24 user 37 critic

Phoenix Forgotten (2017)

PG-13 | | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi | 21 April 2017 (USA)
2:07 | Trailer

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20 years after three teenagers disappeared in the wake of mysterious lights appearing above Phoenix, Arizona, unseen footage from that night has been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition.


4,930 ( 444)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Josh Bishop
Ashley Foster
Mark Abrams
Jay Pirouznia ...
Private Investigator
Marc Marron ...
Phoenix Astronomical Society
Don Boyd ...
Phoenix Astronomical Society
Don Boyd ...
Phoenix Astronomical Society
Tony Duncan ...
Apache Storyteller

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Phoenix Forgotten tells the story of three teens who went into the desert shortly after the incident, hoping to document the strange events occurring in their town. They disappeared that night, and were never seen again. Now, on the twentieth anniversary of their disappearance, unseen footage has finally been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition. For the first time ever, the truth will be revealed.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Based on Shocking Untold True Events


Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for terror, peril and some language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 April 2017 (USA)  »

Box Office


$2,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,816,499 (USA) (21 April 2017)


$3,599,570 (USA) (9 June 2017)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Even though the UFO sighting this film is based on is most famously known as the "Phoenix Lights" there were also sightings of the same lights in parts of Nevada, other parts of Arizona, and even some parts of Northern Mexico on March 13, 1997. See more »


Billboards advertising the three teens missing show a number with the 480 area code in it. The film takes place in 1997, but 480 area code was not created until 1999. See more »


Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Phoenix Forgotten (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

Phoenix Forgotten (2017)
18 July 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I may seem to have an interest in everything but I am honestly pretty fascinated with things associated with UFO sightings. When I first learned about the Phoenix Lights sighting I was so infatuated with it, the explanations for it, the mystery associated with it, and also was curious as to why people weren't talking enough about it. Was it really a military aircraft? If so, has there been a complete explanation as to what kind of aircraft could cause lights like that and then disappear into thin air. I'll do more research into events from that night on my own time since it doesn't have a whole lot to do with this film. Where do I start with this film? Let me just start off by saying this film is not very good.

The film is about a sister who looks for an explanation as to the disappearance of her brother and his two friends back in 1997 when they went to explore the mystery of the Phoenix Lights. The film splices back and forth between the present day and found footage of tapes from her brother, including tapes that explains the final hours of the three missing teens. Does this sound familiar? It should. Its basically Blair Witch Project-lite. Nowhere near as good though. I loved the Blair Witch Project. For its time it was genuinely scary, felt so authentic (helped by the clever "true story" marketing), and put found footage films on the map (for better or for worse).

That same type of true story marketing does not work as it did with Blair Witch Project. We live in the technology age now, stop trying to market films as"true" when people can just see an actor's IMDb or do a simple google search to find out otherwise. That isn't the real complaint of the film though. The film is formulaic; you've seen this exact tale ten times before. Not only is it predictable, it offers very little substance at the end as an "explanation." The going back from present day with the sister and the past events was tacky and left things feeling unfocused.

The film at the very least didn't go for the tired technique of doing found footage jump scares. Nothing more annoying than that. There is intrigue surrounding the event, sure. I don't know if it warranted a film like this though. Its actually quite thin. The last ten minutes is really where its at, and it still turns out to be a disappointment. These type of films don't prosper anymore, especially in this day and age. I welcome a really good one like Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield but creativity and unique attempt seems to be dead in this genre unfortunately.


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