SHUDDER EXCLUSIVE: Kids vs. Aliens (2022)

A feature-length adaptation of “Slumber Party Alien Abduction” from V/H/S/2, this finds kids Gary (Dominic Mariche), Jack (Asher Grayson) and Miles (Ben Tector) being bullied by teens Billy (Calem MacDonald), Dallas (Isaiah Fortune) and Trish (Emma Vickers) with Gary’s sister Sam (Phoebe Rex) caught in the middle. You see, the kids love to backyard wrestle and make home movies, but Sam is growing up and it’s time for her to decide if she really wants a boyfriend. That said, Billy might not be the best pick.

It’s all a moot point, because on the night of a party gone wrong that the bad kids force Sam to throw, aliens attack and all extraterrestrial hell breaks loose.

Directed by Jason Eisener (Hobo With a Shotgun), who wrote the film with John Davies, this is a movie that’s gorier, weirder and more profane than it’s title would suggest. It also has characters that — other than Sam (Phoebe Rex) — are cookie cutter at best and annoying at worst. It feels like a mean spirited cliche of Spielberg-esque alien movies and while it looks great and has wonderful practical effects, I kept asking if there was more. The end feels so abrupt that you feel cheated; it doesn’t have to have a happy ending, but it just feels like the filmmakers ran out of ideas and time.

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