Kids vs Aliens
Fun alien action in an otherwise groanworthy film.

Kids vs Aliens

An all-time rager of a teen house party turns to terror when aliens attack, forcing two warring siblings to band together to survive the night.

Warring siblings team together to fight back against an alien invasion in . Gary () and his friends Jack () and Miles () like creating wrestling-themed science fiction films with the reluctant assistance of Gary's older sister Samantha (). However, a rift grows between Gary and Samantha when the latter begins hanging out with Billy () and his friends Trish () and Dallas (). Billy convinces Samantha to host a Halloween party at her house, which quickly gets out of control. However, things rapidly worsen when aliens rise from the lake and target kids and teenagers alike.

Kids vs Aliens Synopsis

Kids vs Aliens is a film co-written and directed by Jason Eisner (Hobo with a Shotgun), based on his segment “Slumber Party Alien Abduction” from V/H/S/2. The film's first half deals with the trio of kids attempting to pay back Gary's older sister Samantha for choosing a trio of teenage bullies over them. However, the film evolves into a sci-fi horror adventure as invading aliens surface, wanting to kidnap humans for their nefarious means. This results in the feuding Gary and Samantha teaming together to survive the night.

My Thoughts on Kids vs Aliens

Kids vs Aliens is Jason Eisner's first feature film as director since his debut, Hobo with a Shotgun, in 2011. There are many reasons for this, specifically Eisner's focus on side projects, such as his VICE documentary series Dark Side of the Ring and its follow-up Tales from the Territories. Like Hobo with a Shotgun, Kids vs Aliens is an expansion of one of Jason Eisner's short films, this time being the climatic segment “Slumber Party Alien Abduction” from 2013's V/H/S/2, minus the gimmick of the action being shown from the perspective of a camera strapped to a dog.

While Hobo with a Shotgun was an ultra-violent grindhouse film, with its original short being shown before screenings of the movie Grindhouse, the plot of Kids vs Aliens has a lot more in common with the show Stranger Things or the 2011 film Attack the Block. It's a sci-fi horror film featuring very young protagonists that is not afraid to go to violent or gory places. This is particularly true regarding the hulking Beast Alien (Jonni Shreve), which ends up being one of the film's central antagonists.

As a big fan of Hobo with a Shotgun, I really wanted to like Kids vs Aliens more than I did. However, although the alien action is fun, it comes after half a film consisting of a groan-worthy “Kids vs Bullies” narrative. The lead bully of Billy ends up being so unlikeable that he ends up sucking all the fun out of the film. This is particularly true since the character sticks around after the alien invasion begins and doesn't get his eventual comeuppance until it is too late.

Likely one of the reasons I found Kids vs Aliens so disappointing is that there was likely not enough material to expand the original V/H/S/2 segment into a feature, resulting in a lot of filler. In the end, I will write this off as a sophomore slump for Jason Eisner, and hopefully, he can bounce back after this one. In the meantime, I recommend a film like Psycho Goreman over Kids vs Aliens.

Trailer for Kids vs Aliens

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.