Updated: Mar 29
Director Jason Eisener expands his segment Slumber Party Alien Abduction from V/H/S/2 into a full-length feature in Kids vs. Aliens from RJLE Films. Taking place in Nova Scotia, the film follows Gary (Dominic Mariche) and his get-along gang, comprised of older sister Sam (Phoebe Rex) and his best friends Jack (Asher Grayson) and Miles (Ben Tractor). Eisener also pens the film's script with John Davies.
There is only one thing Gary wants to do: make incredible home movies with his closest friends. The only thing Samantha, his older sister, wants to do is hang out with the cool kids. One day, handsome bad-boy classmate Billy (Calem MacDonald) takes an interest in Sam, leading to a wild party when Gary and Sam's parents leave for Halloween weekend. Amid the chaos, the siblings, naturally, are forced to band together as aliens start attacking, forcing them to rely on one another to survive the night.
Eisener and Davies are no strangers to expanding shorts into feature films. Previously they turned their faux 2007 trailer Hobo with a Shotgun into a full-length movie. The duo kept the film's run time short, which affected the narrative flow. There are two movies here. One is about a young girl who grows into womanhood, and her brother, who adores her, loses her to adolescence. An alien invasion is the second aspect. I will give the team credit for setting up Sam's arc. Phoebe Rex and Calem MacDonald deliver performances that would feel right at home in a John Hughes film.
Kudos to the young trio of actors who make up Gary, Jack, and Miles, as all three deliver a believable friendship. When the aliens do attack, Sam gets to live out her fantasy world/pro-wrestling fandom by kicking some alien derriere. That said, I want to let viewers know the budget is lower, and it shows, so consider that.
Kids vs. Aliens never quite reaches the Spielberg-Esque vibes that it was inspired by. There is room for a sequel, which hopefully will come to fruition.
Final Grade: C
Kids Vs. Aliens is available in limited THEATERS, ON DEMAND, AND DIGITAL NOW.