Kids vs Aliens Delivers Exactly What Its Title Implies

To date, the V/H/S found-footage anthology series has proved to be a pretty lucrative side gig for Brad Miska and Bloody Disgusting. Since the first V/H/S released in 2012, four sequels have followed with V/H/S/99 debuting on Shudder just last fall. Another series entry, V/H/S/85 should be coming out later this October making the sequels something of an autumn tradition. And two spin-offs have turned short segments into full-blown movies. While Siren seemed like a logical choice given how well received its anthology segment was by fans, Slumber Party Alien Abduction was a less obvious direction. Out of the strong segments from V/H/S/2, Jason Eisener’s entry felt a bit like filler. Now nearly a decade later, Kids vs Aliens expands a thin premise into a feature-length movie with somewhat mixed results.


High school girl Sam, is caught between a childhood love of wrestling and action figures and wanting to grow up. She spends most of her time watching her younger brother, Gary, and his friends. On most days, Sam helps the boys who are obsessed with making a homemade monster movie. But when she has the chance to impress local bad boy Billy, she agrees to have a Halloween party. No parents means a house party that quickly spirals out of control. And when aliens crash the party, Sam has to put her love of wrestling to good use to save her brother.

Kids vs Aliens Grosses Out, Just Not as Much as You Might Expect

It’s a movie called Kids vs Aliens. And the director, Jason Eisener, previously made a movie called Hobo with a Shotgun. With this information in mind, you should know exactly what you’re getting. This is pure B-movie silliness where the special effects aren’t intended to be all that special. After a very effective opening, Eisener doesn’t shy away from showing off his rubbery-looking aliens. Even the alien with plastic-looking blades for fingers. But that’s the point of this movie. That is, Kids vs Aliens aims for the same mix of science fiction, horror, and dark comedy as Psycho Goreman. At just 75 minutes, little time is wasted before aliens are storming a house party. However, Eisener saves most of the gore for later scenes with one flesh-melting scene in particular achieving the kind of insanity you expect from the movie.

This is pure B-movie silliness where the special effects aren’t intended to be all that special.

If there’s a problem with Kids vs Aliens it’s that there aren’t enough scenes like that aforementioned one. Don’t expect the same kind of wall-to-wall gross-out’s as Psycho Goreman or Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste. Though it’s by no means a slow paced movie, Kids vs Aliens saves most of its alien oozing for the third act. In fact, Eisener’s almost restratined in the this department. Much of the shock factor comes from Eisener’s willingness to put his child characters in actual danger, which most horror movies avoid. In a fictional world where adults are largely absent, there’s genuine tension wrought from watching these young characters face injury or death.

Kids vs Aliens Limits Some of the Silly Gore for a Coming-of-Age Narrative

Ironically, what limits Kids vs Aliens separates this one from more forgettable B-movie fare. This often feels like an effort to make a gateway horror movie for pre-teens and teens at sleepover parties. In addition to the silly, over-the-top violence, Eisener and co-writer John Davies are writing a coming-of-age story focused on Phoebe Rex’s ‘Sam’, a young girl stuck in that awkward phase between childhood and being grown up. Like the best mixes of comedy and horror, Kids vs Aliens doesn’t forget to make sure you like and invest in its characters. When Eisener isn’t spraying alien goo across the screen, he makes sure there’s likable characters and dynamics amongst them.

This often feels like an effort to make a gateway horror movie for pre-teens and teens at sleepover parties.

Maybe they’re not The Goonies or the best friends from Stand By Me, but the relationship between the teenage Sam and her younger brother and his misfit friends is surprisingly endearing for a movie called Kids vs Aliens. Though this is a small movie with what’s likely a limited audience, Phoebe Rex should find herself in bigger roles soon. She exhibits a lot of range and star-like charisma here. Even the younger actors hit the perfect balance between boyish, pre-teen obnoxiousness and believable camaraderie. Simply, Kids vs Aliens makes you care about its central characters.

Kids vs Aliens Mostly Hits the Right Notes for an Intentionally Silly B-Horror Movie

Clearly, Kids vs Aliens aspires to the same kind of B-movie horror fun as Psycho Goreman or Eisener’s previous work like Hobo with a Shotgun. And it almost gets there but falls a little short on the heights of insanity reached by those titles. Maybe Eisener’s attempt – intended or otherwise – to make this a gateway horror movie led to some restraint on his part. Regardless it always feels like Kids vs Aliens could have gone a little further with the gore and dark humor. But it’s still a fun ride that never overstays its welcome. Moreover, the cast of young actors is quite good and the relationships between the characters are as affecting as one would expect from a ‘coming-of-age’ story. Hopefully, the sequel teases gives us more of these characters.


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I am a Criminology professor in Canada but I've always had a passion for horror films. Over the years I've slowly begun incorporating my interest in the horror genre into my research. After years of saying I wanted to write more about horror I have finally decided to create my own blog where I can share some of my passion and insights into the films I love.

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