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Extraterrestrial (2011)

Extraterrestre (original title)
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Everyone knows what to do if one morning the sky would be absolutely full of UFOs: run as fast as you can. However, what would happen if the invasion started while you are in the flat of the girl of your dreams, the one you have just met?

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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Julio
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Julia
...
Ángel
Raúl Cimas ...
Carlos
Miguel Noguera ...
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Storyline

Everyone knows what to do if one morning the sky would be absolutely full of UFOs: run as fast as you can. However, what would happen if the invasion started while you are in the flat of the girl of your dreams, the one you have just met?

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Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi

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Release Date:

23 March 2012 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

A földönkívüli  »

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Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
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(RCA Sound Recording)

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nacho Vigalondo revealed in an interview that the main reason why the reason of the UFO is on Earth is never disclosed is because he had no idea why the UFO was on Earth. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tenemos de todo (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

All My Little Words
Written by Stephen Merrit
Performed by The Magnetic Fields
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User Reviews

 
A juicy, funny, and melancholy infidelity story in the guise of alien invasion
14 November 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Don't you love it when a film can actually sneak up on you and surprise you, genuinely, and reveal itself to be something what is advertised ?In this case, how many alien invasion movies have we had in the past couple of years? The past couple of months even? Nacho Vigalondo's follow-up to his cult-sensation Timecrimes (sadly unseen by me) is a film that is nominally about a spaceship hovers over Madrid. Will it be an action movie, a thriller, something icky or something inquisitive (or all of the above,like in. Prometheus)?

As it turns out, the alien invasion is somewhat of a cover, though not entirely, for what is really one of those often returned to tropes that I love when done right in films— an infidelity drama that spirals out of control. In this case, the film opens on a one-night-stand couple, Julio (Villagran) and Julia (Jenner, ho-ho), who awake a little disorientated, not sure what happened the previous and then notice the streets outside are abandoned and a giant spaceship in the sky. There is also a noisy neighbor, Angel (Areces) and the arrival a short time later of Julia's boyfriend, Carlos (Carlos Cimas), who is a genuinely nice and clueless guy.

The first mistake Julio makes is to let slip to Angel about what happened the night before. After this, the spiral starts: how to not have Angel reveal the truth to Carlos, which involves Julio convincing Carlos that Angel is "one of them," the invading aliens. In what skates the line (like in a lot of the film) between comedy and actual suspense, Julio and Carlos bind and gag Angel (in one of those scenes where none of the characters are sure what to do, but have set the pieces in motion and have to follow them through).

The paranoia continues with Carlos reaching out to confront other "extraterrestrials" that have landed. But this, in turn, leads to more sex between Julio and Julia while Carlos roams the streets. Lies spur on more lies. And then more craziness. And Angel returns. And why should I keep going on? The fun in Extraterrestrial is seeing what these characters will do when someone withholds information that should be trivial in the scope of, say, possible imminent doom.

I've seen the film described in a couple of reviews as a romantic comedy, and it could be to an extent. But for me, its effectiveness is more as a kind of noir-ish story of a couple who shouldn't be lovers but are, and the comedy comes from their surprises and stumbles. However, the plot with Carlos isn't so funny as he becomes a sort of one-man crusader against the invasion that isn't really happening (or is it?).

Vigalondo leads the audience in different directions as to where the story might go, but far from being confused, I was totally engaged. He has a solid sense of direction (how he tracks in and out of rooms at certain moments is psychologically satisfying, and has a touch of Hitchcock to it), and just when you think something might finally give with the Julio/Julia's conflict—to tell or not to tell the truth—the movie takes another turn altogether. And yet there is still some ambiguity (maybe) by the end of it all as to what is really going on, who may or may not be an alien in human disguise.

Among the 2012 summer, overloaded with extraterrestrials and upteenth special effects, Vigalondo made a real sleeper, with unpredictable characters, wonderful performances, and a story that unfolds with real surprise and dramatic/comic consequences.


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