‘Extraterrestrial’ is boringly earthbound

Alien invasions shouldn’t be so boringly earthbound and terribly tiresome as Spanish writer/director Nacho Vigalondo’s “Extraterrestrial.”

This isn’t so bad that it is good bad like the infamous “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” or “Plan 9 from Outer Space.”

The conceit is that an industrial design artist named Julio (Julian Villagran) wakes up in a strange bed. He had a drunken one-nighter with the brown-eyed Julia (Michelle Jenner). The couple was so heavily intoxicated they didn’t hear the whole building, nay, the whole street and district being evacuated.

This is a fling gone terribly wrong as the two find themselves stranded from the rest of the world–without television, phone or Internet connections to the world.  They aren’t exactly alone–Julia’s creepy neighbor and borderline stalkerish Angel (Carlos Areces)–stayed behind to keep her company. He knows she’s there because he always parks his car near hers.

Outside is the reason for the sudden evacuation–a large flying saucer hoving just a little bit out of their side. They can see about one-third of the ship and Julio calculates just how large the whole thing is. He draws his extrapolated image of the UFO.

Before aliens can arrive, things become more complicated. Julia’s boyfriend Carlos (Raul Cimas) arrives. Julia fabricates a few lies to explain Julio, Julio adds a few of his own. Julio and Julia are forced to take action against Angel because he knows the truth.

In better hands, this could be funny–an alien-inspired, door-slamming sex farce. Yet the writing is weak and the pace deadly slow. As Julia, Jenner is lovely, but has little chemistry with any of the men who adore her. There a bit with tennis balls that could be inspired if we still cared about the characters at that point. I didn’t.

This movie fails to take flight into the fanciful or fantastic  and if you’re still awake after the first hour of this 93-minute feature that claustrophobically takes place mostly in Julia’s well appointed apartment, you might be screaming for the aliens to off this foursome. Alas, they do not appear nor do we learn why they are there. A bit of voyeurism? Hopefully whatever those E.T. are watching is more interesting than the movie they are in.

From Spain, the movie is in Spanish with English subtitles and playing at the Laemmle NoHo 7 and on-demand.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.