Slumber Party Alien Abduction was one of the most effective, and most fun segments in the V/H/S anthology franchise and Jason Eisener (Hobo With a Shotgun and Dark Side of the Ring) is back with a feature-length retelling. Kids vs. Aliens drops the found footage elements and adds fleshed-out characters and expanded relationships to his alien invasion story. The central characters are a brother and sister who have a very grounded sibling relationship and dynamic in this sci-fi world.
Kids vs. Aliens reminds me a lot of The Monster Squad, down to the earthshattering childhood accusation of being a “Chickenshit”. Absent parents, a rag-tag group of cussing childhood friends and siblings facing off against Supernatural forces is a guaranteed way to get my attention. I was lucky enough to see the premiere of Hobo With a Shotgun (also expanded from a short featured in 2007’s Grindhouse) over a decade ago, and I have been waiting on a follow-up feature ever since.
Gary is a young aspiring filmmaker, shooting backyard action/sci-fi movies with his friends and older sister, Samantha. In a bid to find her place with kids her own age, Samantha leaves the production and agrees to throw a Halloween party at her family home (the real-life home of Jason’s Parents) while their parents are away. This party predictably gets out of hand just as an alien invasion kicks off.
Genuinely creepy alien designs are enhanced by dramatic lighting and saturated colors throughout. The passion for world-building and larger-than-life characters shown in then are still on full display, but Eisener’s love for Masters of the Universe and professional wrestling is unmissable in this movie. There is a literal Slime Pit set piece, and we are shown in grisly detail what happens when a human is exposed to the goop.
A very She-Ra-inspired wrestling poster adorns walls and inspires Halloween costumes, Humans are mutated, and mysterious swords are introduced that appear to have enough lore for a film of their own. Jason is playing with life-size action figures and play sets and we get to watch the results. I rarely watch a short that was expanded into a feature-length and wish it was longer, but at only 75 minutes, this movie left me dying for a sequel. Please, Jason, don’t make us wait another 10 years. Highly Recommended!