Here’s the problem with found-footage movies these days : the idea that someone would release a documentary which featured people actually being killed on camera, or breaking into government facilities and exposing the deepest darkest secrets therein, without some kind of censorship or gag order is a little bit much. Maybe a new idea for movies like this would be to release on YouTube, or some kind of guerrilla pre-release to create at least the illusion of realism might breathe some life back into this particular sub genre. Anyways, let’s get this over with. Area 51.
Three young conspiracy theorists attempt to uncover the mysteries of Area 51, the government’s secret location rumored to have hosted encounters with alien beings. What they find at this hidden facility exposes unimaginable secrets.
A few years ago, seeing Oren Peli’s name attached to a new movie might have been exciting to me, and given that he hasn’t directed a movie since the first Paranormal Activity, there was still a part of me that wanted to be excited. That wanted to pretend that the MASSIVE success of Paranormal Activity wasn’t an isolated incident.
Then I remembered that this movie was about Area 51.
Look, here’s my issue with this on it’s face, Area 51 is a secret military base in the desert. They test and build top secret things there, sure. The thing is, just because you can’t go there doesn’t mean that it’s aliens, or the illuminati, or ghosts, or what the fuck ever. It means you don’t get to go everywhere all the time. The same shitty conspiracy theories come around any time someone tries to keep a secret. Can’t go into Area 51? Aliens. Can’t go into the underground parts of the Denver Airport? Gas chambers. There really are things that we sometimes don’t get to fully understand. I think we like to imagine that our governments are sinister like they are the movies, but sinister in secret. The thing is, our governments are sinister right in front of our faces. So lets focus on the real things first.
Weird tangent over.
This movie is bad, the acting is mediocre, and the one character who tells his friends that breaking into Area 51 is a stupid idea is supposed to be the asshole friend in the movie, which is hard to stomach. The other characters are so gung-ho and misguided that having the voice of reason relegated to the villain is frustrating.
The other issue I have is that it’s not particularly scary. I know fears are subjective, and some people are TERRIFIED of alien movies, but there are just so many better alien movies than this one. The Fourth Kind and Aliens jump to mind immediately and I’m sure you can think of more. It might be a bit better than last years Extraterrestrial, but that’s not saying much.
Overall, I expected better and you should to. Give this one a pass.