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  • Rev Horror

Invaders from Proxima B

Dir. Ward Roberts (2023)

An adorable alien crash lands on Earth, and the family that finds him must protect him from a dangerous group of intergalactic interlopers.

Of all the words I would use to describe the types of films that I review for this site, "family friendly" wouldn't be in the top hundred. Today, however, we get a little dose of wholesome entertainment, a brand-new sci-fi film featuring a lovable furry alien named Chuck and a bevy of strange creatures who are trying to destroy him and the world. Invaders from Proxima B is the science fiction family film that you didn't know you needed in your life, a heavy dose of sarcastic fun that is equal parts E.T. and something out of a Quentin Dupieux film.

Howie Jankins (played by writer/director Ward Roberts) is a touring musician who hasn't been making enough time for his family. His wife Jane (Samantha Sloyon, Midnight Mass) is a schoolteacher and begs him not to go back on the road, but Howie is determined to join an upcoming tour to save his spot in a much larger tour during the summer. The night before Howie leaves on his next trip, an alien named Chuck (also played by Roberts) crash lands in his backyard, a planned trip in order to save the Earth from an intergalactic bidding war that could very well mean an extinction level event for all life on the planet. When Chuck body-swaps with Howie in order to save the world, the pair must escape from a number of people and creatures who are trying to stop them from completing their mission.

Invaders from Proxima B is like a G-rated Psycho Goreman with likeable characters, an uplifting film that you can show the whole family and also enjoy yourself. Roberts is phenomenal in his dual roles as Howie and the alien Chuck, and Sloyon takes her role as Jane seriously while also inundating it with love and lightheartedness. The duo of alien hunters played by Mike C. Nelson and Richard Riehle are funny and endearing despite their aggression, and they're very much a part of the lesson learned by the end of the film. The themes of acceptance despite differences and of working together could fit firmly in any Disney movie, instead nestled here within one of the most hilarious and entertaining science fiction flicks I've seen in ages.

The creature effects are ridiculous and amazing, from the teddy bear-esque Chuck to the reptilian lizard ninja bounty hunters that are looking for him. It's a B-grade film and it knows it, leaning all the way in and being all the better for it. Invaders from Proxima B is an absolute blast, a film that I had never heard of going in but now will be preaching from the mountaintop. It's perfectly done satire, a phenomenal example of how to make a children's movie that adults can enjoy as well, a natural blend of slapstick comedy, fart jokes, and sci-fi puppetry that would make Big Bird roll his enormous creepy bird eyes.

Ward Roberts is a talent to watch. I had never heard of him before, despite his numerous appearances in television shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Westworld and in movies like Chillerama, but I'm glad to have had my eyes open. He's tremendously talented, and the collection of actors that he has gathered for this film speak to that as well. Sometimes, a movie is just good, where every single part works to accomplish its aims and where it transcends the level of entertaining that it should reach. Invaders from Proxima B is one of those movies, a film that in lesser hands would have been a garbage fire but instead becomes one of the best movies I've seen this year. If you get a chance to watch this one and you don't mind letting your guard down for a movie that will tug at your heartstrings and make you laugh at the same time, you definitely need to check it out.

Who this movie is for: Science fiction fans, Family friendly comedy lovers, Jim Henson

Bottom line: Hilarious, ridiculous, and sweet all rolled into one delightful ball, Invaders from Proxima B is a film that deserves to be highlighted. Writer/director/star Ward Roberts does an absolutely outstanding job in all three roles (four if you count his dual acting role in the film), and a star-studded cast including Samantha Sloyon and Richard Riehle will have you laughing all throughout the film. This movie is so much damn fun, and it's definitely one you'll want to check out. It's streaming May 31st exclusively on Fandango, and you owe it to yourself to give it a watch.

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