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(2009), PG-13 [R-13*] (1hr 37min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
March 14, 2010
April 10, ,2010

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Christian Long Distance

(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2009), PG-13 [R-13*] ...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Gold Circle Films, Dead Crow Productions, Chambara Pictures, Focus Films, Fourth Kind Productions  •  Distribution (US): Universal Studios Home Entertainment  •  Director(s): Olatunde Osunsanmi  •  Producer(s): Paul Brooks, Joe Carnahan, Guy Danella, Michele Greco, Veselin Karadjov, Jeff Levine, Ioana Miller, Scott Niemeyer ,David Pupkewitz, Terry Robbins, Jonathan Shore, Dylan Tarason, Norm Wait  •  Writing Credits: Olatunde Osunsanmi (screenplay & story), Terry Robbins (story)  •  Cinematography/Camera: Lorenzo Senatore  •  Music: Atli Örvarsson  •  Film Editing: Paul Covington  •  Casting: Sue Jones  •  Production Design: Carlos Silva Da Silva  •  Art Direction: Alexei Karagyaur, Axel Nicolet  •  Viewed on Universal Studios Home Entertainment DVD

This film analysis is sponsored by the generosity of E&HP.

I am sorry this has taken so long to prepare -- not only months after it hit the big screen but nearly one month after release on video. Such is the way it is when I cannot afford to conduct this ministry full time and dedicated. When funding again reaches a point where I can conduct this ministry full time and dedicated I will not only be able to bring you analyses of films while still playing on the big screen but many of them before they hit the big screen. If you would like to help please visit our donations page. Our target is $81,000 per year for 11 more years. With that as a starting figure we could return to full time and dedicated operation of this ministry and bring you a much greater number of analyses: analyses targeted at films still playing at theaters, indeed many of them before they reach the big screen.

Close encounters of the first kind is sighting a UFO. The second kind is having evidence of extraterrestrial aliens. The third kind is making contact with the aliens. This film is about close encounters of the fourth kind - abduction by aliens. The claim of the producers is that the film is based on over 65 hours of video and audio archives of actual events of October 1 - 9, 2000 in Nome, Alaska personally documented by psychologist Dr. Abigail Emily Tyler. I suspect psychologists are going to shake their fists at this film for the caliber it portrays of psychologists.

The producers also claim the film is a combination of dramatizations and actual file footage and that every dramatized scene is supported by archives and by interviews with Tyler. It is clear the film is intended to try to make one think. Are UFOs real? Have the abductions been real? Are we not alone after all? As the film repeats a number of times, you decide.

As a young boy I toyed with the idea of life on other planets as have most of us. And in my adolescence my conception of living in Heaven tended more toward living there bodily. My limited adolescent perceptions of immortality in Heaven led me to wonder how big Heaven had to be to hold so many people on the Earth. Then I thought about the possibility of life on other planets. I pondered how arrogant can we be to think that not one of the billions of possible earth-type planets in each of the billions of galaxies throughout the universe have any sentient souls living on them: that if there is life on other planets could Heaven hold them, too? Then empirical reality set in and I got to thinking (I do that sometimes) of how big would Heaven have to be to hold us all? Is the universe big enough to have a Heaven that big? Then I whipped out the pencil and calculated: assuming the average family is four people with a 6-foot tall father, a 5.5-foot mother and two kids, one of four feet and the other of two feet which average to 4.125 feet, if all the Earth's population (using today's numbers) of 6.8 billion were lined up end to end, the line would be approximately 28,050,000,000 feet (2.8e10) feet long. The average distance to the Sun is 93,000,000 miles which is approximately 4.9e11 feet. The long line of 6.8 billion people lined up end to end would not even reach the Sun therefore there is plenty of "space" in Heaven (though now I know "space" is not Heaven). The point is that even though, figuratively speaking in fantasy terms, there is plenty of "space" in Heaven for all souls, only God knows if there is life on other planets. I don't think we should be so arrogant to assume there are OR there are no sentient souls on other planets.

The film opens with actress Milla Jovovich, who plays the part of Dr. Tyler, explaining what I summarized in the third paragraph above. Jovovich also warns that "some of what you are about to see is extremely disturbing." I'll second that but not for the same reasons. This film is a movie. Nothing more. Nothing less.

There two scenes in particular that are probably quite disturbing to the prudent parent. I am going to describe them in graphic detail for a reason I will explain afterward.

Abigail and her husband, Will (Julian Vergov) make out in their bed, her atop him. After they finish Will drifts off to sleep then Abigail dutifully assumes her prone position next to her husband. Then something apparently of outworld origin makes odd noises and invades their bedroom. Like a flash of lightning a long blade-looking instrument of some kind viciously appears poised lustfully above Will's chest, ready to strike at any moment. Then it does. As Will writhes in pain and astonishment the blade repeats its murderous thrust into his body again . . . and again . . . and again in rhythm to his horror. In one of the many stabs the point of the blade depresses the surface of Will's body then the blade punctures the skin and penetrates deeply into Will's body. As Will gurgles in his own blood his blood spews from the holes ripped and slashed into his body as Abigail screams "It's all over me!." Will's writhing ebbs with each thrust of the blade. Embedded among screams of terror and panic, Abigail is paralyzed with fear and can do nothing to stop the slicing of her husband's flesh. Slowly Will's last breath is drawn. This is all during a dream state of awareness and Tyler is accused of compensating the loss of her husband to suicide with the above tale as compensatory fabrication, but the imagery is the same nonetheless.

While all that sequence is dramatized, another scene of murder appears to be actual file footage of a father murdering his wife and two kids by gunfire then committing suicide by gunfire. Through a house window the file footage shows the father pointing the gun at his wife and children then discharging it first into his wife. The lead of the bullet explodes the flesh of his wife and the splatter of blood freckles the window pane behind her. As she falls the father turns to his two children. After the first child reels back from the impact of the hot lead the father turns to the second child and shoots. Then in a final act of cowardice the father turns the gun to himself and his head is knocked back as the slug burrows through his brain and takes his life. This part is (apparently) real file footage of an actual triple murder-suicide. And, as if to reduce the influence and impact of such a display, the filmmakers masked the victims with mosaics as the bullets tunnel through their flesh. So, your kids will see a portrayed slasher session and an [apparently] actual murder-suicide and more if they watch this film . . . this PG-13 film. That the MPAA slapped a PG-13 on all that implies if only by label that such content is fit for 13 year old kids. And what 13 year old does not think s/he is mature enough to watch PG-13 films? The dissonance is created by the "PG-13" label whether intended or not. Dissonance? Absolutely! The MPAA says "PG-13" is fit for your 13 year old kids by saying "may not be suitable for children under 13" but you say "No!" With whom do you think your kids will side? Fortunately, there is no legal, moral, ethical law that requires you to let your kids of any age watch any film of any rating. The MPAA does not have the authority to say what age stratum is fit for any stratum of film content. You do, mom/dad. That is why we tell you in objective detail the truth about the content of films: the truth the MPAA, advertisers, previews/trailers, etc. cannot or will not tell you; the truth that might enable you to be in a better position to make an informed moral decision on your own whether a film is fit. Now you tell me honestly, which gives you more useful information? Our service or "PG-13 for violent/disturbing images, some terror, thematic elements and brief sexuality?"

Now to the "reason I will explain afterward." Ever wonder why so many of our youth are so vicious and uncaring? Now you know some of why. As graphic as it is to read the above descriptions of heinous violence you can imagine the extremely graphic influence of seeing it happen with modern technology amplifying it -- a vision that will likely embed itself into your young one's consciousness and add to the already vast arsenal of desensitizing influences and behavioral templates with which your child must do moral battle. This film is intensely R-equivalent in violence/crime. With an investigation area score of zero in Wanton Violence/Crime many R-rated films are more tame than this PG-13.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
Many years ago God [1 Cor.15:33], then more recently I :-), then four professional health agencies chimed together to declare the proselytizing and desensitizing effect of such violence in and as entertainment. How many will it take for the world to finally conquer their addiction to it and release themselves from bondage to it?

I have already belabored the violence/crime content of this film almost to the point of this report being a spoiler. In spite of that I want you to know what you are getting before you place it in front of your kids. Additional examples of violence and/or crime include: hostage situation with reckless gunfire; episode of violence and screaming terror of abduction; depiction of violence "possession" with broken back as the result; long sequence of intense terror with imagery of surgical invasions. [Prov. 16:29]

Impudence/Hate (I) - 48 out of 100
Thirteen times someone uses profanity of some form or another. [Lev. 26:19, Prov. 22:11, 1Tim. 4:12, Prov. 15:4] A preteen shows numerous examples of disrespect and arrogance toward fair authority, especially parental. [Prov. 6:20]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 93 out of 100
Other than what has already been discussed regarding Dr. Tyler and her husband, there is no sexually oriented content to this film. Emily and Will may have been a married couple but Jovovich and Vergov were not. The display of bedroom shenanigans is inappropriate in any medium.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 100 out of 100
There were no instances of alcohol, alcohol consumption, no illegal drug possessions or uses or distribution of them and no abuse of prescription drugs.

Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
Hypnosis was demonstrated numerous times. A couple attempts at usurping God's Word with comments such as "Genesis came from the Sumerian epic of creation" and "Noah's ark came from the Sumerian deluge" give possible risk of contaminating Bible-taught history. Levitation was portrayed, once for violence purposes and the ultimate comment of rebellion, "I AM God" surfaced, all providing a potential to give a little more energy to rebelling against His Word and make merchandise of you. [2 Pet. 2:1 - 3]

Murder/Suicide (M) - 55 out of 100
There were four murders, one by impalement and three by gunshot, and one suicide. God said that we shall not murder. [Deut. 5:17] That includes murder of the self.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. [The issue is the violence, the 'way that is not good' no matter how "small" or "justified" the violence might seem, and its "leading" effect on the observer. "A violent man" can be any character of any age, any gender, human or not in the act of committing (demonstrating in the case of entertainment) violent behavior/action whether for good or evil OR the violent behaviors/actions themselves. Such exposure can and does embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. It took years for American professional health community to finally affirm, probably without knowing it, that which God told us in 1 Cor. 15:33 below. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • Lev. 26:19 I will break down your stubborn pride [arrogance, self exaltation] and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. [Yes, it is arrogance and self-exaltation which gives us the haughtiness (Prov. 6:17) to violate clean speech.]
  • Prov. 6:16 - 19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: (17) A proud look (haughtiness), a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (18) An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, (19) A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
  • Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • 1Tim. 4:12 Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
  • Prov. 15:4 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life ...
  • Prov. 6:20 My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 2 Pet. 2:1 - 3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (3) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
  • Deut. 5:17 Thou shalt not kill. ["Kill" is ratsach {raw-tsakh'}: murder, slay, premeditated, to assassinate. Exo. 20:13 repeats this Commandment. God makes no distinction regarding who commits the murder. That leads into, by the way, the hard fact that suicide is murder of the self.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    The Fourth Kind (2009) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • impalement of body, repeatedly
  • bloody injury gore, repeatedly
  • sound of gurgling in one's own blood
  • spewing of blood with sound of spewing
  • episodes of intense terror, many, most of them screaming and graphically violent such as a victim's back getting broken by twisting while levitated and surgical invasions
  • gunfire in 9-1-1 call
  • hostage situation with reckless gunfire
  • explosive startle, repeatedly
  • police tantrum with property destruction
  • flashbacks of episodes of terror, murder and back breaking, repeatedly
  • photo of suicide by gunshot to the head, repeatedly

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 48 out of 100
  • 13 uses of profanity with no uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • adolescent cruelty
  • preteen arrogance and disrespect toward mother, repeatedly, some quite bitter

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 93 out of 100
    • man and woman in bed making out

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • 14 uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive and 6 with it
  • hypnosis, repeatedly
  • "Genesis came from the Sumerian epic of creation"
  • Noah's ark came from the Sumerian deluge
  • levitation, repeatedly
  • "I am God"
  • unnatural owl behavior, repeatedly

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 55 out of 100
  • intense period of portrayed murder by impalement
  • series of three gunfire murders ending in suicide

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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