We’ve made no secret of our antipathy to documentary found footage horror. OK in REC/ Poughkeepsie Tapes/Head Cases – it’s also the device used to propel the outer space movie which takes place on earth Ejecta. And one of this site’s reviewers is antipathetic to abduction movies as well, so that’s kinda two (admittedly unfair) strikes right off the bat.
There are twin interrogations here: one, the benign prodding by a documentarian Paul Sullivan of Bill Cassidy, a blogger who discloses to him that “something came to me” from another world, and two, the extremely violent accessing of Bill’s memories by a sadistic military psychiatrist, Dr Tobin.
The latter is brought about through an underwhelming device which attaches to Cassidy’s forehead, affixed by a lab assignment who Tobin callously bosses around when she was merely looking to ease the patient’s discomfort.
There’s temporal mucking about so we go fast-forward and back in time and we hear the bedraggled Cassidy sardonically mention to the documentary film maker, “doctors tell me I’m in peak physical health, all I need is a little more sleep,” (he’s tried everything: medicating himself to put what’s happened to him in the rear-view mirror.)
Matt Wiele and Chad Archibald do everything in this movie, from directing, editing, grip, to even in the case of Wiele, penning the IMDb synopsis. You have to admire their efforts in this sporadically engaging, idea-driven exercise (for the curious, ejecta refers to stellar explosions).
Some reviewers have bemoaned the lack of an alien presence (killer or otherwise), as the story’s told in flashbacks but that’s not much of a concern here; rather, it’s the damnable soundstage blue hue that dominates the secret military testing. Who are we to question a cinematographer’s judgement (especially when $$$ is at stake) but fear can be coaxed out of the austere and the mundane. Not everything requires heavy Gothic. Cronenberg’s son Brandon showed that an all-white palette can do wonders in his Antiviral.
Now, we’re not anti-Ejecta. Julian Richings is a marvel as Bill (more formally, “William” to his interrogators) and there are a few genuine scares. It just needed a more meteoritic impact.
Add a half star if you’re partial to Area 51.
**1/2 (out of 5)