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Report 51 (2013) – Movie Review

Report 51 (2013) - Movie Review

Okay, this was the movie I was looking for when I published the last review – it took about two days of going through your suggestions before I finally found it!

I should mention – a big shout-out to Matthew Moeykens for being the first one to suggest Report 51…and thank you to the rest of you who came at me with hundreds of other suggestions (it’s been fun going through them all actually!).

Anyway, it was the final quarter of the film that stuck in my mind when I first watched it several years ago – the sort of alien attack in the abandoned town and factory.

To be brutally honest with you – memories tend to cloud over the shit elements in movies sometimes, and you’re left thinking a film is better than it actually is…which is what happened with Report 51.

Great CGI, some of the best alien action I’ve seen in a Found Footage movie…but massive holes throughout and a strange choice of European actors using native English…

It kinda worked…and it kinda didn’t!

The Plot

After a strange sighting, four friends decide to move in the near woodlands to investigate. Soon their weekend becomes a nightmare and a race for survival.

Why Were They Searching For Aliens?

The biggest ‘head-scratcher’ I took from this plot involved the beginning of the movie – why the fuck were they looking for aliens in the first place?

I mean – did I miss something?

There’s an initial car scene where the engine cuts out, phones go dead etc…then we jump straight into an over-acted argument on a forest road…with a character that didn’t seem to be in the first scene?

Then BANG – a full on alien shit-storm until the end credits roll!

It’s a movie that’s kinda full of strange direction choices…and I’d love to know who put the storyboard together for the plot (because they must have been drunk!).

I was also a bit confused by the over-reliance on text cards throughout the movie…especially at the beginning. Before anything happens on-screen, we have to sit through eight consecutive screens of text that don’t even make sense. Lost in translation maybe?

Conclusion 

It’s important to note that certain parts of this movie are VERY enjoyable and a credit to the Found Footage genre.

It’s also important to note that other aspects of the movie made no sense whatsoever…and some were even cringe-worthy!

From what I gather, this is an Italian project, and the language barrier has unfortunately come into play a few times. I’m not having a go – I can’t speak Italian, so the actors are already one step ahead of me in academic circles…

It’s just that these types of Italian-English pronunciations can really get lost in the audio pickup from a camcorder microphone or Skype call.

Now, I don’t want to sound like I’m taking the piss out of the filmmakers here, but the Italian-English angle also brought about some hilarious statements in the movie.

I’m not going to go through them all, because that would be unkind, but when the army officer rings up the cell phone and claims he’s from ‘The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs’

I pissed myself laughing (and I’m still laughing now!).

But let’s get onto the positive side of the movie, because there are extremely strong positive elements.

The cinematography and the CGI/effects department were excellent for this indie level of filmmaking – I was impressed by them the first time I watched it, and I was impressed by them again the other night.

These two elements also led to a few really fascinating and exciting Found Footage scenes – edge of your seat stuff.

As a package, to look at – the movie deserves full marks.

Unfortunately, the strange plot choices and the Italian-English pronunciations led to A LOT of overacting and campy situations.

I can’t help feeling that this movie would have been a much better experience if they’d stuck to English subtitles and their native tongue.

Definitely worth watching for some excellent scenes…but be prepared for a few ‘head slap’ moments and giggles throughout.

Chris

14 Comments

  1. Been viewing your site for ages and just wanna say THANK YOU. I fell in love with Found Footage ever since I seen Blair Witch (Scariest movie in my eyes).Since than I had problems finding good FF to view until I came across your platform years ago. I’ve tried other sites such as foundfootagecritic but he doesn’t even review said movies and never gave detail on how to find them. Just continue to keep this site up and giving spot-on reviews and you will forever have me as a supporter. PEACE

    • Hey Jesse – nice to meet you mate!

      Glad you find the site useful. Yeah I know all about that other site – the owner of it is not my biggest fan (from what I hear!) 🙂
      Cheers for the support man – looking forward to talking to you in the future!

  2. Hi Chris,

    The flaws definitely made you to forget the title of the movie as good memories never dies. Quite surprising this came out shoddy because Italian movies are usually worth the money expended in buying them. 

    We never know what the movie is actually about aside the alien thing you mentioned. 

    It is even an old movie, 2013 right?

    I may search for it and watch if you had said it will make me stay glued to the screen till the end.

    • Hi Kabirat, 

      If you like Italian movies then you should go for it – this has some decent CGI scenes in it etc, and you may even find more worth in it than I did! 

  3. When I read your review of this pretty crazy movie, it was like I was sitting on the couch with popcorn and my best friend, LOL.  I absolutely love your writing style, it’s raw and real, and I have to say I mirror your sentiments about how the director must have been drunk, lol.  That’s hysterical.  If someone wants a movie review, this is the website to go to.  Your choices of movies is great, and I love that you take to heart requests from your readers.  Great job!

    • Hey Babsie,

      Well thanks for the positive vibes – glad you enjoyed the review, and hope you enjoy the rest of the site! 🙂

  4. I must say that this is pretty interesting review Chris. I am a big fan of thriller and horror Found Footage movies but also those that are alien based. What I like to see in this type of movies is its background. I will for sure watch this movie because I have not stumbled upon it yet.

    • Cool news Daniel – it’s all over the internet at the moment, so you’ll have no problems finding it! 

  5. The movie seems very good despite the foreign language. I do not think this will be a problem. I like fantasy movies and I think I will put it to my watch-list and watch it later in my winter vacation. Also can I watch it with my family? Thank you.

    • Hmmm, can you watch it with your family?

      Okay maybe time for a little disclosure here – about 99.9% of the movies I review here have more than a few dead bodies in them. I wouldn’t really recommend any of them for ‘a family night in’!

  6. Hi Chris 

    I always enjoy your reviews and I really enjoyed your angle on this one. The line from the army officer about being from the United Nations for outer space affairs!  That got me laughing as well! 

    I think this is my favourite review so far, have you a newsletter i could subscribe to? 

    Where can I view the films you review? 

    • Hi Darren, 

      No I don’t do newsletters, as they seem like spam to me (and I wouldn’t do that to my readers!). The best place to find most of the movies I review is on a Putlocker site (as they’re free!). 

  7. Language barrier has been mentioned as the main weakness of the making of the project but as I read it, it’s been successful.

    I hope you enjoyed watching and writing. It’s good you were happy with laughter being one of the audiences around.

    Is the title of the movie, “Report 51 (2013) ?

    • I see what you mean Abagatan – no, the title is actually ‘Report 51’, the 2013 is the release date! 

      Sorry for the confusion! 🙂

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