Unbelievable, The (2001)

The Unbelievable (1999)

A truth so evil…

A team of archaeologists travel deep into the woods to find an ancient Indian burial site. The head of the expedition has other plans for the site which involve removing anything of value and selling them so that he’s set up for life. But when they remove the artefacts, they unleash an evil monster which is invisible and proceeds to kill them off one at a time.

 

When the final cover of a film is the best thing about the entire production, you know that you’re scraping the barrel but that’s about all I’ve got positive to say about The Unbelievable (or Unseen Evil as it’s more commonly known everywhere else except the UK – why do they change so many titles of low budget films for UK release?). Even so, take a look at the cover and it’s not all that. Granted there’s a kick-ass looking alien partially revealed at the top but you won’t find anything that looks like it in here. The rest of the cover is pretty bland with the four main characters having their faces put on the bottom (like most ordinary people will have a clue who any of them is, let alone genre fans!). In fact the more I look at it, the worse the cover gets.

The Unbelievable is a very amateurish film which has designs well above its station but not a shred of budget to get anywhere near where it thinks it is in terms of quality. The first thing that you’ll notice is just how small scale and low key everything is. There are literally a handful of people running around the woods and clearly only a smattering of people behind the camera. You never get the sense that this is actually a feature film too – the production values are so poor that you’ll always know that you’re watching a film instead of being transported into a ‘real’ film world….you know, like a film is supposed to do.

The Unbelievable wants to be Predator so bad except there are no jacked-up muscle men with mini-guns, grenade launchers and machetes trying to take on the monster – there are a couple of wimpy college guys and a self-appointed bad ass black guy for the alien to rip through. There are plenty of stolen Predator-like ideas peppered around including the ‘alien vision’ shots all the way down to the ludicrous ending where the survivors construct booby traps and weapons using the trees to try and protect themselves. Again, there’s not a moment during the course of the film where you think anyone is actually doing anything than acting really badly in the woods with a few mates. As bad as some films can get, I at least want them to give off the illusion that what I’m watching is real and not just acted out for the cameras.

The script is full of clichéd lines and really stupid dialogue like “take it easy” and “let’s talk about this” – one guy even says “it’s OK I have the situation under control.” This is daft, unoriginal dialogue delivered in the most monotone and unimaginative fashion. Quite how B-movie king Tim Thomerson and Richard Hatch from Battlestar Galactica fame (the original series that is) got roped into this mess is beyond me.

As I’ve alluded to already, the alien from the front cover looks nothing like the alien in the film. In fact the alien in the film looks like nothing at all – it’s mostly a blur of poorly-rendered CGI. I’d have taken a guy wearing a cheap Halloween costume over the computer animation that we get passed off with here. There’s not a great deal of alien action which is either a blessing if you don’t think your head could cope with any more inane rubbish or a curse if the thinly-sketched but overly irritating characters have started to grind on your ears. This itself is a task and a half since there’s hardly anyone in the film (seven characters of note) so those that are present need to work extra hard in order to tick off the audience.

In a further insult to the intelligence of the viewer, the way the Indian burial site is presented should be enough to get you to switch off. We’re expected to believe that these artefacts, which have been here for years, are all nice and sparkly as if there’s a cleaning service doing the rounds – or as if these presents just been put there by Santa before the kids come down the stairs on Christmas Day.

 

The Unbelievable is dreadful – there’s nothing else really to say. Someone on IMDB said it was like The Blair Witch Project meets Predator – that’s about right. It’s got the ideas of Predator but the budget of The Blair Witch Project. And either way, you’re better off watching the end credits of either film to be entertained a heck of a lot more than you will be here. It’s just unbelievable that films this poor can get a straight-to-DVD release. If these people can do it, surely anyone can?

 

 ★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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