ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT has released “AURORA ENCOUNTER” a decent, and, at times, creative take on aliens visiting earth. The Wild West makes for an uncommon location to have an alien visitation, and that’s what happens in the small town of Aurora, Texas. The children in the town fall head over heels for the charming and friendly newcomer. Perhaps making it easier, the newcomer is played by a child, albeit one stricken with progeria, causing an unusually aged appearance for a child. The adults, while uncomfortable at first, grow to like him. Unfortunately, when the editor of the town newspaper writes about the alien, word travels fast and the state Governor threatens deadly force to rid the town of the alien. Prejudices and other horrible traits come out, and there’s question whether or not the warm-heartedness of the relationship between the alien, children and decent folk will win out.
While obviously low-budget, the film’s production design makes it appear “almost” like a mainstream film. The cast is decent, and Jack Elam is always great to watch, even in a small role, as is the case here. Unfortunately, large portions of the film drag, and it’s hard to discern what audience the film’s targeting. It’s generally too slow for youngsters, and lacks the depth necessary to please most adults.
ANCHOR BAY has preserved its 1.85:1 aspect ratio, with 16:9 enhancement. While there’s frequent grain, colors are generally bright and darker scenes offer a surprising amount of detail. Fleshtones appear natural.
The monaural mix is sufficient, but it lacks the clarity of typically superior ANCHOR BAY releases. Dialogue is always intelligible.