Friday, November 28, 2014

B.I.T.S. 14 Film Review - Ejecta

Bill Cassidy (Julian Richings) is sitting at his kitchen table telling Joe Sullivan (Adam Seybold) how things go for him on a typical night. Foreign elements meet in his mind causing him pain stemming from an event 39 years ago where he was visited by extra terrestrial beings that left something behind in his head. Bill often wakes up miles from home days or weeks later with no memory of how he got to the location. He just wants the pain, feelings and presence to stop.

Joe Sullivan a documentary filmmaker has come out to visit Bill based on an e-mail invitation. He is out on eve of a coronal mass ejection. A solar wind and magnetic field sent from the sun headed for earth with the potential to knock out all of earth electrical systems at worse or be a pretty light show at best. Also lurking in the area are shadowy government troops tracking events ready to act if the events turn to develop are more on the sinister side. Bill ends up in conflict with an army unit leading to an unwanted trip to their base where he is interrogated by government agent  Dr. Tobin (Lisa Houle) who is both good and bad cop all rolled into one.

Writer Tom Burgess whose credits include another Lisa Houle film Pontypool pens a we are not alone tale with all the key elements. Bill is out on a rural farm spouting alien stories on line seen as a crackpot by all until the visitors return. Joe the green stem documentary film maker who wants to witness something extraordinary but is not remotely ready to handle it when it occurs. Plus the mysterious government agency led by Dr. Tobin who have always know about alien visits, stockpiled their technology for centuries battled to contain every contact with them while tracing anyone and everyone that may have information that they can use.

Directors Chad Archibald and Matt Wiele use a lot of handle held mobile camera for the feature. The film has a large element of found footage recorded by Joe for his film. It's used for the back story before Joe turns up at Bill's place as well as for events on the night of the coronal mass ejection. The bouncy jagged filming theme continues with the army team sending helmet cam footage back to headquarters for Dr. Tobin to view on monitors.

Veteran Actor Julian Richings delivers an intense performance as Bill Cassidy. He appears frail but switches on when Dr. Tobin uses her torture toolbox to obtain information from him about the nights events. Houle brings a schizophrenic element to the Dr. Tobin role. In one moment she is a seasoned tuff interrogator, the next tender and loving to Cassidy in her attempt to gain intel then instantly dismissive of two colleagues who make mistakes that lead to catastrophic consequences for the pair.

Ejecta ticks all of the boxes for an alien visitor story. Clearly lacking a large budget, the production uses lighting, darkness, the forest around Cassidy's home and Joe's panicked shooting to keep the keys elements the nights activities slightly out of view building the suspense. The film will struggle for mainstream appeal but enthusiast of this niche will be entertained.

** 1/2 Out of 4.

Ejecta | Chad Archibald /Matt Wiele | Canada | 2014 | 87 minutes

Tags; Sci-Fi, found footage, conspiracy theory, Aliens, Alien Technology, Cosmic events, interrogation, Secret Government Agencies, Special Ops.

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