You know, alien horror films don’t usually scare me very much. Little grey men in a flying saucer intrigue me more than shock me. Every once in a while though, I see an alien movie and while I’m falling asleep I have that moment of thinking “what if I open my eyes and there is something standing in front of me”…
Case 347 is a documentary/found footage-style film about a student trying to disprove her father’s believe in the extraterrestrial by using psychology to justify how many people claim to have alien sightings. This is not a ground-breaking premise by any means. It especially reminds me of the movie Phoenix Forgotten, a 2017 Ridley Scott (among others) produced film with a very similar vibe. They both involve the main character trying to convince the audience of their beliefs, while having strange things happening throughout. Where I enjoyed Case 347 more, was the slightly more scientific approach to their investigation. Of course that does always come with things happening to characters that, as the viewer, we know are absolutely alien activity and the main characters keep trying to explain it as being something else. That does get frustrating as you start to yell at the screen that ALIENS ARE CLEARLY REAL PEOPLE! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!
I do think that the director (also writer/actor/producer), Chris Wax, does a good job of keeping things interesting. I loved that the ways that the footage was collected, from doorbell camera footage to tapped landlines, I thought that it was a really creative and believable way of getting together footage that is supposedly just from a case file. There is also a scene that has a blink-and-you-miss-it moment that is super effective, and I wish that there was more of that kind of subtlety throughout the rest of the film. There are also some impressive long takes that reminded me of watching a play.
The acting is a little hit and miss for me, leaning more towards the hit side. I really liked the main actress, Maya Stojan, althought there was some dialogue that felt a little too rehearsed. Her character is also probably the worst researcher ever, as there are so many times when she won’t even look into both sides of a story. Her whole “welp, everyone who believes in aliens clearly has some kind of disorder” is not a great way for a researcher to behave. My absolute favorite character was easily Richard Gilliland as the oncologist turned alien believer. His character was very interesting, and her really made you want to believe what he was saying.
I love reviewing small/indie horror films because I think it important for people to be able to showcase their hard work, without the assistance from a giant production company. This film is not ground-breaking by any means, but I don’t think it intended to be. It is an easy, fast watch, with some good moments of suspense. Some of the editing could be better and a little less choppy, and the acting isn’t always at 100%, but I think it is totally worth watching to support small film.