In the realm of low-grade alien horror films, "Extraterrestrial," the latest from the Vicious Brothers ("Grave Encounters"), serves as a gritty, cheap-thrills flick that has a bold payoff at the finale.

Brittany Allen and Freddie Stroma star as a couple spending the weekend in a cabin in the woods, the first of many cliches.

The plot involves aliens, conspiracy probes and other examples of the tropes you'd expect to find here, and if you're a fan of genre films, you'll recognize plenty of "inspirations."

If the film stands apart at all, it's thanks to two factors: a surprising ending and a thoroughly enjoyable performance by the underrated character actor Michael Ironside ("Starship Troopers").

"Extraterrestrial" isn't a good movie, but it's OK, and that's about all you should expect for this sort of thing.