The Unwelcomed/The Arrival (1991)

Director: David Schmoeller Starring: John Saxon, Michael J Pollard, Joseph Culp, Robin Frates. USA. 1h 47m

Max Page’s birthday party is ruined when an uninvited metre crashes into his yard, freaking out the old guy and his guests. Later on the next day, “authorities” turn up to investigate the site and fool everyone off with a “nothing to worry about” story.

Fear is never an invited guest

Unbeknownst to everyone at this point an entity has been released from the meteor and made its way into Max, the old guy seems to have a heart attack and wakes up in hospital with some pip in his step, and before his children’s eyes John is back in his 20s and is ready to mingle, but the entity within him craves human life so Max is forced to kill.

The film really could have been a slasherific bloodfest, but this tea time terror was never dire ted in a way to scare, just to intreque so most of that is either kept off screen or summarised in a sort of polished 80’s rock balled music video sureeal fantasy drama.. yeah i know, but it somehow works.

“Hey i know where we can have a great time”

– random lady of the night

Hot on the heels of this alien hybrid serial killer is FBI agent John Mills (not the same one from Se7en) played by John Saxon, who stands out as the only recognisable character in the entire movie, and seems to take on the idea that he’s tracking a 80 year old man who’s now 20 years old, which isn’t usually a tactic for a seasoned officer.

There’s a tangled love story among the chase and highlights come in two epic scenes, one back alley fight between the alien and the shortest pimp in town, and an unsuspected shootout involving all the cops in the state. It’s hard to know what the intentions were for the film, it doesn’t really maximise itself in any direction, one minutes it’s creepy sci fi then a slasher but without blood and boils down to a soppy romance and all without motive, it seems to be a meak effort from the genius who gave us Tourist Trap.

Rating: 4/10

Related: Starman (1984), The Recall (2017), Annihilation (2018) Infini (2015), The Brother from Another Planet (1984), Life (2017)

Lists: Alien integration

Spotlight: John Saxon



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