Area 51 ( 2015 ) – Undeniable UFO Footage

Area 51 ( 2015 ) - Undeniable UFO Footage

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 Plot

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!




  1. Hey Chris
    Any idea how to get this here in the UK?
    Not seen it on blu ray or amazon streaming services (prime/netflix) etc

    • Hey James. I’m based in Cardiff and I found it on solarmoive.ws ( you’ve just got to put up with about 2 pop up adverts when you press play ). It’s in the horror section there.
      Glad you like the site, look forward to hearing from you again 🙂

  2. Saw this at the weekend, loved it.
    It had some terrible reviews online but I I don’t think the purpose of this film was to be a full on horror. To me it gave a great impression of what it would be like to actually break into Area 51 and I think the film nailed this as it really did feel like they were in a top security facility.

  3. This was a very good and partial review. I really enjoy pretty much any films that are based on UFO’s. Area 51 is particularly interesting to me, as I know someone that once worked there while in the military. While this person denies that there is anything “extra-terrestrial” out there, I always have my doubts.

    • You know someone who used to work there? Awesome stuff – if I was you I’d be all over him like a rash until he spilled the beans LOL. I’d want to know EVERYTHING!

      Nice talking to you Kevin – get on your friend’s case and find out more!!!!!!

  4. This looks like an interesting movie, I love horror and scifi but I confess, I’ve never even heard of this one.

    I tend to prefer lower budget movies, because I find the higher budget movies are all about effect but very little in the way of storyline. Of course there are exceptions to the rule.

    Looks like the makings of a fascinating site, so consider yourself bookmarked and I shall call back again.

    By the way, we share something else, I’m also in Cardiff. 🙂


    • Hey Jay, where in Cardiff are you based – that’s a turn up for the books 🙂
      Yeah I hear what you’re saying with the lower budget scaled films – they tend to have more effort put into the originality side of things to make up for the lack of budget!
      Great to hear from another Welshman on here!

        • Ahh no way! I’m in Thornhill next to Lisvane – about 5 miles away I think! I should of guessed you were welsh with a name like Jase Thomas 🙂

  5. Hello Chris,
    Another great critique of a film that most have never even heard of. I knew about paranormal but I did not know he was doing other genre of films, so you think he used his credibility to sneak this one in?
    Many directors have done that in the past and gotten away with it, many have done it and ruined their carreers as well.


    • Hello again San!
      By paranormal I guess you’re on about Oren Peli the director of Paranormal Activity yes? Well he didn’t do that bad here but I couldn’t help thinking he played things a little safe. Still, it was a decent film overall and I did enjoy it.

  6. Nice! I myself am a film major. If you go to WatchMojo and type found footage it’ll give you a list of the best found film footage. You’ve listed some of them, but there might be other ones that might interest you. Keep up the good work!

    • Hi there Genevieve,
      Nice to see someone from the film industry/business here! I’ve never heard of WatchMojo before but I’ll be on it like a rash today 🙂
      I’m always looking for new ways to discover FF films because so many of them slip under the radar due to low budgets and no sort of promotion.

  7. Hey man, wanted to say thanksfor making this site. I’ve been a fan of found footage movies since I first saw Blair Witch in 1998 and love what good they’ve done for the horror genre!

    I have to say I fully agree that Area 51 was a good movie overall although definitely somewhat disappointing considering Oren Peli was in charge. The story moves at a nice pace throughout yet I couldn’t help but feel like i’d seen the movie several times before.

    Thanks again man, keep the reviews coming! I’ve bookmarked the page so i’ll be sure to check in when i’m out of movie ideas!

    • You are very welcome Mikki – great to have you here ( and thanks for the bookmark! ) 🙂

  8. I haven’t seen Area 51 so I think I might have to check it out! I’ve always been fascinated with the possibility of extra-terrestrial life and have often wondered if there are beings out there that have come to visit Earth. With the huge amount of planets in the universe I would think that there has to be! What would you say is your favorite film ever involving aliens?

    • Wow that’s a really difficult question to answer. I did watch a film called ‘Altered’ about 5 years ago – pretty cool alien film! 🙂

    • LOL – and the ‘twat of the day’ award goes to…
      Thanks for that well thought out comment – and try and start a sentence with a capital letter in future (Aren’t not aren’t)

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