A Review of “Alien Hunter” from a writer’s perspective. This is what NOT to do when you write

The other night my husband rented the movie “Alien Hunter”.  Isn’t he a good hubby?  He knows what I like.  Anyway… Alien Hunter.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a movie review.  Probably because everything has been “so so” and I couldn’t think of anything I learned from the movies I’ve seen.

This one was a bit different… because I didn’t like it.  So, let’s discuss why…

Warning:  I usually don’t do this, but there will be mild spoilers in this review.  Don’t worry.  I am not going to ask you to watch the movie anyway.  It wasn’t worth it.

Alien Hunter:  This is far to grand a title for this sleepy little movie.  Even my husband pointed out that there was no “Alien Hunting” in it.

Was there an alien?  Yes.  Was there an explosion?  Yes.  Was there death and mayhem?  Yes.  If you know anything about me, this sounds like a perfect combination to keep me entertained.  So why wasn’t I entertained?

Admittedly, about half an hour into the movie I fell asleep. (Not a good sign)  When I woke up, I asked my husband what I missed and he said, “Nothing.  They are still trying to get the stupid thing open.”  I checked the clock.  I’d been asleep for twenty minutes.

Now, when they got “The thing” opened, and people started to die, I just didn’t care.  (Oooo, she’s callous)  I am willing to admit that I did fall asleep for part of it, but I realized that I had no emotional attachment to any of the characters.  They were in dire peril.  So what?  Even if I fell asleep, I did see enough that I should have cared.  I didn’t.

Poor presentation and poor characterization.  That was the crux of this movie’s problem.

Problem #2:  The plot.  These people have to die.  It is made perfectly clear.  Most of them are okay with this (with almost no emotional response… okay, really?  Don’t you want to try to call your mother or something before they drop a nuclear bomb on you?)

As soon as you realize this, you think… okay, so why am I watching?  Who am I rooting for?   It’s not like they are going to try to escape.

Then, the “Bad guys” decide they are going to try to escape.  Now, if they do escape, every living thing on Earth will die within two days.  Wiped clean.  Disappear.  Done.

My husband and I thought the same thing.  No one would try to escape, especially when they saw what would happen with their own eyes.  It was just not believable.

What was even more unbelievable is the pseudo-happy ending that was really not even explained.

It was one of those times where you click off your television at midnight and wish you hadn’t wasted that precious sleeping time.

Characterization:  We need to care about your characters.  Make them real.  Make them respond realistically.  Even if they decide to do the right thing, and make the ultimate sacrifice, show some emotion.

Plot:  Please…  I mean, come on.  Think it through.  You can have a great idea (and yes, it was a great idea) but you need to follow it through to the end.  You need to root for your characters.  How can you root for characters when you know they are going to die?  And they have to die?

And that ending?  Even my husband shook his head.

I’ve actually found an “Alien-spaceship-explosion” flick that was worse than the second Transformers movie.  I never thought I’d see the day.

Think through your plotlines, and don’t ruin a brilliant idea with a really weak finish.


8 responses to “A Review of “Alien Hunter” from a writer’s perspective. This is what NOT to do when you write

  1. I agree whole-heartedly. Characters are what make or break a book for me when I read. If I don’t care about them, I’m bored and put it down more easily than if I am intrigued by one of them. Great post!

  2. LOL to second Transformers comment . . . Michael Bay really ruined Transformers for me in the first one when Bumble Bee lubriacted all over that agent . . . did you hear Bay is now making TMNJ movie? Anywaaaaaays, love how you analyze everything and break it down into writing stuff. BTW, am doing an Easter Basket Full of Books giveaway on my blog this week, so stop on by if you’re interested:)

  3. Never heard of it, and I don’t think I’ll seek it out! But a nice way to explain what NOT to do in writing!

  4. Not the type of movie I’d watch anyways, but I like the points you made about what NOT to do as a writer. I learned something again. Dammit Jennifer, stop it! My brain is already full. 😛

  5. Yeah, I read the blurb on this and I passed. It just didn’t look interesting to me. I’m glad I didn’t see it.

    My husband watches movies on tv all day and I can’t believe some of the ‘B’ movies out there. I pause for a minute sometimes and think “were they for real when they made this?” Ever seen Starcrash? (don’t. You’ll never get the picture of David Hasslehoff wielding a light saber out of your head) Beowolf? Cavegirl? The Sword and the Sorcerer? ugh. I don’t even write screenplays and I could do better than these.

  6. Great points on writing and what not to do, Jennifer.

    I haven’t seen the movie. Didn’t plan to, and those plans haven’t changed.

    Give me a happy-ending chick flick and a tub of Dreyers (Edy’s in some markets) Slow-Churned Caramel Delight ice cream, and you have one fat and happy camper. One-half the fat! One-third fewer calories! Yes, but a whole carton doth contribute to the fat in that happy comment. Forsooth.

  7. I’ve never heard of this movie. It has a great title. 🙂 Guess I”ll skip it.

  8. I actually saw this movie once when I was younger, and I don’t remember much of it. It did feel a bit slow in the beginning. But once the alien came out, things got interesting. Then again, I don’t remember much of the alien and what it looked like either, so it probably wasn’t too spectacular. I did enjoy some parts of the flick, because of one of the characters. His acting wasn’t too bad.

    However, I doubt that I’ll watch it again. If I ever saw it on TV I would probably agree with everything you just said, since I’m an adult and I lose interest really fast…like every 5 minutes or so. 😛