Extraterrestrial

Extraterrestrial

Oddball chamber piece from the man behind the remarkable time travel flick Timecrimes, which is very much worth seeing. Vigalondo seems to have a fondness for making science fiction-flavored movies with tiny casts, few locations, and obviously low budgets. But whereas Timecrimes had an expertly designed script, Extraterrestrial's plot never quite blows up into anything interesting.

The film's premise: a giant alien spaceship has, for reasons unknown, perched itself in the sky over Madrid. Most of the city has evacuated, except for a man and a woman (amusingly named Julio and Julia) who awake one morning after a one night stand and try to sort out what's going on. With a crazy stalker neighbor and Julia's boyfriend arriving at her apartment, the characters start turning against each other, suspicious of potential "body snatching" efforts by the never-revealed alien invaders. Much of this suspicion is orchestrated by Julio himself, but if we're supposed to think that perhaps he's an alien, the film doesn't try too hard to convince us. Perhaps the most disappointing thing about Extraterrestrial is that it seems to want to be taken only at face value. Without mystery or metaphor, it becomes a rather pointless tale of jealousy and attraction. Though its approach is certainly original, and occasionally funny, you're better off checking out Timecrimes.