy Satan.

All Christians who are Bible reading and God fearing should look around with their eyes wide open and SEE the increase of demonic activity in this world. It has been introduced as “alien” or “spiritual.” On a human level “tolerance” and “diversity” are the excuse for all sorts of evil, while we are expected and even forced to “tolerate” more and more evil in their names. These are signs of the quickly approaching end times. The world’s fascination with ghosts, vampires and aliens are all over the television and movie theaters. Violence in “entertainment” is what “entertainment” has become, and yet the world wonders why we kill more and more often. The masses widespread acceptance of the existence of aliens and other “other worldly” demonic creatures while also rejecting the existence of God is a scary thing indeed, and only possible because of mass media outlets like Hollywood, which is no doubt complicit in disseminating a thinly disguised Satanic agenda. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Michelle, age 46 (USA)
Positive—[from an atheist] The information on this review is a little flawed. The language that was coming out of there mouth was Sumerian, not demonic language. If I was to not know how to speak Japanese and heard it from someone’s mouth, would I call it demonic because I don’t understand what the person was saying. As it said in the film Sumerian civilization is a dead language that is still trying to be understood.

Also, it did show a spaceship leaving the house, the movie IS about aliens. I will admit there were scenes in their that were horrifying to watch and to think about, but it was good for thinking outside of the box. What if these aliens that were abducting these people called demons back in the day? You have to think people back then did not know how to describe certain things because they could not have understood them. What is a demon? Can it be from a different planet or dimension? Can they fly spaceships? If you see this movie I wouldn’t take it too seriously since the credibility of the film is in question. I am still trying to research it to separate fact from fiction. Anyway though I thought it was interesting, I do not believe in a god (though I will be the first to admit when I am wrong) so it didn’t bother me in that way. If you are I wouldn’t recommend this movie unless you can handle it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Will, age 28 (USA)
Positive—I just came home from watching “The Fourth Kind” movie with my husband and Brother. I don’t believe the alien stuff in the movie, but I would suggest taking anyone (except small children) to see it. My brother was an avid atheist before watching this movie, and the documentation and footage of these events taking place made him admit that he was worried about it now. He says he wants to go to church and learn more, because after watching this movie he simply couldn’t deny the existence of Satan or God. Though the movie is trying to say there is the existence of Aliens, anyone who knows anything about the Christian religion would quickly understand what was happening… I’ve found that its a very good witnessing tool…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—one, age 22 (USA)
Neutral—“The Fourth Kind” presented realistic aspects of the paranormal phenomena associated with UFO and “alien” experiences/abductions. Some of these include the following: a foul smell associated with the presence of these “alien” beings, being taken over when channeling these experiences/beings through hypnosis or occult means, lost accounts of time/consciousness, etc. The movie was a mock-documentary. However, that doesn’t mean that the parallels behind this film are a laughing matter. I’ve been a Christian for about 10 years. Prior to the Lord calling me out of great darkness, I personally experienced encounters with spirits of the occult. Contrary to the typified Disneyland, Americanized Evangelical views surrounding spiritual warfare… God’s word is crystal clear! We reside in a fallen world/age controlled by Satan in a battle against the forces of darkness. Not only that, but the devil resides as the leader over a militant hierarchy of malevolent fallen angelic hosts. This movie is secular and was produced by those who hold a secular world view. Thus, you shouldn’t expect it to offer sound Biblical truth or any eternally redeeming quality.

Meanwhile, I did appreciate the fact that this movie seemed to suggest that these paranormal encounters identically parallel those of classic demon possession! If you are interested in the UFO and “alien” phenomena from a solid Biblical view… I’d highly recommend watching “The UFO Conspiracy” (a Christian documentary) and/or “Unidentified” (a Christian film). Another Christian documentary that offers other insights into this phenomena is “Megiddo II: The New Age.”

Finally, we must remember that the Scriptures warn us of doctrines being taught by demons, and great deceptions in the last days. Beings materializing out of thin air and teaching messages contrary to the Scriptures would easily qualify as such. Eph 2:2, 6:12; 2 Cor 4:4; 1 Tim 4:1
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Tony, age 33 (USA)
Negative—We love sci-fi. However, discerning Christians will immediately recognize this is a story about demon possession—not “alien” UFO abductions. From the awareness of an evil presence in the room, to victims speaking in an ancient Sumerian language, to terrifying levitation and hysterical screaming, to the “alien” speaking through his victims the words, “I am god,” to murderous impulses and so forth, Christian believers know that these are the possible “real” transcripts and tapes of demonic possession! Don’t take the kids to see this movie. Even most believers should not go—only those extremely strong in the Lord and fearless of movies such as The Exorcist.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Valorie Emilio, age 60 (USA)
Negative—They use G-D’s name in vain several times in this movie…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Pat, age 55 (USA)
Negative—After reading all of the reviews, I decided to purchase this movie—which I had not seen previously—against my gut instinct… or the Holy Spirit’s nudging. While the film making quality was fresh and unique and the acting superb, this movie had more than just dark or disturbing scenes in it. They played recordings and showed video of actual hypnosis sessions which were daunting to watch (and I am one who never flinches at scary movies). The fact that aliens are merely demons should be obvious to those who have thoroughly studied the Scriptures and believe them cover to cover. There were scenes of actual levitation of the “possessed” persons as well as a voice that could be heard (though their interpretation of what was being said is up for debate). This voice (voices) was demonic and therefore disarming to say the least.

All night after viewing this movie, I could not sleep peacefully and felt that it should not be in the house due to the fact that it contained an actual demon’s vocalizations (unless Hollywood pulled a fast one—but this movie already paid a fine for the parts it 'faked'—see above comments). You can learn a lot from this movie about how demons sometimes operate to pull in unbelievers to go in search of the “truth.” Once hooked, they have their entry into the person’s life. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—John, age 41 (USA)
Negative—I am a pentecostal christian. This is real footage/reenactment of events that are clearly giving the viewer an insight into the Demonic World was rather chilling! Honestly, my spirit was disturbed and uneasy. If you are spirit filled chrisitan…then this would set off alarm bells, whether or not it scares you!

Why did I watch the film…well at first I had no idea it would be so disturbing, but on watching it I realized that some people have no idea that demons are very real and can take possession of people even if not personally invited! But I believe the area/town was given invitation by whatever demonic practice took place there at whatever time in history and took root in this area and over some of the inhabitants or presided over particular families or peoples lives where there were instances of disappearances. That’s my theory anyway!! more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—“Covered,” age 38 (United Kingdom)