Kids vs. Aliens (2022)

Kids vs. Aliens (2022) MOVIE DETAILS
Name: Kids vs. Aliens
Year: 2022
Country: USA
Director: Jason Eisener
Main cast: Dominic Mariche, Phoebe Rex, Calem MacDonald, Asher Grayson, Ben Tector, Emma Vickers
Runtime: 75 minutes
Production company: Shut up & Colour Pictures, Yer Dead, Bloody Disgusting, Cinepocalypse Productions, Studio71


Perhaps it is already enough, don’t you think? For over a decade, since Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams decided to exploit the nostalgia of the former kids now turned into adults and parents with the overrated Super 8 (2011), we have had over-exposed to this 1980s revival, where almost everything is retro, in neon colors, and overexploiting the pop culture that represents that magical decade. It is true that some titles like Turbo Kid (2015), Kung Fury (2015), Summer of 84 (2018), and Stranger Things (2016–2024) TV series are fun pieces of entertainment, but it comes the time when movie producers have stretched the thread so much that in the end, it had to break. Kids vs. Aliens (2022) is the perfect example of that.

Just with its premise, one can see the idea is so silly that it can only work as some kind of homage to that golden decade of classics. Because since this is not the first time a bunch of kids or adolescents must save the day in an alien invasion in the recent cinema, let’s not forget Attack the Block (2011) or The Darkest Hour (2011), here the premise lacks any glimpse of originality and becomes nothing but an amalgamation of bad cliches.

It really has them all. The absent parents, kids with overflowing imaginations who pretend to be filmmakers, the older sister falling for the school thug, a home party that gets out of hand, and a group of aliens that attack the town and abduct the teens without any apparent reason. You name it, just add it to the mixer, shake it, and there you go. Characters acting ultra-dumb for no reason, special kudos to the teen thug with his fake rose tattoo on the neck (seriously?), conducting a story predictable, unreal, and just utter bad.

Visually, we get what is to expect with this lousy premise: lots of neon light and bright colors, the forced 1980s aesthetics, and abundant practical effects of gore –at least there is something to enjoy in this indigestible cocktail–. The protagonists of the movie, both the kids and the adolescent sister, act surprisingly well and with lots of passion for a product so mediocre as this one, being almost the only thing that can keep the attention for what is happening on the screen alive. But every time there is an attempt of a plot twist one can’t help but roll the eyes in disbelief.

One surprising thing about Kids vs. Aliens (2022) is that one of the main producers and developers for the film is the online horror magazine Bloody Disgusting, one of the biggest referents in the genre. Also, the director of the movie is Jason Eisener, better known for being the creator of both the short film and the feature Hobo with a Shotgun (2011), also one of the producers of Turbo Kid (2015) and who has appeared as one of the directors of V/H/S/2 (2013) with his segment Slumber Party Alien Abduction (which served as the inspiration for Kids vs. Aliens (2022)). But all of that doesn’t matter when the final result is something as clownish and forgettable as this is.

Kids vs. Aliens (2022) opens today April 14, 2023, on Shudder and, in my modest opinion, it has the potential to be one of the worst titles to be part of their Originals catalog. I’ve read some other reviews where some people have praised the film, I honestly can’t understand why or what they saw to give any thumbs up because to me this little film resulted in one of the most unnecessary and boring watches of the year.

RATE: 2/10