Alien Party Crashers makes its US debut after a 2017 release as Canaries. It’s an admittedly delayed release for an independent film that shows plenty of potential and shouldn’t have too much trouble finding an audience.
Miles Kendrick (Rob Karma Robinson) is investigating some odd anomalies involving some random disappearances and trips to the future? Along with his team, Kendrick examines a photograph from a New Year’s Eve party that’s three years in their future.
Radio DJ Steve Dennis (Craig Russell) is preparing for his big NYE bash with some of his close pals. He’s planning on pitching a new investment opportunity. What better way to seal the deal than getting his friends too hammered to know what they’re signing up for? Among the gang are his close friend Huw (Steve Meo) and his sister, Sunita (Sheena Bhattessa). Steve and Sunita had a thing going, before it got too awkward.
Director/Writer Peter Stray spends too much time on the party. Even with this prolonged setup, the characters aren’t well developed Steve and Sunita. Wanna place any bets if they make it to the end credits? It doesn’t help that this New Year’s Eve party is hardly rocking. Dick Clark would be ashamed at the lameness. As Maria Hill would say ‘gentlemen where are the ladies?’
Just as the party starts getting ‘wild,’ their shindig is crashed by a group of aliens who commit the ultimate party foul and try and kill everyone. It’s at this point the film starts to get really interesting.
The one thing about a film called Alien Party Crashers is the aliens have to look good. That’s not the case here due to a bizarre costume design that makes them look like Georgie from It with extended rubber gloves.
Going with the zombified look of pale skin and darkened circles was really all that was needed and eliminates the goofy, non-threatening design. To his credit, Stray does try and concoct a reason for the alien costumes, but it doesn’t help. And at least the original title of Canaries makes a lot more sense with the yellow raincoats.
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The time travel angle helps give the film some additional weight with an air of mystery. Kendrick and his crew clearly have more information than Steve’s pals, but they’re not exactly rushing to help. There’s a pretty devious reason for that as well, which ties in nicely to the film’s sequel.
Overall the acting is fine. There weren’t any blatantly terrible performances and Stray is solid with steering the action along. In a few scenes, the fighting isn’t as crisp — you can spot the air between punches and kicks — but it never reached laughable levels.
There’s some good use of humor here as Stray doesn’t try to make every scene comedic, instead smartly pacing the times to make the characters’ reactions more true to life than a standard action movie.
Stray does a good job of building interest in another film. It’s a slog waiting on the party to get interesting, but once the aliens arrive, things pick up. Even with the bad designs, the aliens start to come across more menacing thanks to their sheer numbers. And there is something creepy about a swarm of guys wearing yellow raincoats. With the setup out of the way, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store for the sequel.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Photo Credit: High Octane Productions