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Alien Trespass (2008)

tomatometer

34

Average Rating: 4.8/10
Reviews Counted: 67
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 44

An earnest attempt to parody campy 1950s sci-fi films, Alien Trespass eventually loses its charm among tedious dialogue and cheesy special effects.

18

Average Rating: 4.6/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 18

An earnest attempt to parody campy 1950s sci-fi films, Alien Trespass eventually loses its charm among tedious dialogue and cheesy special effects.

audience

31

liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 11,896

My Rating

Movie Info

Will & Grace star Eric McCormack headlines X-Files veteran R.W. Goodwin's feature directorial debut, a playful send-up of 1950s-era sci-fi films tracing the bizarre events that unfold after a mysterious space object crashes into a California mountaintop. Based on a story by James Swift and Steven Fisher (who also penned the screenplay), the Technicolor-flavored genre-bender follows a benevolent alien (McCormack) as he attempts to fend off a seriously strange invader. Robert Patrick, Jenni Baird,

Aug 11, 2009

$43.4k

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All Critics (68) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (44) | DVD (4)

This lazy effort gets points only for truly loving -- perhaps to a fault -- the cheapo creature flicks of the 1950s.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Alien Trespass, with a rating notice that mentions 'brief historical smoking,' is at least better than last year's official remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a satire without laughs, a parody without punch lines, a careful copy that replicates everything except the original's life.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's comfy. It's kitschy. There are lovely enticements but also much that is simply put and beautifully, beguilingly silly.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While there's a lot to admire, it all feels like an engaging though needless academic exercise.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sinks under the weight of its homage.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie can't decide if it's an homage to 1950s sci-fi genre or a "new" kind of story.

April 18, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

An oddity from another time and place, and well worth a look because of it.

August 9, 2010 Full Review Source: sbs.com.au
sbs.com.au

The patience and concentration of the film to not wink itself into a coma is amazing to behold, and I was flabbergasted over just how engrossing and playful the picture is.

June 2, 2010 Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com
BrianOrndorf.com

Not nearly as awful as it could have been...it at least knows that it's cheesy, which makes it more fun.

December 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

It's not really clear why this movie was necessary %u2013 it does not reinvent the 50's movie so much as do a highly faithful cover version of it. (Gus Van Sandy's shot-for-shot remake of Psycho is a similar pointless academic exercise.)

May 31, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinerina

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, It Came From Outer Space should be blushing like a schoolgirl, because this deadpan recreation of 1950s sci-fi movies is a tribute to its low-budget, high minded charms.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Miss FlickChick
Miss FlickChick

...gently wacky. Although breezy and sketchy on the easy laughs at times, Alien Trespass does promise to entertain for the sole purpose of its campy off-kilter makeup.

April 15, 2009 Full Review
Movie Eye

If the film succeeds perfectly in its aim, to recreate exactly a genre of films noted for how shoddy and boring they were, is it then fair to complain when the film is itself boring?

April 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy | Comments (2)
Antagony & Ecstasy

Neither legit parody nor loving sci-fi homage; a movie with no firm reference point, [and] lacking the breezy wit or clever execution that might otherwise provide a reason for its standalone existence.

April 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Shared Darkness
Shared Darkness

Alien Trespass won't let our knowledge of the stereotypes it incorporates do the work and make the critique.

April 7, 2009 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

It doesn't want to be camp, but it inevitably becomes so, because the very effort to replicate its models is so knowing that it comes across as insufferably arch.

April 6, 2009 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

If you're willing to check your brain at the door and to suspend a lot of your disbelief, Alien Trespass manages to be a delightfully zany and campy satire best experienced at midnight with a group of friends.

April 4, 2009 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

The filmmakers have an obvious love for their work and its source material and it shows.

April 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

A true love letter to genre days gone by, Alien Trespass delivers on its promise to bring back a slice of the good old days to horror cinema.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Dread Central

While it never rises to the level of Galaxy Quest, my gold standard for funny sci-fi films, Alien Trespass consistently delights and amuses.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

Retro-style sci-fi action spoof tries hard but doesn't work.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A highly entertaining retro Sci-fi blast from the past that is loads of fun, an endearing tribute to all those bad movies we just loved.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Hollywood.com
Hollywood.com

Not a spoof, not a satire, just an imaginary story with echoes of It Came from Outer Space and other 1950s drive-in classics, Alien Trespass is a paragon of dry humor.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

... once those warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia start to wear off, all you are left with is a tedious movie that is full of wooden performances, campy dialogue, cheesy and outdated special effects, eerie music and space beings in rubber suits.

April 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Watertown Daily Times | Comments (5)
Watertown Daily Times

Audience Reviews for Alien Trespass

I hoped this would be as good as it promised, finding the idea of a '50's style sci-fi resurrected appealing, but the makers (the director's an X Files alum) flunked because they, in typical modern day detachment, forgot the essential ingredient: to give a damn. No one here does and the hip, modern, cooler-than-thou, winkin-at-you, don't-we-look-fabulous result so ruins the work that I couldn't help but finally agreeing to not giving a damn either. The monster's based on a one off novelty song of the '60's.
June 9, 2013
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

"It came from another galaxy. A creeping, crawling nightmare of terror!"

After crash landing near a desert town, an alien enlists the help of a local waitress to re-capture a monster that escaped from the wreckage of his space ship.

REVIEW
I started watching Alien Trespass with some reservations: I'm definitely a fan of the "source material" for this movie, but I haven't really enjoyed many of the handful of retro/homage/pastiche 50s-style genre films I've seen in the past decade.

In the early going, if you're inclined to be suspicious of the movie's intent (and I was), you may find some technical details that are sort of jarring: "cheap" CGI substituting for the papier-mâché-string-and-sparklers school of SFX, matte paintings and studio backdrops that somehow don't feel period-authentic (might be that the compositing is too good, even when it's intentionally "bad?"); that sort of thing.

However, once I was introduced to the excellent and very likable cast, and allowed myself to settle into the rhythm of the dialogue, none of that mattered. There's a gentleness in the style and humour that just felt right to me. Of course "right" is completely subjective, and all but useless in determining if you will like the movie; I'll say instead that if you're not in a technical-nitpicking frame of mind (or if you are, but you're willing and able to get past that), it's a very easy movie to enjoy, especially if you're relaxing with it on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

There's a lot of sharp, caustic humour to be found on TV and in movies these days, and that's not a criticism - I guess I enjoy ironic detachment, sarcasm, and "snark" as much as the next guy - but if you come to this movie expecting that kind of experience, I think you're going to be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you genuinely like the source material, and you're willing to enjoy something pretty much on its own terms, without the broad safety net of winking self-awareness that most "retro" films seem to employ, then I think you'll have a good time with Alien Trespass.
August 24, 2009
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

Alien Trespass really had me excited. I love the old 50's Sci-Fi films and couldn't wait to see a modern one with that recreated feel. The problem comes in the inconsistency of quality. For example, some of the performers take it seriously, some ham it up 50's style, some are just plain bad and some play is it as a spoof. All the sound effects are perfect but the alien and green screen are very poor, on purpose of course, but they really don't fit in with the sharp and modern cinematography. There's some good stuff here, and it could have been a success if it had gone for either high quality or laughs, but as it stands it just makes you want to revisit the classics. Which may be a good thing.
August 14, 2009
kiriyamakazou

Super Reviewer

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