Area 407 is Found Footage Better Left Unfound

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During what should have been a routine flight, two sisters find themselves involved in a plane crash. The sisters, as well as a few other survivors exit the plane to find they have crashed onto a dark area. Armed only with a camera and its light, the group sets out to find help. Along the way they find themselves being hunted by vicious creatures

Area 407 is another found-footage horror to the already overcrowded subgenre. The film is basically a found-footage version of Jurassic Park 3. It starts out introducing the characters on the plane where it’s identified that it takes place on New Year’s Eve. And of course right after everyone yells “Happy New Year!”, the plane crashes. The remainder of the film follows the survivors making some of the dumbest decisions that ultimately get them killed by the creatures. On top of the dumb decisions, these characters are so annoying, however the stewardess and air marshal were at least moderately tolerable. The most annoying character being the little girl, whom I could say is a combination of Emmanuelle Chriqui’s character from Wrong Turn combined with Dakota Fanning’s character in War of the Worlds. Not only does the script feature dumb characters, but it features some of the worst dialogue I’ve ever heard, where they have characters stating the obvious over and over. Don’t expect to get a full glimpse of the creatures until (as always) the final shot. And even then the CGI looks like something from a Sy-Fy film. I will say however, that this could very well have been a premise had it NOT been for the found footage and had just been a regular film (with better characters, acting, dialogue, etc.)

When it comes to the acting, no one stands out at all. Every performance is either over-acted, or way too wooden. It doesn’t help either that the actors don’t even try to make the best out of the horrible dialogue they are given. There is an instance when they are calling to someone for help and they don’t sound even the slightest bit desperate for help. One character yells “people are dead.” (notice I put a period instead of an exclamation point).

To be fair, the premise was semi-interesting and would have been better suited as a non-found footage film and given a better writer and actors.

–Cody Landman

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Fear Takes Flight: “Area 407” Review

Area 407 is the latest fear filled film from IFC. This low budget, found footage story begins with two sisters boarding a plane from New York to Los Angels. As they do, we are introduced to several of the other passengers who inevitably become mainstays throughout the film. The plane finds it’s way into some rough turbulence and with some smooth editing, the flight comes to an abrupt end. The passengers must then work together to try and survive the crash as well as a unknown and very angry monster.

This film is a roller coaster of emotions for the audience. The movie starts out a little slow, but quickly picks up the tension as the plane goes down. The suspense builds as the characters run for their life into an abandoned cabin while being chased by something in the shadows. The action starts to get a little repetitive as they keep moving from safe house to safe house. Why they keep going outside when they know something is out there to kill them is beyond me. The questions start to rise again as they find a truck but decide to drive back to the crash site instead of just driving away to safety.

The one black eye of the cast was the young girl, Trish, who comes across as very obnoxious in the beginning and doesn’t really let up as the film progresses. The rest of the casting was top notch as the actors were believable and had definitely been in films before. I’m sure a lot of the film was improv and the cast did very well in keeping the scene progressing as a number of the takes were many minutes in length.

The blood and wounds were very realistic and I must applaud work done on the wreckage of the plane. As for the “monster”…I would have rather never even seen a single frame of this mess. I am still boggled by what the filmmakers used as the unknown stalker in this film. This pretty much killed the film for me. The other negative was the twist ending that still has me scratching my head. This scene should have NEVER made the final cut of the film. The reveal of the monster, along with the addition of an unneeded character, left me completely baffled and unsatisfied.

Overall, the film is very well paced and edited and the length of shots lasted is very impressive. This found footage film is very well produced and has many bright spots. Although the intrigue takes a nose dive after a while, the begging tension is well worth the watch. If you come across this film and have 90 minutes to spare, keep an open mind check out Area 407.