So at last it’s finally arrived – Oren Peli’s undeniable UFO footage delivered to the world in an 80 minute package!
Most of you will already know that Oren Peli was the director of the groundbreaking Found Footage flick Paranormal Activity.
Did he manage to put himself on the map once again with this new offering to the genre?
Well he came pretty close but I couldn’t help thinking he may have taken the safer route throughout this film.
I was expecting something as impressive as the recent Exists but this just managed to fall a little short. It was one of those plots that you could play out in your head in advance.
It seemed way to ‘safe’ to me – there were no real surprises in it and I didn’t once experience any sort of shock factor. It was good – don’t get me wrong…but it wasn’t great!
The film follows a group of friends who are led by UFO fanatic Reid ( Reid Warner ). In the early stages of the film Reid goes missing during a party in a nearby forest. Once found, he claims to have completely lost time and have no idea where he has been.
So Reid sets about leading his two best mates Darrin ( Darrin Bragg ) and Ethan ( Ben Rovner ) into the most secretive military base in the country…Area 51.
He is positive that his lost time is down to alien abduction and he feels he is being drawn to this famous UFO haven.
They do a bit of ‘business’ on the web and kit themselves out with the necessary equipment ( thermal goggles, hazmat suits and electronic signal-jammers…you get the drift! ) and head towards Las Vegas.
They decide to take a couple of camcorders with them in case they bump into any sort of extraterrestrial evidence ( naturally! ).
The Undeniable UFO Footage
Paranormal Activity gave the Found Footage community new and interesting gimmicks which allowed it to stand out from the crowd. I felt that Oren Peli made the mistake of stepping too far away from these gimmicks with this film.
I enjoyed it from start to finish but I felt like I had seen it all before. It seemed to stick to traditional Found Footage values when it really didn’t need to.
A few months back I reviewed a British film named Hangar 10 which seems to have taken the shine off Peli’s later offering.
They were very different films but at the same time they were very similar ( if you know what I mean ). I got the impression that Peli decided not to watch Hangar 10 or simply ignored it…
I feel this was probably a mistake.
There’s no getting away from the fact that this is a ‘higher-end’ Found Footage offering that is definitely worth watching. I’m just a little deflated about it’s lack of originality.
The party scene at the start of the film is a pretty captivating way to get things going but then the rest of the film seems to be a straight line to it’s conclusion.
The final twenty minute climax is brilliant but again I felt the lack of surprise took something away from it. We know this bunch of dudes shouldn’t of entered the base and we know they are going to ‘cop it’ somehow.
But when they do finally ‘cop it’ it seems to be a little bit plastic – a little bit predictable.
I was also a little bit irritated by the ease in which this lot got hold of all their equipment. I work online for a living and I don’t often come across hazmat suits and electrical army devices on sale!
Don’t get me wrong – this was a really good Found Footage offering. I think the problem here is that it was created and directed by a Found Footage legend. Expectations were therefore really high and I’m not quite sure they were reached at any point.
A really good Found Footage film that could quite easily of been great…originality counts for a lot these days!