Movie Review: A Look Back at “The X Files: I Want to Believe” (2008)

There’s an X-Files movie just sitting out there, ignored and unloved by the fandom because the filmmakers decided to try relaunching the series after 6 years off the air without the alien mythos being the backbone of the story. It’s time to revisit it with a new perspective, knowing there will be no aliens.


Personally, I agree with their decision to do a Monster of the Week kind of movie rather than a mythos heavy movie where you need to see every episode of the TV series to understand what is going on. The first X-Files movie suffers from this just a little bit, you needed to see so much of the series to get a good understanding of what was going on there. It got lucky because it was released in the original heydey of The X-Files and EVERYBODY knew what was going on due to them watching it week to week; it was a phenomenon.

This decision to leave the aliens out of this sequel gives us a fantastic story involving head/body transplantation based on the experiments of Vladimir Demikhov. In the mid 20th century, he grafted the second head of a dog onto another dog’s body. He was a pioneer surgeon that paved the way for human heart and lung transplants. If you so desire, you can find footage of Demikhov and his two headed dog as well as a dog head that he kept alive separate from a body using the same machine they use to keep people alive during heart transplants on YouTube (actually, here it is). The movie is also rooted in an experiment done at Case Western Reserve University in 1963 of a head/body transplant on a monkey.

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