Writers: John Davies & Jason Eisener
Director: Jason Eisener
Starring: Dominic Mariche, Phoebe Rex, Calem MacDonald, Asher Grayson Percival, Ben Tector
Distributor: RLJE Films, Shudder
Run Time: 75 minutes | Rating: Not Rated
It is noteworthy that KIDS VS ALIENS is based on the Jason Eisener-directed segment “Slumber Party” from the found tape film V/H/S 2 (2013). Both writers John Davies & Jason Eisener of that segment have returned to expand the story that was seen in “Slumber Party”
Review By Chris Hammond
Gary (Dominic Mariche) is a young kid who is a budding filmmaker. He wants to make home movies with his best buds. All his older sister Samantha (Phoebe Rex) wants is to hang with the cool kids. When their preoccupied parents head out of town on Halloween for business, they leave Samantha in charge to look after her brother. A boy sways her to use the family house to throw a party for the decade. Things turn from bad to worse when uninvited aliens attack, forcing the siblings to band together to survive the night.
In the same vein as Turbo Kid and Hobo with a shotgun, Eisener shot this film in a very Grindhouse sort of way. There is nostalgia buried between the vulgarity and buckets of blood, a nostalgia for kids’ films from the eighties (The Goonies, The Monster Squad). The kids in the story are the focal point where the adults take a backseat and are rarely present. If you are a fan of these films, then this will pique your interest, but just a word of caution, Kids vs. Aliens is chock-full of blood and f-bombs.
Don’t go into this film expecting Oscar-worthy acting, the acting is a sticky point for me. I understand that is supposed to feel like a Grindhouse film, but sometimes the screaming of lines by Dominic Mariche gets very grating. Now I should preference this by adding I don’t know how I would react if aliens were invading my house.
Phoebe Rex plays the older sister Samantha, who enjoys being the female action star in her brother’s films, but she also wants to be one of the cool kids. When Billy (Calem MacDonald) and his brood of bottom feeders devise a plan to use Samantha and her family’s house to party, things take a turn for the worse. They systematically trashed the house and then just as Samantha finds out what Billy is really like, aliens crash the party.
Now the Special effects are a prime point for the film. The alien design from V/H/S 2 is expanded upon and we get to see these foreign creatures in full view. On top of this, they show as well the inner workings of their ship. Every bit of the effects that include the latex-bodied alien suits are very believable and actually pretty creepy as well. There are also scenes of alien goo being dumped on faces which melt, these as much as it sounds demented, made me giddy.
The only thing from the V/H/S 2 segment I wish director Jason Eisener would have ported over to the film more often is the POV shots, especially since Gary wants to be a filmmaker. I understand why they opted to shoot differently, but it would have been a great little inclusion.
Overall, Kids vs. Aliens is an interesting and enjoyable film. The special effects are cool as hell, and the runtime of the film is just the right amount. There’s Blood, there are guts and goo that will take days to get out of your mind.
Look for KIDS VS. ALIENS In Theaters, On Demand and Digital January, 20, 2023