The Phoenix Incident ( 2015 ) – The Phoenix Lights

The Phoenix Incident ( 2015 ) - The Phoenix Lights

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 Plot

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! ).

Recommended watching.

Produce, direct and promote your own chilling horror film with real-world advice from award-winning, independent producer/director Danny Draven – CLICK HERE



  1. Please please please share some details of the nutcases that contact you! 😀 Do some of them argue certain FFF are actually REAL?

    • Yep many of them think certain movies are actually leaked footage from various FBI files. Some of them have even threatened me when I refuse to answer them LOL. I can’t give specific details because there’s a chance they still use this site – knowing my luck they’ll find out where I’m living LOL.
      Just take it from me – some of these people need proper help 🙂

  2. Just got this in the mail last week. Was totally surprised! Loved the arial combat and footage from group on ground was intense. It didn’t overdue the interview and extra footage inserts too as I thought it had a good balance. Definitely didn’t know what to expect going in as trailer shows mostly interviews with few seconds of footage on ground but was fun viewing all the way through. Liked the use of older cameras too. Also finally got Frost (Icelandic) in mail and if u have po box can send u my copy with a return box as would like it back when u are done as was hard to find. Let me know.

    • Oh that’s really nice of you! That would actually be pretty cool because I’ve struggled to find it online. I’ll have to look into this Pro Box thingy – is it like a sort of DropBox alternative?

  3. A Post Office box (PO). Is alternative to giving out home or business address. Can send dvd and return materials through that.

  4. Wait, people contact you about these movies being real?! haha. That’s awesome. This has to be an absolutely blast to do. Never a dull moment!

  5. As usual your review is spot on Chris, awesome work you have been putting in the site!
    As for the film i loved it, being a huge fan of the more creature feature oriented FF efforts this one hit all my sweet spots.

  6. Actually in Nashville TN in the states. Know is ways to ship but would pay for and include return shipping material. I could rent a PO box over here..don’t really know how different post system is over there for the PO box thingy..didn’t know you were from UK but can work with that. I have several hard copies of found footage films in my collection you probably haven’t seen if still interested send me an email and we can work it out. Sorry haven’t sent u synopsis on my project yet..Producer wants to keep story underwraps till completed by next spring and summer. Can say it’s more in the style of a VHS (the movie series) segments. Fast and to the point.

    • That sounds really cool – is the title ‘House of Labrys’ by any chance? ( I can’t remember! )

      Out of interest, what FF titles do you have that you feel I’ll be interested in?

  7. Yeah. Project title is House of Labrys. At work right now so can send more titles later but don’t think you have reviewed Embedded, Frost (Iceland), and Legend of the 5ive (British). Also Ejecta. This is a hybrid but large part is FF style. I couldn’t find copies online so had to order DVDs. My digital collection is about 135 FF films and DVDs collection about 25.

  8. Embedded has some poor acting in parts but overall was pretty fun. Ejecta also has its flaws but FF segments were killer. Thought Frost was quality realistic and Legends of the 5ive love for its lightheartedness/intenseness and has good self contained story. Usually find some flaw in a project but like it for the areas it gets right.

    • I watched Ejecta about 3 months ago now but I can’t remember it being Found Footage? Legends of the 5ive and Embedded seem like those films that are a bit illusive online at the moment – checked about last night but all I could find was fake streams ( unfortunately! ).

  9. Yeah, Ejecta has large found footage segments. Main creepy dude has guy filming him, rest is standard movie style with the torture and interview. Here is list of FF you might not have seen.
    2 survive
    Demonic (hybrid)
    Drunk wedding
    Earth to echo
    Inside No.9 S2E04
    La cueva
    No through road pt. 1-4. YouTube series
    Ragini MMS
    September tapes (official title has 8 in place of one of letters I think)
    Stargate Universe S01E08 (hybrid but large FF segments)
    The Wedding Video
    The conspiracy
    The Dirties
    The Haunted House Project
    The pyramid
    Wer (hybrid)
    What we do in the Shadows. (watch this first if haven’t seen..Stunning)
    Suspects S1-3

    • ‘What we do in the Shadows’ is a new one on me – I’ll have a little look for it tonight. I’ve watched the others except for Ragini MMS…which I had to turn off after 30 minutes or so! I try not to include the hybrid films on here because I get too many complaints when I do so – I think the last one I covered was The Hunt (2006) ( and I received a few private emails politely pointing out that it wasn’t ‘true’ found footage LOL ).

  10. I liked this movie. I liked the story especially since it was based on real incidents – made it all the more scary. The acting was over the top at times – and I really hated the aliens of this movie. It didn’t make sense that 12 aliens, walking on all-fours and growling like bears were able to not only fly the UFO but also fit inside of it. I don’t like the depiction of the aliens as rabid beasts – how can these angry dogs fly a UFO?? It made zero sense. Other than that – the story was good and I liked learning about the incidents of that night despite the unrealistic depictions.

    • LOL yeah the aliens were a bit on the large size when compared to the craft they were (supposed to be) flying!

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