The Objective (2008)
Daniel Myrick has experience when it comes to low-budget productions, having co-written The Blair Witch Project. The Objective offers a promising science fiction story set in contemporary Afghanistan, hinting at both supernatural and extraterrestrial plot themes. The spartan, low budget production along with minimal use of special effects allows the story to be the focus of the movie. As with Pontypool, many questions are raised throughout the course of the plot and the attentive viewer is required to listen and consider what is presented, rather than just blindly accept everything on face value.
It is the ambiguity of the story (which mixes Djinn mythology, British colonial history with elements of Erich von Däniken) and the way the protagonists struggle to come to grips with the ongoing events that proves so intriguing. A re-occurring theme throughout The Objective is how one’s personal frame of reference can sometimes limit how you interpret and quantify any new experience. Director Daniel Myrick utilises a classic plot device, in which the establishment tries to suppress events, fearing they will cause social unrest, if made known to the general public.
Although far from perfect, with average performances, clunky dialogue and a rather artificial narration, The Objective still manages to absorb and entertain. The low budget works to the films advantage, with action scenes feeling more like news footage. Instead of shocks there is an increasing atmosphere of disquiet which builds well over the ninety-minute running time. The mixture of genres works rather well and the films conclusion is suitably open ended and will definitely provoke debate. Overall, it’s best to file The Objective under “interesting curiosity”.