[BD Review] ‘Area 407′

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This is AREA 407 – previously known as TAPE 407.

Tape what?

Nevermind. You know AREA 51?

Oh yeah! The aliens in the desert and shit? Isn’t Oren Peli making that?

Right. But this isn’t that film. This is AREA 407.

Oh, OK. Whats in Area 407? Aliens?

No. I think it’s raptors.

Raptors!?

Yeah. See, it starts on this New Years Eve airline flight headed from New York City to LA, and you get introduced, Love Boat style, to a quick cluster of characters. There’s a war photographer (James Lyons), an Air Marshall (Melanie Lyons), the stewardess (Samantha Sloyan), a girl afraid of flying, a grumpy guy with the bad heart who wants another cocktail – you get the picture.

Right.

And everything you watch is through the video camera of a 13-year-old (Abigail Schrader).

Oh no. Everything? Found footage?

The worst kind. And yes, everything. I’m a fan of found footage films done right. Area 407 is found footage done wrong. If you get motion sickness don’t even approach this one. Its perhaps the shakiest camera footage I’ve ever watch barring real amateur home videos. Its like someone told the kid to put the lens up everyone’s noses, at multiple unnecessary angles, and ‘shake’! It was like there was an earthquake goin on I didn’t know about!

Man.

Yeah. As annoying as it is, it sort of holds your interest. The beginning moves fast. Suddenly there are lights all around the plane (aliens? government?) and it goes down, somewhere around the deserts of Arizona. They don’t know it, but they’ve landed in a government facility housing – for some reason – raptors. We know it, because – you know, we saw the poster. They don’t know it, because its pitch black middle of the night. All they hear are roars off in the distance, and all we see are endless minutes of concerned faces peering into the darkness, or arguing with others.

I guess they gotta do something with no set. Any blood?

There’s some painted on the heads of the survivors, but no injuries or graphic violence, no. You barely ever see the raptors, even for a bit – which actually might have been its saving grace. You don’t get SyFy-Channel-Syndrome until the very last frame, when they divulge the creature. And its a raptor. A bad CGI raptor.

Should I watch this?

Up to you. I got through it, which I can’t say for some films. But it irritated me most of the time. Whole lotta raised tension levels, nothing actually going on. Not bad, but I wouldn’t watch it again.

You’re not gonna watch it with me?

I’ll pass.

So – if there is an Area 51, and an Area 407, are there a whole bunch of other areas in between? I wonder what’s in area 77? Sasquatch?

I suppose that’s possible.

Official Score