First Light [At First Light] (2018)

Girl drowns while at a party, bright lights appear and save her, and the next thing you know she’s on the road with her old boyfriend trying to get somewhere…important.

And that pretty much sums this one up.

Mind you, the girl, Alex, is now telekinetic.  And dangerously radioactive.  Sean, her ex, is getting sicker every minute he’s with her — but he’s willing to accept that as long as he can help her.  And there are a lot of people after her — partly because she’s dangerous, and partly because there’s the usual secret government conspiracy going on.

I suppose you might describe this one as a romance except that Alex spends a lot of the film in a sort of trance (although that isn’t quite the right word, more of an elevated state which the rest of us aren’t privy to), and barely acknowledging Sean, even if he was the one she called for help.

Now I’m not exactly certain that we can call most UFO contact stories “science fiction” as they have so little attachment to anything that you might call “science.”  Most of the UFO abductee stories out there could instead, with just the switch of a few details, be some of the nastier old stories about fairies.  On the other end of the scale, such tales frequently blend into more occult tales of enlightenment and ascended masters (as in The Suns of Easter Island).

That would be where I would place this story, as we are ultimately told that whatever these things are, they are pure radiant energy.

After all, how else could you explain the way flying saucers just zip around without bothering much about ordinary physics?

Slash Film compared this one to a cross between the realistic, found-footage superhero film Chronicle and one of those YA Teen Romances.  There certainly is a resemblance between this film and Chronicle, with its low-key presentation of extravagant superpowers against suburban homes and inner city tenements, even if it isn’t found footage, although I’ll admit that I probably wouldn’t have noticed the YA connection because of one major difference:

The two don’t hop in the sack together.

I mean, that even happens in The Space Between Us, even though we’re expecting to hear the sound of cracking bones as soon as they get…ummm…”intimate.”

In fact, we know that won’t be happening in First Light because of the effect just being with Alex has on Sean.

Frankly, that’s one of the things I like best about the film, as it is one of the few presentations of real love I’ve seen on screen for a long time.  Sean is willing to sacrifice all for Alex.

And isn’t that what love is really all about?

Like a lot of modern independents, First Light looks very good (although I think they may be using that drone a bit much!) and the telekinetic effects are well staged and used.   It has the dark and gritty quality so many Indie science fiction films have these days.  It takes a bit long to set things up, particularly as we see very little of Sean’s family once things get moving, but overall it remains interesting.

It’s not one of the better Independent films I’ve seen lately, but I have to say this much about it:

It is a rare pleasure to see a film about real love these days.

And not just about a silly rush of hormones without a single sacrifice in sight…

(Watch for free on Tubi)

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