The Device (2014)While scattering their mother’s ashes at a lake, estranged sisters Abby (Angela DiMarco) and Rebecca (Kate Alden) discover a sphere in the woods that exerts a strange effect as Rebecca recalls a terrifying trauma from her past and Abby’s fiancé Calvin (David S Hogan) begins to obsess over it. But for Abby, her recurring nightmares of an alien presence soon becomes all too real…

The Device (2014)

Impressed by director Jeremy Berg and writer John Portanova‘s cerebral indie mystery The Invoking last year, I was expecting their alien abduction sci-fi, The Device, to be just as twisty and inventive. But this odd melding of mental health and a marriage in meltdown drama with an X-Files-styled conspiracy is a talky affair that’s seriously lacking in the action and scares departments.

The Device (2014)If you pick this up on the basis of the poster or DVD cover, you’ll be expecting some exciting Species-styled transformation sequences. Disappointingly, there’s nothing like that on offer here, except one rather tall alien who uses its fleshy claw-like fingers to prod and paw at its human incubator (Abby). What’s really creepy, however, is actor David S Hogan’s weird eyes – has he had ‘work done’? They are very distracting, especially during one supposedly emotional scene in which Abby informs him she’s pregnant and he hits the roof telling her he’s sterile. There’s no expression on his face – just a frozen visage. Could he be a real extraterrestrial in disguise?

The Device is out on DVD in the UK from Image Entertainment, and features an audio commentary by Tracy Tormé, the screenwriter of the 1990’s alien abduction movies, Intruders and Fire in the Sky