It can be really hard to create new and compelling sci-fi stories involving aliens these days, especially on an indie scale. That’s why I will give Ejecta and its filmmakers, Chad Archibald and Matt Wiele, a lot of credit for what they've put together here. Unfortunately though, the scares are as scarce as movie’s alien antagonists, the story suffers from a bit of an identity crisis, and the lackluster conclusion left me feeling pretty underwhelmed by the time it was over.
Ejecta follows William Cassidy (Julian Richings), a troubled man who believes he’s being tormented by an alien life form and has taken to posting his theories online over the years out of frustration for his otherworldly predicament. One night, he reaches out to a documentarian (Adam Seybold) about his suspicions that aliens are going to be returning during a cosmic event and the two set out to capture evidence of their return via a video camera. Their efforts are thwarted, though, as William is intercepted by a government task force who brings him to a mysterious facility. There, he’s tortured for information by Dr. Tobin (Lisa Houle), who will stop at nothing to get the answers she’s looking for.
Sadly, Dr. Tobin (and viewers) never really get the answers to those questions, as most of the cool elements and ideas introduced throughout Ejecta are never fully-explored, which was really my biggest issue with the overall film. The greatest thing about the science fiction genre is that it allows storytellers to explore limitless possibilities. It’s evident that both Archibald and Wiele understood this, yet they didn't pull the trigger on some of the cool concepts at the heart of Ejecta, all of which wind up feeling wasted by the end.
Over the course of Ejecta's 83-minute runtime, it felt like I was watching three very different movies at once, but they never quite all come together cohesively. We get the docu-style footage of William recounting his experiences, POV-style action footage from the special forces out in the field, and then the more traditionally shot showdown scenes between Dr. Tobin and William. The problem is that none of these sequences ever feel like they’re connected other than the fact that the characters are the same. Ejecta also never really delivers on the aliens either, with audiences needing to be satisfied with minor glimpses of the creatures. Their reveal could have been a huge dramatic moment for the film, but ends up suffering because of how those scenes were shot.
That’s not to say that Ejecta is a total loss; there are some pretty neat visuals in the film and Richings delivers a fine performance that’s truly compelling. His work alone just isn’t enough to save Ejecta from itself. Some genre fans out there might enjoy some of the smaller moments of greatness buried deep within the movie but, as a whole, I was underwhelmed by both the execution and the lack of any kind of story cohesion. Archibald and Wiele come really close to making an interesting sci-fi film here, but their decision to focus more on visuals rather than the overall thematic elements makes Ejecta a movie that only looks great in the end.
Movie Score: 2/5