As science fiction fans, we’re used to watching the skies and wondering ‘what if…’, but there are plenty of people who do indeed believe in life outside our own atmosphere. There’s no real reason why we should be alone in the universe, and this documentary may well convince the naysayers to think again.
Alien Contact: Outer Space is a sprite look at the measures man has taken to attempt to discover proof of life elsewhere. Whether it’s through space exploration, satellites, and probes or radio telescopes sending signals for our extra-terrestrial friends to hear, we have never given up hope. What this film reveals, however, is that we’ve receiving just as much from unidentified places.
One may expect the reporting of these occurrences to be delivered in an alarmist, sensationalist manner, but this documentary takes a very different approach. It’s almost academic in tone, recounting facts and figures and actually playing recordings that are purported to be from unknown outer space sources. Now, viewers will get different reactions to all this information, and as someone who sits in the ‘sceptical but hopeful’ camp, this writer was drawn in enough to think about some of the stories. Particularly when it comes to the video footage of something of unknown origin passing in the background of the ill-fated SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that exploded prior to a static fire test in 2016. There is certainly something there in the film, and it definitely doesn’t look natural. The same can’t be said of the message received over radio frequencies in the late seventies, which sounds like dialogue from a corny low budget fifties film.
Tinfoil hats aside, Alien Contact: Outer Space is an entertaining watch. The narration might be a little dry for the casual viewer who may crave the sensationalism and conspiracy theories, but it comes across as factual and earnest and all the more believable for it. At a little over an hour, it also doesn’t outstay its welcome, but might well leave you wanted to delve further into the abyss of space and hope that one day we’ll know for certain if we’re really not alone. Or perhaps we’re being watched just as closely; our unknown friends looking on in disbelief (or even pity) at what’s happening on Earth. We might never know if the truth is indeed out there, but thanks to documentaries like this, we can always hope.
ALIEN CONTACT: OUTER SPACE / CERT: E / DIRECTOR: J. MICHAEL LONG / STARRING: PHILIP GARDINER, O. H. KRILL, J. MICHAEL LONG / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW