MPI // 2011 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // November 15th, 2012
The plane crash was just the beginning.
From IFC films, comes yet another entry in the "found footage" genre. This go-round, we follow the terrifying adventures of a group of girls as they board a plane for a fun getaway and keep their camcorder rolling to capture all of the good times. It starts off with the usual hijinks, the girls filming random passengers while getting sharp looks and giggle. And then all Hell breaks loose.
The plane crashes and the few remaining survivors discover they're trapped in an unknown place...let's call it Area 407. But that's not the worst of it! Soon strange creature noises begin to surround them, as one-by-one the survivors fall to an unknown predator. Thankfully, through all this unbridled terror and mayhem, these enterprising young filmmakers managed to keep the camera on the entire time and pointed in relatively close proximity to the horror.
Thank goodness for that. Otherwise, we would be denied this aggressively mediocre low-budget horror romp which only manages to achieve noteworthiness in the closing seconds with a half-decent pre-credits stinger. Before that? Blah.
Of course, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to cop to my distaste of found footage movies. That bias is firmly entrenched, flowering after my annoyed experience with The Blair Witch Project. It just seems like such a needlessly complex gimmick, an approach that requires all manner of smoke and mirrors to pull off. Not to mention the suspension of disbelief, which is even weightier than most "normal" movies. With found footage, the pressure is heavier because the rules the film plays by remain entrenched in "the real world." Because, you know, it's found footage. Setting aside the built-in irritation of shaky-cam and what not, there is one huge logic obstacle to overcome: Why don't these idiots just put the camera down?!
I know it's a lay-up to poke at films like this, but I just can't get over the stupidity of these amateur videographers. Any movie with this conceit requires a motivation to keep the film rolling that makes some sense, and it's not there Area 407. So what we get is a night of abject terror, including a plane crash (!) followed by a series of murders from an unseen monster, as these losers continually bellyache into the lens.
Yes, this review morphed into a dump on a found footage movies, but all the above cynicism applies to Area 407. There's nothing new or interesting going on here, save for the ending. I just can't conjure up a good reason to invest the time and headache meds required to watch it.
A lean DVD: standard def 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby 5.1 Surround, English SDH and Spanish subtitles, but no extras.
Guilty. Please condemn this area, pronto.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated