Notable Cast: Reid Warner, Darrin Bragg, Jelena Nik, Ben Rovner
Oren Peli’s movie worth essentially skyrocketed overnight with the success of his film Paranormal Activity. His follow up, Area 51, however, seemingly disappeared into the void for years as he left the director’s chair to become a very successful producer. After six years of development (!), Area 51 finally was released to a rather quiet escape on VOD and then home video. After watching the film, it’s understandable why it was “tinkered with” for over half of a decade. The film is a pretty massive letdown in comparison to his previous directorial effort.
Reid (Warner) has become obsessed with Area 51 since an incident at a party three months prior that's left him mentally uneven. He’s got his two friends (Bragg, Rovner) convinced to help him break into the elusive government base. He has the material, the man power, and a young guide (Nik) whose father previously worked there. Now they just need to record what they see in the base before it’s too late to see if the truth is hidden in there.
For the man who redefined the ‘found footage’ angle for horror films in a whole new generation, he totally misses out on captivating the strengths of the style for Area 51 too. The editing seems too haphazard and it sincerely lacks any kind of atmospheric build until the final act…and like I said above – it was much too little and much too late. Some of the sequences seem to lack a flow or coherency to the structure and it makes for some frustrating beats. There are some fun and ambiguous sequences at the end that give the film a bit of punch, but even then it seems like Peli misses the mark to really capitalize on the concept of the film.
|This movie needs more...everything. Including weirdness.|
Written By Matt Reifschneider