Another Kind (2013)
Plot: What begins a casual snowshoeing expedition, turns into an unspeakable disaster for a group of unprepared hikers. Deep into the snowy Catskills the group suddenly discovers they have no map coupled with the mysterious disappearance of their hiking poles. The cold nights reverberate with eery feelings among the campers and the apparent sound of frightening footsteps outside their tents. In total fear and desperation to bring the harrowing jaunt to an end, the hikers also discover that their GPS device indicates they’re in New Mexico and not the Catskill Mountains! Frantic and fear turns a 27-mile hike into a nightmare of ANOTHER KIND.
My Review: Saw this listed on Hulu and thought it may be interesting, so I viewed the trailer. To me it looked like some sort of Blair Witch film but in the snow. You know, a bunch of friends out camping in tents in the woods. Funny enough all the characters names are their real names, just like Blair Witch. Not a found footage film although parts of the beginning would lead you to believe that. When I saw that it wasn’t rated that terribly on IMDB, the trailer looked interesting, and the movie was only a whopping hour and 17 minutes, I figured why not give it a shot, if its that bad its only a little over an hour out of my life.
The movie begins with two couples (Patrick and Jamie, Nate and Laura) packing the car on their way to the Catskills to hike and camp. 27 miles, 9 miles a day. Only when they arrive and have been hiking for awhile do they discover that nobody has a map. Because Patrick has been hiking the trails for years and claims he knows the trails like the back of his hand. One of the couples (Patrick and Jamie) immediately begin fighting, not really sure why. Jamie seems to be upset that shes even out for the hike. She comes across sort of like a little princess. Won’t eat certain things, packs a suitcase for a camping trip cause she doesn’t know what she wants to wear, etc. I will say they ate pot brownies in the car, so perhaps her flip out was due to that, since her boyfriend warned the others not to give her any. Anyhow, Jamie decides she’s not doing this camping/hiking trip. She’s going to walk back to the car by herself, take it to a hotel, and come back in two days to pick the others up. I don’t blame her, but I personally wouldn’t have gone in the first place. I don’t get why people like to be out in the cold camping out. I love to sleep in a cold bedroom, but not out in the winter, out in the snow, in a tent. Funny enough the other girl, Laura, begins to complain about the cold and people camping in the winter while they try to go to bed.
They’ve been having fun for the day and go to bed. Laura has trouble keeping warm but manages to fall asleep. Within a few movie minutes we see a flash of red from outside the tent, and a shadow. Laura wakes up freaking out that something is outside the tent. Everyone wakes up, then there’s a flash of a blue light, orange light, etc. One of them thinks its a meteor. Patrick and Laura want to go out and investigate. They all head out and start chasing something. I honestly am not sure what I saw, it just seemed like a light. But it disappears. Patrick then gets a phone call (with his sci-fi ringtone) from his girlfriend Jaime, who is still flipping out on him. Based on the title, and then his ringtone I figured this was going to end up being some kind of alien movie (and I was right). So they all go back to sleep, and Laura wakes up again to what she thinks sounds like footsteps. But nothing really happens when she checks outside the tent.
The next morning they all wake up, briefly mention the weird lights from the night before (like they do one or two more times), and they head off on their hike. They have fun by sledding down a huge hill, but when they are done they realize they’ve somehow lost the tent poles and it will be dark soon, and very very cold. Without the poles they have no shelter. They decide to hike all the way back to their last camping spot and still can’t find the poles, so they decide to build a teepee out of their tent and sticks. They separate to look for sticks but when they all meet back at base camp they find their tent poles all sticking up, looking to be built in a strange pattern. Everyone thinks someone else did it as a joke, but nobody fesses up to it. They decide it must just be some weirdos out in the woods. Around this time they also discover there is a situation with their ride home and they are stranded.
Its hard to review a movie like this, because there isn’t a whole lot going on, and you obviously want to talk about what is going on without giving spoilers away. So I’ll do my best to just speak in general from here on out.
During the night they get another visit from the light, only one of them sees it, wakes up and goes to investigate. From that point on something is wrong with that person. And from there the rest of the group tries to head back to civilization. But things get really weird and they can’t find their way back to the trail.
At the end I had no idea what was going on, especially when we flashed forward or backward into some sort of dream/memory at a lake. I still really don’t get that point. Then last minute I got what was going on, just like the last survivor got. Kinda cool ending, I didn’t see the totality of it coming. But I feel like some things are still up in the air. For example, what happened to some of the characters. But still kinda a cool, haven’t seen it before, ending.
MINI SPOILER ALERT in this last paragraph!
I have one thing to nitpick on, maybe I missed it. Jamie…she leaves them all, and they talk to her on the phone…if all this stuff was going on outside of the woods wouldn’t she have said something? Or am I to believe she never really made it out of the woods? Because we see a car sitting there in the end, was that their car? I didn’t like that aspect of it…I felt like seeing her dead body in the car would have made a little more sense.
Gore/FX: There wasn’t any, wasn’t really a need for anything, but a little more creep factor would have been nice.
Sexual Content: None. A nude chick towards the end. Its so fast that I don’t think we really saw any real nudity.
Acting: Heard of none of these people before, but they were very good and natural in their roles. I had no issues with them and wouldn’t mind seeing them in other films.
Overall: In the end I felt there wasn’t enough spookiness or suspense. There was just a ton of nothing going on. At least with the Blair Witch there were little moments to keep us going, even if they were lame. This just had lights, a couple rustling noises until the end. I would have liked to have seen more. If the ending tells us whats going on (which is pretty much does) why wasn’t there a hell of a lot more going on?