I don’t know what I expected when I clicked play on Area 51 on Netflix, but I didn’t get it. From the writer/director of the original Paranormal Activity, comes a sci-fi horror about three people attempting to infiltrate Area 51. The term horror is used very loosely here, as this movie is not scary but attempts to evoke scares in the same way that many found footage films do – through quick quicks, jump scares and half baked tension. On a basic script level, several interesting bits of dialogue that could have paid off well never landed and left me wondering why they were added in the first place. Aside from the occasional fright due to a sudden increase in the decibel level, there are no real scares here. Heck, for a movie about the conspiracy to hide alien life, there are barely any aliens here either. All this movie has going for it is the fact that I’m a sucker for government conspiracy films. But, as a huge fan of the X-Files and many other much more well-made movies, I was left unsatisfied.
Food for thought, who found this footage? The basic premise in a found footage film is that someone found this camera and released it to “get the truth out.” But when (spoiler alert) the protagonists disappear and their families are left wondering where they are, who found the footage and is showing it to the world? It’s basic questions like this that I wonder when watching movies.