Once, not so long ago, William Cassidy (Julian Richings) claimed to have been abducted from visitors not of this world; tonight’s the night they’ve decided to return and snatch him up for a second time.
Here’s what I wrote about this one in my original theatrical review:
“William Cassidy (Julian Richings) has been living in seclusion for years, hiding himself from the world after claiming to have been abducted by an otherworldly force only to be returned unharmed and yet undeniably changed. Online journalist Joe Sullivan (Adam Seybold) has tracked him down, showing up on the man’s doorstep in hopes of securing an interview. Things progress sedately until evening falls and everything suddenly changes, William and Joe finding themselves in the middle of a fight for survival that could very well signify the beginning of the end of humanity’s dominion over the Earth as it is currently defined.
Directed by Chad Archibald (The Drownsman) and Matt Wiele, scripted by Tony Burgess (Pontypool), the alien invasion meets conspiracy cover-up thriller Ejecta is a painful mess that’s incredibly difficult to watch. Whether undone by a script that’s too clever for its own good, direction that seems intent on smothering the proceedings in unnecessary bits of visual incoherence or a budget that’s just not up to the job of allowing things to be presented as they possibly could have been, this movie falls apart right from the start, making heads or tails out of any portion of it impossible.
The central dynamics revolve around William’s capture and interrogation at the hands of a secretive government agent referred to as Dr. Tobin (Lisa Houle). She tortures him with a variety of different devices, possibly devised thanks to a bit of off-Earth assistance, while at the same time talking to him in a condescending tone reeking of facile superiority. The sequences are juxtaposed to found footage of William and Joe meeting, talking, investigating and, ultimately, fighting for their lives, what happens to them apparently of vital import to the dastardly Dr. Tobin. (There’s also some stuff involving another group of soldiers sent by the good doctor to investigate an apparent alien crash site, but the less said about it the better.)
As if cobbled together from bits from a troop of similar thrillers of various ilk, forgive me if in the end I felt like the film was nothing more than a rejected plot strand from the first few seasons of ‘The X-Files’ ham-fistedly combined with the ‘Slumber Party Alien Abduction’ short from V/H/S 2. It’s so all over the map, yet at the same time so unflatteringly ostentatious, I couldn’t help but get more and more annoyed as things sped along to their ramshackle conclusion.
I actually kind of like The Drownsman, so I can’t claim, at least as things pertain to Archibald, that the directors don’t know what they’re doing. As for Burgess, I liked Pontypool a lot, and a great deal of my enthusiasm for that minimalist, unsettling bit of zombie terror having a lot to do with his script. Yet no one, not him, not the two directors, not even really the performers (save maybe veteran character actor Richings; he’s as fascinatingly creep-tastic as ever), come out of this unscathed, the whole enterprise a rickety bit of gibberish that made me mad at myself for choosing to give it a look. Ejecta isn’t so much a disaster as it’s just plain bad, the time I spent watching it 87 minutes I’ll rue giving up for the remainder of 2015.”
The only reason I watched Ejecta for a second time was because Scream! Factory made the decision to release the film on Blu-ray. I admit I didn’t loathe the film near as much this time around as I did that initial viewing, not that this should be viewed as some sort of massive reversal in opinion. I still think it isn’t very good, not even slightly, I just don’t think it’s as irredeemably terrible. None of which should be construed as a recommendation, and as intriguing a presence Richings might prove to be there’s little to no chance whatsoever this sci-fi/horror hybrid will be getting a third look from me anytime soon.
Ejecta is presented on a single-layer 25GB Blu-ray with a MPEG-4 AVC encode and a 2.00:1 1080p transfer.
This Blu-ray features an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack along with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track and comes with optional English subtitles.
The only extra included with this release is the film’s Original Theatrical Trailer (1:54). A DVD version of the motion picture is also included with this release.
Ejecta isn’t good, but it does offer up a few more decent ideas and concepts than I initially gave it credit for. It also gives creepy character actor Julian Richings the type of central showcase he’s never really had before. But the film itself so convoluted, so all over the map, so wildly out of control watching it is a much bigger chore than it should have been.