Alien Abduction in the Cinema: A History from the 1950s to Today

McFarland. Aug. 2023. 220p. ISBN 9781476688275. pap. $49.95. FILM
In this comprehensive analysis of films featuring extraterrestrial abductions, Meehan (Space Exploration on Film) attempts to reconcile cinematic depictions of alien encounters with actual reports of real-life abductions. While the author charges readers with determining whether these films are purely products of the scriptwriters’ and directors’ imaginations, his own opinion seems to veer into the “true believer” column. He frequently complains when an otherwise excellent film does not jibe with reports from people about abductions. The most compelling portions of the book are those that exist solely to analyze the films on their own cinematic merits, not whether they conform to coverage of encounters. Although a useful resource for a niche film research project, the book’s tendency to oversimplify the imaginative creative offerings of filmmakers into whether they fit existing news reports may be off-putting to many readers.
VERDICT Meehan’s research into the subjects of alien abduction and related cinema is fascinating, but the book would have ultimately worked better as two unrelated
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