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EXTRATERRESTRIAL (aka EXTRATERRESTRE, 2011)
Directed by Nacho Vigalondo
Written by Nacho Vigalondo
Starring Michelle Jenner, Carlos Areces, Julián Villagrán, & Raul Cimas
I’ve heard this film as described as a THREE’S COMPANY episode with a spaceship, and it turned out to be just that. EXTRATERRESTRIAL is an endearing little story of a man and woman trapped in an apartment as society crumbles around them when a spaceship appears over their city. Nacho Vigalondo was the twisted mind behind TIME CRIMES, a film I loved. In that film, he made a complex tale about time travel simple and entertaining. In EXTRATERRESTRIAL, he downplays the fantastic and relies on the strong performances by an amazing cast to make one of my favorite films of the year.
Julio wakes up after hooking up with Julia in her apartment. Both are hung over and it’s pretty evident they don’t know one another. As Julio tries to shed his hangover, Julia tries to shed Julio. Everything is put on hold when they realize there is a giant spaceship hovering over the city. Like SHAUN OF THE DEAD, the film focuses on how even though society falls, it takes a while for everyone to notice. The film is more of a comedy than anything else, showing that Vigalondo not only has good ideas, but the talent to pull them off and a range that spills into other genres besides straight up horror and sci fi.
Carlos Areces, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors, once again delivers a memorable performance as the nosy neighbor Angel who is smitten with Julia. Though the role isn’t as emotionally demanding and batshit crazy as his role in THE LAST CIRCUS, it is equally as twisted and well played. EXTRATERRESTRIAL is an entertaining film, due to please all with its goofy hijinks the small cast gets into and the utterly insane situations that are happening to society as a whole. Definitely a film to seek out.