In Alien Outpost, co-writer/director Jabbar Raisani transports us to the year 2033, ten years after the first alien invasion of Earth by a dominant species known as “Heavies.” A war raged on for years after the attack on our planet, and now there’s only a scattered amount of aliens left behind to carry out their mission to end humanity once and for all. It’s up to the brave forces of the military to keep these alien predators at bay, particularly at Outpost 37- the most battle-fought area of the globe that has seen countless attacks but found a way to endure the Heavies and their onslaught of terror over the years.
Framed as a documentary, Alien Outpost follows a group of filmmakers/journalists who arrive at the base to document the struggles and triumphs of the brave men stationed Outpost 37 as they continue to fight the good fight. It’s soon discovered that the remaining Heavies are up to more than just killing humans, forcing the war-weary warriors to figure out their plan and put a stop to it before all of humanity is eradicated forever.
While it may be easy to outwardly dismiss Alien Outpost as yet another ‘found footage’ flick, the way that Raisani frames his story and intercuts it with interview footage grounds the otherworldly subject matter in gritty realism that gives the project an air of authenticity. Alien Outpost may not necessarily be the most inventive film you’ll see all year but it’s an incredibly well-made indie film that feels much bigger than its budget and manages to also put a clever twist on the tactics of the alien invaders that you don’t see very often in modern sci-fi cinema, allowing the film to stand out amongst its peers.
The characters in Alien Outpost start off kind of stereotypically, feeling like they were plucked right out of other militaristic sci-fi films like Starship Troopers, Predator or even Aliens. But as viewers spend more time with the troops stationed at Outpost 37, we get to know them better through their battles and their dedication to each other is evident through some of the film’s quieter moments in between fighting off the Heavies. We see that there’s much more than just a bunch of Alpha Males showing off in Alien Outpost, especially when they’re faced with the death of one of their most trusted allies, and I applaud Raisani (who co-wrote the script with Blake Clifton) for crafting complex characters that end up being much more compelling than the lugheaded stock military men we often see in these types of movies.
As a whole, Alien Outpost was highly enjoyable and a very strong debut from Raisani who downplays the violence for an approach that’s much more about building tension and dread and putting viewers square in the middle of the conflict. Featuring some fantastic visual effects that brings his futuristic war tale to life (Raisani’s a Stan Winston Studios Digital FX alum so that’s not too surprising- he’s clearly got a talent for this kind of work) and a strong cast, Alien Outpost is a refreshing take on a popular subgenre that’s absolutely worth checking out.
Movie Score: 3.5/5