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Phoenix Forgotten (2017) – Movie Review

Phoenix Forgotten (2017) - Movie Review

Actually put this post together several weeks ago…and forgot to publish it to the site! Well, better late than never.

The very first alien abduction Found Footage I sat through was Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County many, many years ago.

I remember stumbling across it on a dodgy Sky channel when I was smashed out with the flu – I loved it!

Since it’s release (I think it was 1998 from what I remember!) there have been several Found Footage movies covering the subject of alien abduction.

Most of them have been a bit of a disappointment…

The Plot

20 years after three teenagers disappeared in the wake of mysterious lights appearing above Phoenix, Arizona, unseen footage from that night has been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition.

The Phoenix Lights

Phoenix Forgotten is a Found Footage tale based on actual events from March 13th, 1997 – a mass UFO sighting which occurred in Phoenix, Arizona, and Sonora, Mexico.

To be honest – there were no real alien abduction reports from this incident, but the film would have been pretty dour if it just covered cam footage of a bunch of lights!

Still, it is a real-life incident and it provides numerous juicy plot directions for a science fiction horror film.

Conclusion

This movie had an added advantage over similar movie releases because it was able to pick the bones out of the slew of science fiction FF films that have been released since Incident in Lake County.

This certainly worked in it’s favor.

Add to that the power play of having master filmmaker Ridley Scott overseeing director Justin Barber’s every move…and you have a pretty damn fine Found Footage movie!

When the movie links together it offers a convincing and enjoyable Mockumentary/Found Footage experience.

In my book, the most impressive element of this film was the quality of the dialogue – something which is pretty rare in the world of Found Footage.

I could tell that this movie had some ‘big hitters’ behind it’s polished finish due to the layout of this dialogue and believable interviewees/characters.

A high percentage of the script lines were delivered with no-nonsense acting skills, instead of the more generic over-acting that usually infests Found Footage pictures.

Most of the characters manage to establish charismatic connections that make the gradually developing mystery intriguing (much like the impressive Lake Mungo).

I also liked the way the film was split into two separate time periods – half of the film centered on following the sister of one of the missing (or abducted) kids, 20 years after the incident.

The remainder of the film was reserved for the ‘real’ Found Footage flavor involving the missing teenagers.

I’d say that the only real downside to the film is the amount of time it takes to get to this Found Footage segment. When we finally arrive there’s only about thirty minutes of the film to go.

This could be considered a slow burn, and I’m fine with this, but the wait just felt a little bit too long overall.

I was also a bit pissed off with one of the ending scenes, nothing that would seal the deal…but irritating enough…

How many times do we have to see a camera falling through the sky after someone has been abducted by aliens?

I count three Found Footage films so far (and please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong!).

But overall this was a good experience, and a good addition to the genre – well worth watching.

Chris

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