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Alien Hunter (2003)

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An alien black box is found in the South Pole, where a government agency is conducting botanical experiments.


Ron Krauss


J.S. Cardone (story), Boaz Davidson (story) | 1 more credit »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Spader ... Julian Rome
Janine Eser ... Dr. Kate Brecher
John Lynch ... Dr. Michael Straub
Nikolai Binev Nikolai Binev ... Dr. Alexi Gierach
Leslie Stefanson ... Nyla Olson
Aimee Graham ... Shelly Klein
Stuart Charno ... Abell (as Stu Charno)
Carl Lewis ... Grisham
Svetla Vasileva Svetla Vasileva ... Dacia
Anthony Crivello ... Pilot
Kaloian Vodenicharov ... Co-Pilot (as Kaloyan Vodenicharov)
George Stanchev George Stanchev ... Airman
Rufus Dorsey ... Navigator
Roy Dotrice ... Dr. John Bachman
Woody Schultz ... Sam


In 1947, in New Mexico, a radio operator receives a signal following regular patterns. While investigating the occurrence, he vanishes. In the present day, the same signal is transmitted from a base in the Falkland Islands to United States of America and a satellite captures images of a unknown object in Antartic. The cryptologist Julien Rome (James Spader) is invited to investigate the mystery in the South Pole and he flies to a research base. While a team tries to open a weird shell probably from the outer space, Julien solves the message, which proves to be a distress signal ordering not to open the case. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


At the ends of the Earth, it's the end of the world... See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



USA | Bulgaria


English | Russian

Release Date:

19 July 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Beacon See more »

Filming Locations:

Newhall, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The hallways of the underground base were made out of paper and plastic. See more »


Despite the modern, post-USSR insignia that the crew of the Russian submarine wear, the commander addresses an officer as "tovarischi" or "comrades", which is then translated to "gentlemen" in the subtitles. See more »


References E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

Decent, intelligent Sci-Fi, albeit derivative
13 March 2014 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

I wasn't expecting much from this film since I've never heard of it and the cover of the DVD is cheesy, but I was pleasantly surprised that 2003's "Alien Hunter" is a worthwhile sci-fi flick.

James Spader plays the main protagonist in this story about a small group of scientists at an Antarctic station who find some kind of alien pod emitting a repeating transmission. Should they open it or shouldn't they?

As you can probably tell, the plot borrows heavily from "Alien" and "The Thing." In fact, the film even includes footage from the original "The Thing;" no doubt an homage. You'll also see aspects of other films like "Outbreak," "Close Encounters," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (the classroom scene) and Star Trek (the mind-meld). Despite its lack of originality "Alien Hunter" is an interesting, well-done sci-fi flick. It's not as good as "Alien" but it's almost as good as "The Thing" remake and blows drivel like "Independence Day" out of the water.

The film has creepy elements and good suspense, but hardly any hardcore horror or gore, so if you're a horror/gore hound you might want to pass.

As stated above, I thought this would have been more of a "B" movie, and I suppose it is, but it's technically impressive (in other words, this isn't the work of amateurs) and has a serious vibe; the score's great too. Another reviewer insists that it's a parody but this isn't even remotely true. "Alien Hunter" is an intelligent and fairly austere sci-fi story with almost zero humor (regular, black or satirical). Does he even know what a parody is? The film's only sin is that it borrows too heavily from other films. If it had been released in the late 70s it would be deemed a great film like "Close Encounters" and "Alien."

James Spader plays a good protagonist. I like him for some reason. The rest of the characters are likable except one antagonistic scientist and Spader's ex-student/girlfriend, who comes off bland and lifeless. This is made up by the appearance of Leslie Stefanson who plays Nyla. Leslie is a hot girl-next-door type who will melt any man's heart in seconds. Watch out for the visuals of her in the "cornfield."

The film runs an hour and a half.

Bottom line: If you're not an exclusive horror/gore aficionado and appreciate intelligent sci-fi films like "Alien," "Close Encounters" Star Trek and "Outbreak," be sure to check out "Alien Hunter," as long as you can forgive lack of originality.


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