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Aliens: Zone of Silence (2017) – Movie Review

Aliens: Zone of Silence (2017) - Movie Review

Another pretty lucky week for me as yet another new Found Footage movie was dumped right in front of me – I love it when this sort of thing happens!

As most of you are aware, locating new titles in this genre tends to be quite a task because the film industry still sees them as second class citizens…even though their popularity has soared over the last couple of decades.

So, when I am contacted directly by filmmakers – it kinda makes my day.

Last Friday I received a mail from Chris Charles, co-founder of Throughline Films, regarding a new Found Footage title they were officially releasing this week – Aliens: Zone of Silence.

It’s safe to say he got my attention immediately…

The Plot 

After her brother mysteriously vanishes from the Mexican desert, a young woman sets out to uncover the otherworldly truth about his disappearance. (Yep, stolen film bio from IMDb once again!).

Slow & Steady

First off I better mention that this movie was good – very good. So, if anything I write (or in this case ‘type’) sounds a little negative…you haven’t read deep enough into the review (shame on you!).

In my book there are usually two main paths a Found Footage movie can travel…

  1. A complete CGI-fest from the word ‘go’.
  2. A slow and intelligent burner that builds towards an atmospheric climax.

Aliens: Zone of Silence is definitely in the second category – I kinda felt it was like an extraterrestrial Willow Creek.

You know the type of movie I’m getting at – the kind that can create a disturbing atmosphere without having to throw a ton of ‘entities’ on-screen.

It had enough strength throughout to keep the viewer latched on without actually showing them too much…until the film’s climax, of course!

Conclusion

A real nice surprise this one – I knew nothing about it beforehand and I didn’t really expect to enjoy it as much as I did.

You can always tell the difference between a Found Footage movie that has been planned out, and one that has been thrown together as a ‘hit and hope’. This was definitely well planned out.

When you back up a strong plot, with a decent script and solid actors – you are normally onto a winner.

The film is split into two parts which both work out really well. The majority of the film follows ‘the sister’ (who is portrayed really well by Sarah Hester ) in her desperate attempt to locate her missing brother (Peter Gesswein) and his mate (Jed Maheu).

The second part of the film covers the recovered footage the sister finds along her journey through the Mexico desert.

I’ll be honest with you here – I don’t remember seeing any of these three actors on the ‘big screen’ before but they seem to have no problem in embracing the Found Footage genre – they were spot on throughout!

Oh, and a special mention should also go out to Vince Tula who plays Goose – the Marine veteran character that technically backs up the sister’s search. Another solid performance from a lead character.

The cinematography of the movie was also spot on – shot through body-mounted GoPro video cameras and a large selection of rather impressive tripod-mounted video devices. This visual setup gives the film some truly unique angles and some impressive Found Footage moments.

The movie as a finished article was so impressive I decided to ‘stalk’ the director/writer, to find out more about him – which was a relatively easy task due to the effectiveness of IMDb…

I was surprised to discover that Andy Fowler was the visual effects dude that worked on 300 (2006), The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008) and The Revenant (2015).

From what I gather – this Found Footage film is his directorial debut.

I’m hoping he sticks to this genre – he seems to have the knack for it!

Definitely one of the better ‘alien abduction’ titles in the Found Footage genre. Well thought out, visually appealing with solid actors…

Well worth a watch.

Chris

6 Comments

  1. Read your article and so could not wait to watch this film – you were 100% right. This film is worth the time. Twist at end……….. I like…….

    • Great stuff – the guys behind the movie will be super-pleased it is getting a good reaction! (yeah it was a good ending wasn’t it?)

  2. I wonder where you put this movie in terms of top 10 or 20 etc for this genre?? I kinda liked the fact it felt different to many of the others of its type – whadya think Chris?

    • Definitely near the top mate – but ‘Incident In Lake County’ will always hold top spot for me in the UFO section!

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