You know, when I first saw the plot of this movie, I thought it was a possible inspiration for Michael Crichton’s book, The Andromeda Strain. Then I realized that this movie came out almost a decade after the book came out. Either way, I knew that I was in for a movie that, while it did have some sort of sci-fi element to it, was going to focus way more on suspense than anything else. And I am perfectly ok with that. Sometimes, whether it be in an action movie, a drama, a horror movie, or a sci-fi movie, the amount of suspense in a movie can totally make or break a film. Today’s movie, The Alpha Incident, made complete use of that fact.
The plot: A space probe has brought back an organism from Mars which, according to some tests performed by scientists, could destroy all life on Earth. A decision is made by the higher ups to send the majority of the containers with the organism to a facility in Colorado by train, under care of Dr. Sorensen. During the trip, Hank, a nosy cargo handler, opens one of the cargo containers and accidentally breaks one of the canisters, cutting himself on a piece of glass in the process. When the train pulls into Moose Point in order to switch engines, Sorensen learns about what Hank has done, and is forced to quarantine himself and the other people, Charlie, Jack, and Jenny, at the station. As the people start to panic, Hank makes a run for it and though Sorensen manages to shoot him in the leg, Hank still makes his way into the woods. When the scientists discover that sleep can cause the organism to take effect, the 4 people are forced to try and stay awake for as long as they can until a cure can be found. After receiving some supplies from the National Guard, they all do what they can to stay awake, but the pressure starts getting to them. Charlie winds up falling asleep and after a brief scream and stumbling in pain, he collapses dead onto the floor. As his body lies there, the organism begins causing his head and brain to swell. Jack freaks out and pushes a cabinet over, crushing Charlie’s head while Jenny grabs Sorensen’s gun and goes out to her car, where she kills herself. Sorensen’s boss talks to the research head and tells them to keep working on a cure but he is writing off the people in Moose Point. A helicopter drops off some pills, with a note saying that they are the antidote, but when Jack takes one and dies soon afterwards, Sorensen realizes that they are cyanide pills. Sorensen winds up falling asleep and when he wakes up, he realizes that he has not been infected. However, one of the National Guard breaks the nearby window and fires his gun into the building, killing Sorensen.
This movie is very underrated but I found it to be a really good movie. The acting among several characters was really good. Stafford Morgan (Sorensen), John F. Goff (Jack), and George “Buck” Flower (Hank) all did outstanding jobs in their respective roles. Carol Irene Newell (Jenny) did a decent job as well. The plot was pretty good and the writing really helped move the movie along. There wasn’t a whole lot of action in this movie. The movie was mainly carried by the dialogue between the characters and the suspense generated by their exchanges. The ending of the movie was very reminiscent of the ending of Romero’s Night Of The Living Dead, with the main character surviving the night’s events only to wind up being killed by an outside element at the very end. A surprisingly good movie that is worth watching.
Rating: 3 out of 5