A couple of weeks back a regular visitor to this site recommended The Phoenix Incident to me…but I can’t remember who it was!
When I first started up this site I was basically shooting in the dark – I realized there were no websites out there that covered the genre so I figured I had a chance at building on the niche ( and I loved Found Footage films anyway! ).
I didn’t expect things to take off as quickly or successfully as they have!
I now get anywhere between 10 to 100 direct messages a day from this site covering fans, indie producers, perspective advertisers and…nutcases ( you wouldn’t believe some of the psychos that contact me! ).
Anyway, I’m rambling again!!!
The point I’m trying to get at is that I often forget who introduced me to what. So whoever recommended this movie to me please remind me in the comment section below ( you deserve a shout out! ).
The film is based on the true UFO events that took place over in Phoenix, Arizona in 1997 and the government cover up that followed it.
Before I go any further I should point out that the incident itself really did happen – I remember following it on the news ( click here for more information on the Phoenix Lights ).
The film is set up as a documentary ( or mockumentary ) that follows the disappearance of four men during the UFO incident.
We constantly switch from post-incident documentary interviews to actual Found Footage taken by the group of four friends.
( I’ve decided to include some REAL footage from the 1997 incident for those of you who are unfamiliar with the case! )
The Genuine Feel
I’ve come across many films in this genre attempting this sort of thing before but most of them tend to end up a little ‘flat’ at best.
The Phoenix Incident seems to be built on a lot more intelligence – the director ( Keith Arem ) has gone out of his way to make the whole mockumentary/footage experience as genuine as possible.
Many of the documentary segments seem completely unscripted which gives a perfect eeriness to the whole ‘case file’.
Sometimes directors just get things ‘right’ in their heads and the whole movie moves on from there.
Totally enjoyable from my point of view – a film I had heard little about beforehand which surprised me no end.
After diving into Keith Arem’s background a bit I found out that he was actually a video game director before making this jump into the horror genre. He has an impressive CV including a handful of the Call of Duty games.
When you stop and think a minute you’ll realize that’s pretty awesome really – video game plots don’t necessarily have to be PhD level to work ( anything goes really no matter how ridiculous! ).
I also like the way the film decided to stick with the low quality visuals – remember this plot is based in 1997 and camera options were not exactly set up for HD back then!
So we’ve got intelligent cinematography, a believable cast, a strong story based on both fact and fiction, and an excellent debut director.
I just hope this is not a flash in the pan for Mr. Arem and the Found Footage genre ( I hope he chooses to go down this route again! ).