Monday, February 01, 2016

"Area 51" On Netflix

Recall the sensation the 'found footage' thriller "Paranormal Activity" created in 2009, with many believing the film was the best original horror film in years and director Oren Peli hailed as a major new voice in the sub-genre:

But in the six years following the release of the original "Paranormal Activity," Peli avoided directing and instead focused on producing a number of similar projects - until 2015, when he released "Area 51" to little fanfare, receiving mediocre reviews and, according to Box Office Mojo, earned less than $10,000 domestic at the box office (?!) A shocking low for the encore of a director perceived as an innovator less than a decade ago. 

But now the film is available on Netflix, getting another shot with a wide audience.

The idea of 'Area 51' as a secret government establishment related to a crashed alien spacecraft has become clich√© over time, even though 'alien conspiracy' theories and 'Area 51' remain popular in entertainment and pop culture. 

20th Century Fox will release "Independence Day: Resurgence" this year, as a sequel to "Independence Day," one of the most popular alien visitation film of all time...

...which dealt directly with Area 51 and the idea that researchers were studying creatures there, before an alien invasion. 

Meanwhile, the bingo platform at Gala recently welcomed a new game called "Area 75", invoking the mystery of Area 51 while inviting players to a new area in which they can win "money that's out of this world." 

Plus, outside of movies and gaming, the concept of Area 51 continues to be relevant in everyday culture. Recently, Hillary Clinton vowed to investigate the actual 'Area 51' facilities. 

All things considered, it seems unlikely Peli's "Area 51" failed due to a lack of interest in the subject matter.

So, if you are a fan of found footage movies with intriguing subject matter, you'll probably enjoy "Area 51," and it is worth a look on Netflix... 

...despite the fact the whole thing takes too long to get going, the dialogue forces exposition and (unfortunately) it's just not that scary. 

But once the movie gets into the actual exploration of Area 51, the film is enjoyable enough, and no worse than several other guilty pleasures...

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Paranormal Activity", "Area 51", "Independence Day" and "Independence Day: Resurgence"...