Area 51 – The director who helped re-popularize found footage returns to help destroy it
Directed by: Oren Peli
Back in 2007, Oren Peli burst onto the horror scene, with the biggest (and best) found footage scare fest since “The Blair Witch Project”. The genuinely scary movie used a bunch of fun, new tricks and helped breathe new life into a nearly dead sub-genre. Soon after, it was announced that his follow up film would be another found footage flick, based on Area 51 and the horrors within. Well… It only took six years, but “Area 51” is finally here. It… is… awful.
I am not really going to get deep into the “Plot”, because it is not really worth talking about at length. A trio of buddies do three months of planning and, with no skill set, knowledge of the base, or clue what they are looking for head off to Nevada to break into the most secret of secret bases. The first 50 minuted of the film is just them driving around talking about how they are going to infiltrate the base and talking to some locals about aliens. Then they meet up with Jelena (Jelena Nik), a young woman who’s father worked at Area 51, and mysteriously died after “Asking too many questions”. She gives them some documents and maps, that her father had stashed, to give them a tiny bit of knowledge about the base’s layout.
Then, finally, they go to the actual place. I thought okay! Here we go! This is what I have been waiting for! Bring on the scares! But, there were no scares coming. There was nothing (outside of about five minutes of cool alien technology) of interest at all. There was just unlikeable characters saying and doing dumb things. The actual aliens get about 15 seconds of screen time, and that only comes in quick flashes before it’s back to the camera shaking violently while one of the characters runs up ANOTHER flight of stairs.
I recommend you NOT watch this movie. I honestly can’t think of anyone I know that would enjoy it. It doesn’t even have the “So bad it’s funny” quality. It is just boring. I guess it is somewhat poetic that the guy who revived found footage (and spawned hundreds of terrible movies) also delivers one of the final kill shots to it.