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Alien Affliction Movie (2013): Aliens in the City

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BY October 30, 2020
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There have been so many movies over the years about visitors from other planets. It’s hard to reinvent the wheel–or spaceship–at this point. However, Rob Grant tried with his experimental movie Alien Affliction (2013).

What Is the Movie Alien Affliction (2013) About?

The movie Alien Affliction (2013), also known as Desolate, stars Jez Bonham as Chad. When we meet him, he thinks he’s got it pretty bad. His girlfriend, Annie (Teagan Vincze), and his best friend, Devon (Justin Stone, billed as Justin Sproule), are having an affair. Or so Chad thinks. After getting Devon to come with him to an isolated location, Chad confronts his friend with his suspicions. But if you’re thinking it’s about to turn into a murder mystery, then the original title should disabuse you of that notion. Because as their conversation turns heated, the men are distracted by an explosion back in town.

Once they return, they quickly find out that it’s not a blown transformer or anything as…terrestrial as that. Early witness reports say it’s aliens, y’all, and they are not the cuddly kind. After that, the early conflicts between Chad and Devon seem trivial, and they must band together if they’re going to survive whatever is taking place.

This Movie Is an Experiment in Low-Budget Filmmaking

One of the first things you’ll notice about Alien Affliction is that it was not blessed with an enormous budget. In fact, it didn’t even have a crew. When you look at the credits, they read like the classic credits gag where one person is responsible for everything. You half-expect to see that Rob Grant also catered the movie.

In addition, with such a lean crew–again, just Rob Grant–it’s no surprise that the movie doesn’t have a huge cast, either. In fact, the cast members I’ve named are the only ones in the movie. Rob Grant and his shoestring cast shot the scriptless movie over successive weekends in Vancouver, British Columbia. It took 3 years to shoot, so you can forgive them for the continuity errors that pop up, like shifting hair lengths. With one DSLR camera and borrowed sound equipment, the fact that they completed the movie at all is an achievement in itself. And then there’s Grant’s ingenuity in getting material.

For example, Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics during the time period in which Grant and cast were making the movie. So, he took advantage of the hefty crowds in town, shooting footage of them to use as examples of the mayhem that ensues after the first explosion. Pretty crafty.

What the Reviews Say

Unfortunately, Grant’s experiment didn’t go over as well with viewers, if they even saw it. At press time, Rotten Tomatoes lists only two reviews, not enough to gather a consensus. Worse, they’re both written by the same person. That critic, though–Anton Bitel–was generally positive with his thoughts. He points to Grant’s experience as an editor–he’s worked on big-name movies like Deadpool 2–as one of the film’s strengths, saying that Grant is able “to build…a suggestive mosaic of delusion, distraction and deep damage.”

However, regular viewers weren’t as impressed. The movie isn’t currently available on Prime Video, but the reviews from folks who saw it when it was are still there. While there are certainly some glowing reviews there, the majority are 3 stars and below. Even some viewers who enjoyed the movie, though, were turned off by the ending.

The movie Alien Affliction (2013), also known as Desolate, was distributed by Wild Eye Releasing. It is available on demand on Roku – sign up and watch it on HorrorMax TV!

featured image via Wild Eye Releasing

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Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. She now splits her time between the Appalachian wilds (of Alabama) and the considerably more refined streets of New York City. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at salome@comicyears.com.

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