Someone just pointed out to me the similarities between the stories about fairies in the old legends (which aren’t as delightful as the modern version) and the typical accounts of alien abduction and UFO encounters.
Certainly, the traits given the aliens in these stories are clearly supernatural: they pass through walls and cannot be stopped by any means we poor mortals have at our disposal.
This usually isn’t noticed because of our absurd quasi-religious belief in “science”: that one day our advanced scientific knowledge will allow us to do anything, including breaking the very scientific laws of the universe science keeps telling us about. So obviously, a vastly more technologically advanced alien race can do anything it wants, not matter how impossible.
The Device is a sadly typical product of this sort of supernaturalism in disguise. It really doesn’t bring much new to the table with it, either: a pair of sisters revisit a cabin where something awful happened years ago and find “the device” – basically, a black billiard ball.
Despite the name of the film, if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve pretty much seen everything this particular MacGuffin does — return to the spot it started when you roll it, even going uphill. It also shows up unexpectedly in scary places. I expected it to sprout parts, open to reveal the machinery inside, carry out alien tasks, or at least do something, but after a long wait, it finally glows.
Yep, that’s it.
So we get the usual scary dreams of alien creatures, the typical suggestions of alien rape and halflings, some fairly blunt talk about abortions, and some final scenes with the aliens back at the cabin.
The alien creatures are well done, and are used effectively, but so little is asked of them that it really hardly seems worth the effort.
Perhaps the saddest part is that there is a throwaway line early in the film, when one of the characters talks about the device as a black box — something that recorded all the flight data of that alien ship — that could easily have made a better film than we have here: imagine this device projecting dream images of the aliens, their ship and its flight into the mind of someone under its influence, with perhaps the user gradually turning into something alien, or being used to rebuild the ship, or kidnapped to pilot the alien ship back home…
…Well, it’s really not that hard to imagine something better.
If you are really into the whole alien abduction thing, you might enjoy this one more than I did, although there are far better such films out there.
Just don’t expect anything new or particularly original, and you might not even notice how threadbare it all is.
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