Chad Archibald and Matt Wiele’s science fiction horror film centers around a man who suffers from PTSD due to quite a violent encounter with an alien race forty years before the events of Ejecta takes place. The film uses a unique storytelling method in order to show the two sides of William Cassidy. In spite of the nonlinear plot development, the film is easy to follow. This is largely due to the effective editing from Archibald and Wiele (the duo donned many hats during the production: directors, producers, and editors). Proper shifting between what occurred that night and the interrogation scenes makes it easy for us to see both sides of William’s mental state, with both of the story lines eventually intersecting towards the end of the film.
Julian Richings does a fantastic job in the central role, brilliantly portraying the mental deterioration of William throughout the film. Ejecta simply would not have been the same without casting Julian Richings. After seeing him as Death in Supernatural, I was not sure what to expect, but it was certainly not a disappointment. Despite the strange circumstances he finds himself in, the audience is still able to feel empathy for the character.
William displays the typical symptoms of a soldier that has just left combat. Of course, this might have something to do with being kidnapped and tortured by a special ops team that wants to know everything about this alien race. Despite his relentless interrogation, like a soldier, he refuses to give up any important information. During these interrogation scenes, we watch as William switches from a suffering victim to a man possessed by terrifying rage. Through a “found footage” style plot device, however, a documentary that William is the subject of serves as an alternative look into William’s psyche. In this footage, we see William as an intelligent, elusive loner. The man behind the documentary, Joe, visits William’s home on the night of a solar flare, much like the one that took place forty years ago. This is an odd occurrence and William is convinced that the aliens will return on this night, but no one was prepared for the events that later took place. As the film unfolds, audiences are fed pieces of the story at different times.
Although it may have that SyFy original movie ‘look,’ the character development is what sets it apart. Pontypool showed writer Tony Burgess’ skill as a master character creator. Seeing his vision combined, here, with the work of Julian Richings and directors Archibald and Wiele, makes Ejecta a truly enjoyable experience. Despite the potentially absurd source material, everything comes together in an effective form. It is just crazy enough to make an excellent film but not too crazy to make viewers wonder what is actually going on. Although it may have that SyFy original movie ‘look,’ the character development is what sets it apart.
Ejecta is now available on Blu-ray via Scream Factory and IFC