Directed by Matt Wiele and Chad Archibald, Ejecta is the story of two men who witness an unexplainable event in the atmosphere on the eve of a historic solar storm, while trying survive a terrifying life form that’s hunting them. An anonymous group will stop at nothing to unearth the truth behind what happened to the men that night and prove to the world that we were never alone in the universe. Starring Julian Richings (Man of Steel, Cube), Lisa Houle (PontyPool), and Adam Seybold (Exit Humanity), Ejecta is written by Tony Burgess (PontyPool, Septic Man) and produced by Foresight Features.
The film tells two stories that eventually converge into one. One part features professional alien chaser Joe Sullivan (Seybold) interviewing William Cassidy (Richings), the supposed victim of an alien abduction four decades ago. The other story has Richings’ Cassidy being held captive and ruthlessly interrogated by some secret government organization. His interrogator, Dr. Tobin (Houle), tortures him, hoping to learn if he is indeed hiding anything about his past experiences with alien visitors. The non-linear storytelling is hardly off-putting, and only adds to the film’s complexity and tension.
A significant portion of Ejecta is filmed as a found footage horror thriller, but unlike most cliché ridden found footage pictures that are released in theatres today, Ejecta makes these scenes incredibly atmospheric and creepy. Adding the ominous sound effects of the alien creatures, Wiele and Archibald are able to create a real sense of panic among the characters as they attempt to outmaneuver the extraterrestrials pursing them. This is best seen when Sullivan and Cassidy are attempting to return to Cassidy’s secluded woodland home while being chased by something none too friendly.
Richings’ delivers a stand-out performance as Cassidy, a shadow of a man plagued by a horrifying encounter with extraterrestrials. Richings’ has been known to be a very expressive actor, and that expressiveness suits him well while playing a character going through countless emotions. The pain he endures, both physical and psychological, can clearly be seen in every single scene he’s featured in. His thin physique and pale complexion also adds to his performance, giving audiences the impression that this is a man that has been suffering from all forms of nightmares, perhaps even a victim of PTSD. Seybold and Houle’s characters are solid and serve their purpose to the film’s plot, but they act more as guides for Cassidy’s journey in understanding why these horrible things have happened to him.
If the film can be criticized for anything, it does fall prey to the occasional jump scare. Additionally, the moderately inexpensive budget reveals itself during the more CGI heavy shots. Thankfully, the jump scares are few and far between, and Wiele and Archibald’s direction makes Ejecta’s best scenes far more memorable than its weakest. In the end, Ejecta delivers some solid alien scares and features characters you actually come to like and even care about. In a genre that so often ignores delivering suitably terrifying moments and characters with personality, Ejecta stands as an achievement deserving of any filmgoer’s attention.
EJECTA opens in cinemas and on VOD this Friday from IFC Midnight.