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Five UFO Movies You Missed in 2012

Five UFO Movies You Missed in 2012

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Published by RobbieGraham
UFO-themed movies of 2012 in review: U.F.O., Grabbers, Storage 24, Crawlspace, and The Arrival of Wang.
UFO-themed movies of 2012 in review: U.F.O., Grabbers, Storage 24, Crawlspace, and The Arrival of Wang.

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Published by: RobbieGraham on Jul 22, 2013
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08/29/2013

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Five UFO Movies You Missed In 2012 
By Robbie Graham
The last decade has seen the theatrical release of dozens of big-budget UFO movies. Themost high-profile alien-visitation-themed titles of last year included the lunkheaded
 Battleship
(which sank at the box-office),
 Men in Black 3
(inoffensive but forgettable),
TheWatch
(offensive and forgettable), and the UFOlogically-flavoured space operas
 John Carter 
 and
 Prometheus
 
 – 
both deeply flawed but admirably brimming with big ideas.In addition to these glossy Hollywood products, a number of non-American UFO movieswere released theatrically, albeit in a smattering of independent cinemas across only ahandful of territories.Here are the five UFO movies you missed in 2012...
U.F.O.
UK. Dir: Dominic Burns. 97 mins.
After a powerful earthquake causes a global power-cut, alien spacecraft position themselves over citiesworldwide, their agenda unknown. As panic grips the
world, humanity’s basest survivalist instincts kick in
.Within hours, widespread looting and generalcriminality are rampant as every-man-for-himself  prepares for what he rightly suspects is coming next
 – 
 invasion.The plot unfolds through the eyes of a group of friends in England (Nottingham, to be precise), who, like everyone else, are trying desperately to stay one step ahead of their alienaggressors. Along the way, suppressed animosities within the group bubble to the surface andwe find that not everyone is who they pretend to be.
The film’s young writer/director Dominic
Burns confirmed to me via email that he has astrong interest in the UFO phenomenon, and his movie reflects this in its fine details andnarrative exposition
 – 
no more so than in a scene featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme as a bad-ass black-ops soldier with the inside scoop on our alien visitors. His character makescasual reference to Area 51 and confirms a pre-existing knowledge in the intelligencecommunity of ET visitation, justifying its cover-up on the grounds that
“i
t would have caused
 panic and spread fears.”
He also warns
that “the aliens
can take human form.
 
 
2
It is in its pre-invasion scenes that
U.F.O.
is at its best, attempting to paint a grittily realistic picture of how the populous might truly react to the sight of an alien armada in our skies.However, produced on a budget of just £2.5 million, this UK alien invasion flick fallshopelessly short of its epic vision. Needless to say, with such meagre funds at his disposal,Burns would have done well to stage in his alien invasion at the peripheries of the humandrama (in much the same way that M. Night Shyamalan did in
Signs
). Instead, the director clobbers us with enough badly-rendered CGI to bring down a mothership. The result is a very
 poor man’s
 Independence Day
which is further hampered by clunky direction and wooden performances from a mostly unknown cast.
U.F.O.
is a B-movie through and through, then. But, if you accept it as such going in and setyour expectations low (
way
low), you just might find yourself enjoying it... though
you won’t
feel good about yourself for doing so.
Grabbers
Ireland. Dir: Jon Wright. 90 mins.
The humble inhabitants of a remote Irish island are besieged by huge octopus-like creaturesand their squiddish spawn after a meteorite splashes down offshore in this affectionate pastiche of classic Hollywood alien movies. But this movie
comes with an ‘Irish’ twist:
thealiens are allergic to alcohol
 – 
a fact which, when uncovered by the locals, leads to the freeflow of gallons of beer and spirits, which must be consumed constantly in order to put the
‘Grabbers’ off their human chow
.
 
3
There’s nothing particularly UFOlogical in
Grabbers
 
 – 
aside from what might be interpretedas vague references to the animal mutilation phenomenon in a scene where mysteriouslymutilated whales wash-up onshore and in dialogue explaining that the Grabbers
’ modus
operandi is exsanguination.While
U.F.O.
takes itself entirely seriously,
Grabbers
keeps its liquor-soaked tongue firmlyin its cheek, and is all the better for it. It also does wonders with its £3.5 million budget(which is just £1 million more than
U.F.O.
spilt over itself). There are no spaceships here, butthe Grabbers themselves are impressively realiz
ed through CGI that wouldn’t look 
out of  place in a Steven Spielberg movie. The script is tight and witty, albeit formulaic, and the lead performances from Richard Coyle and Ruth Bradley as mismatched police partners arecharming and heartfelt, the chemistry between them tangible. Recommended.
Storage 24
UK. Dir: Johannes Roberts. 87 mins.
When a military plane crashes into the streets of Greater London, its extraterrestrial cargo breaks loose and seeks refuge in a sprawling, 24 hour public storage warehouse. With the cityin total lockdown, four romantically-back-stabbing
friends
find themselves trapped insidesaid warehouse
only to discover they’re being stalked by something monstrous.
As the
friends’ interpersonal secrets
begin to spill, so too does their blood, as the fugitive alienmethodically hunts its prey.

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