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Alien Lockdown (TV Movie 2004) Review

OK here we go again, another alien rip–off movie with characterisations that we’ve all seen a million times before. The basic premise of this one is as dull and mundane as the characters; an ancient artifact containing data on how to create the perfect killing beast is discovered and before long scientists in some remote research lab have got the thing whipped up to full size. The beast goes on a rampage and would you believe it, hard-ass soldiers get sent in to clear up the mess and find out what went wrong. At this stage things go from bad to worse as the surviving scientists and soldiers are locked in to the complex and end up fighting for their very lives.

This film seems to borrow from so many movies it’s difficult to know where to begin, for a start the creature reminded a lot of the one from The Relic, you know that movie set in a museum; not a bad creature design, just not that great. Secondly the characters are straight from the alien franchise, actress Michelle Goh plays the hard Ripley-esque tough bitch and actually does it no too badly. Other notable appearances come from John Savage and Martin Kove (the asshole instructor from the Karate Kid) which are decent enough, although most of the other performances just blend into each other really. There are certainly no memorable characters to be found in this movie, it’s really run of the mill stuff.

The special effects for a made for TV movie are not too bad, although most (if not all) of the exterior stuff is pure CGI and don’t look too great. The creature itself is done plausibly enough though, this saved this movie from going from bad to dire in this reviewers opinion. This brings me to ‘The’ major problem with this movie: lighting. Now, I’m a firm believer that minimalist lighting can create an atmosphere which can do wonders for a good horror flick, but Man, this movie takes it wayyyy too far. Hell, at least 50 percent of this movie I was squinting my eyes trying to make out what was going on. All we get for most of the corridor sequences (of which there are quite a few) is this subtle green tinge which just don’t cut it. Consequently, this ruined a lot of the potential suspense that this movie could have captured, a shame really. It tries to throw in a few twists here and there to break the monotony of it’s simplistic premise, but it really doesn’t make up for it’s flaws.

All in all not a great movie, folks who enjoy alien survival type flicks may get something from it, but others are probably best to avoid.

Movie Details

Director: Tim Cox
Writers: Ken Badish, Boaz Davidson, Ross Helford, John Thompson, T.M. Van Ostrand
Actors: Martin Kove, James Marshall, Michelle Goh, John Savage
Release Year: 2004