The Fourth Kind parents guide

The Fourth Kind Parent Guide

While the movie will likely entertain those who want a good scare, the concept of using disturbing (and apparently real) video of a family being murdered is a new low for entertainment.

Overall C-

If you have ever considered vacationing in the Arctic Circle, you may be in for an experience that's out of this world! Or so psychologist Dr. Abigail Tyler (Milla Jovovich) discovers when she treats several patients with similar experiences in her Nome, Alaska office. She discovers a large number of people who seem to have had an encounter of The Fourth Kind (meaning they have been abducted by aliens).

Release date November 6, 2009

Violence D+
Sexual Content B-
Profanity C-
Substance Use A-

Why is The Fourth Kind rated PG-13? The MPAA rated The Fourth Kind PG-13 for violent/disturbing images, some terror, thematic elements and brief sexuality.

Run Time: 98 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

The Fourth Kind is a purported documentary reenactment of human disappearances in the remote, northerly location of Nome, Alaska. The documentary portion of the movie is based on "archival footage" filmed by Dr. Abigail Tyler, a psychiatrist who reportedly discovered a link between her patients and alien abductions during hypnotherapy sessions conducted in her office.

However (at the time of this writing), both the doctor’s biography and the Alaska Psychiatry Journal that posted it online also seem to missing.

The film is directed by Chapman University alum Olatunde Osunsanmi and the campus has a prominent presence in the movie as a location for interviews between the "real" psychiatrist and the filmmaker. The script then mixes alleged actual clips with dramatizations in which Milla Jovovich (of Resident Evil fame) plays Abigail.

Following the brutal, unsolved stabbing of Abigail’s husband, her friend and coworker (Elias Koteas) encourages her to take some time off. But the doctor insists on resuming her work with her troubled victims, many of whom report seeing a white owl outside their windows.

Then after one man (Corey Johnson) is put under hypnosis, he experiences horrible memories and later kills his wife and children while helpless police officers watch through the front window. (This scene supposedly includes actual police video of the event.) In the aftermath of the murder/suicide, the sheriff (Will Patton) hauls Abigail in for questioning about her part in the tragedy.

What is touted as a scientific study quickly spirals into a cheap horror film that relies on a typical pounding musical score, dark, rainy nights and screeching aliens that sound remarkably similar to every other space visitor Hollywood has introduced to audiences. Rather than getting hard evidence into the possibility of alien abductions, viewers are instead introduced to a woman haunted on many fronts and dealing with overwhelming grief. While the movie will likely entertain those who want a good scare, the concept of using disturbing (and apparently real) video of a family being murdered is a new low for entertainment. Coupled with prolific profanities and a depiction of a married couple engaged in sexual activity, The Fourth Kind seems more like an examination of the line between personal fiction and reality rather than the possibility of escalating levels of alien encounters.

Starring Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton, Olatunde Osunsanmi . Running time: 98 minutes. Theatrical release November 6, 2009. Updated

The Fourth Kind
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Fourth Kind rated PG-13? The Fourth Kind is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violent/disturbing images, some terror, thematic elements and brief sexuality.

The film opens with a scene of passion (depicting kissing and bare shoulders) involving a married couple. It is quickly followed by the portrayal of a brutal stabbing. During therapy sessions, patients experience different levels of emotional and physical distress, which includes writhing and screaming while under hypnosis. Other shrieks and moans are heard during encounters with aliens, along with the portrayal of violent bodily contortions. A character is threatened with a spinning, drill-like device. Police video records the murder/suicide of a family. Officers are shown with drawn guns. Family tensions between grieving adults and children are shown. Other suicide and missing person incidents are discussed. A photo of a man who committed suicide is seen. The script contains numerous profanities, terms of Deity and some mild sexual innuendo.

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More parents' guide for The Fourth Kind after the break...

The Fourth Kind Parents' Guide

Abigail and other psychiatrists in this film use hypnotherapy as part of their treatment plan. What impact does it have on her patients? How does the doctor lead them through the process? To learn more about this practice, visit the University of Maryland Medical Center.

What stresses do front line care providers face that are different from those encountered by the general public? What effect might this have on their physical and emotional wellbeing?

How are aliens portrayed in this film? Does it differ from other depictions? Why is it often scarier to not see actual extraterrestrials?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Fourth Kind movie is March 16, 2010. Here are some details…

The Fourth Kind is releasing on DVD and Blu-ray on March 16, 2010>

Related home video titles:

Another grieving parent and his family are a threatened by an invasion of aliens that makes them question their personal beliefs as well as their strength as a family in Signs. Like a storm chaser, Eleanor Arroway spends her time searching for extraterrestrial radio signals in Contact. One of Hollywood’s earlier space invader movies is based on H.G. Well’s novel War of the Worlds.

Contact with aliens was explored in the classic 1970s film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.