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Area 51
Argemaluco22 June 2015
In 1994, the first thing I did when I finally had access to the Internet was searching sites about UFOs and governmental conspiracies, and one of my favorite ones was the bulletin "Desert Rat", published by a guy named Glenn Campbell (don't mix him up with the country singer), who dedicated his life to the study of Area 51... or at least as much as a civilian could study it without getting into legal trouble. I even sent him five dollars as a contribution to have access to the delayed editions of the bulletin. That's when my obsession for these topics started, even though it eventually cooled down due to the multiple contradictory versions of the "true events", the impossibility to confirm any of them and, specially, the big quantity of charlatans and opportunists who cloud any semblance of objectivity seeking fame or easy money (or maybe, they are "disinformants" hired by the CIA with that specific purpose) (and, by the way, I keep thinking that Campbell is one of the few sober and credible investigators on that topic, specially because he never exploited the supposed extraterrestrial "connections" of Area 51... it's simply a secret military base; any other affirmation is fantasy or mere speculation). The film Area 51 distillates those decades of rumors and mysteries in 90 minutes of... nothing. Area 51 is an atrocious movie which employs the tiring pseudo- documentary clichés which seemed innovative various years ago, but which have been employed so much and so badly that they don't make any impact anymore, unless they are well handled... something which didn't happen in Area 51 (to be fair, this film was shelved for 6 years, so maybe, it should be evaluated in the context of the year 2009). The "realism" of this movie is limited to the mention of many elements existing in the mythology of that military base: the "Janet" airplanes, the "cammo dudes" who patrol around the base, and even a visit to the restaurant Little A'Le'Inn, in Rachel, Nevada, the closest town to Area 51. For the rest, we have the typical "found footage" structure: half an hour of foolishness to meet the characters a bit (who the buffoon is, who the hero is, who the skeptical one is, etc.); another half an hour of uninteresting "preparation" to elevate the (inexistent) suspense; and half an hour of "shaky cam" through the desert and the generic corridors of the base, following a group of uni-dimensional and irritating characters, until reaching an ending which is so vague and abrupt that it provokes frustration instead of horror. It is said that "less is more", but Area 51 takes that to the extreme of "nothing is something", only to discover (90 minutes later) that "nothing" keeps being "nothing", despite how much the characters run and scream. In conclusion, I hated Area 51, and I felt it like a genuine waste of time.
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waste of an hour and a half of film
boadicea-1862419 May 2015
Okay so first off let me just say that I created this IMDb account after watching this movie, just to review it!. My friends and I have been waiting for this movie to come out for a while after first seeing the trailer for it on Facebook, which mind you, was probably scarier than this entire movie. I am a huge fan of alien movies like dark skies, alien abduction etc, and if you share the same interest then I suggest you only watch this movie if you have absolutely nothing else to watch but if you can avoid it, do it. It had some semi scary scenes, maybe a whole 5 minutes of the movie was actually exciting but other than that it was a bunch of 20 something year old, who seemed to know way too much on how to break into various locations on government technology, running around with video cameras. A lot of the story wasn't explained properly, it left me feeling confused and unfulfilled.
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Extremely Disappointing from the Start
phaylen15 May 2015
I definitely had higher expectations for Area 51, especially given that Oren Peli had written and directed and reinvigorated the "found footage" genre with Paranormal Activity. I'm a fan of the genre, a fan of the Peli, but this was absolutely abysmal from the very start. The concept could have been extremely engaging and given a unique twist, but it performs and plays out as expected- completely typical and utterly predictable, very poorly acted and nonsensical most of the time. I would have been disappointed even if it were a Direct to DVD or On Demand release. I guess the merits of this film like wholly on "From the writer and director of Paranormal Activity!" However, don't expect the competency which the latter film was delivered. There is very little entertainment value, lines are cut off mid-sentence, and somehow, despite being allegedly filmed with one camera, it switches angles regularly without disrupting other dialog. It places it's weight on technical talk, the late night AM radio conspiracy chatter, but does nothing to actually give the viewer anything to grab on to and immerse themselves in the adventure of these three hormonal boys.

If you'd like to reduce your IQ level or waste your time while sick and just need to say you've seen it, you're better served by searching online for conspiracy videos, which provide far more interesting concepts and, despite being rather extraordinary, manage to entertain, which Area 51 fail to do.
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The era of the camcorder movie just keeps going on and on.
closerlookfilms16 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The first question needs to be, are we not getting tired of these camcorder lost footage movies? Ever since the overrated "Blair Witch Project," we have been deluged with similar-themed films; most of which fall way, way short of being anything but tiresome. So enter Oren Peli with his own take on the concept, but in his favor we have the mysterious and always-intriguing Area 51 as the backdrop. That fact alone is precisely why I decided to give this film a look.

At first it appeared that Peli might have done it right. Blending actors and sets with real people and locations associated with Area 51, the set-up is intriguing. Even the process in which these filmmakers attempt to foil some of the high-tech base security systems, seems plausible. So far so good.

But it is when the title characters break into the house of an Area 51 / S4 worker and steal his 'card', eventually actually getting inside the top-secret facility, that the movie becomes completely unbelievable and downright ridiculous. Everything that follows is what we have come to know, and depending on how you feel about these shaky-cam movies, love or hate about the concept.

It's not that "Area 51" is a bad movie: the performances and design is actually of high-caliber, but given the exciting story set-up, Peli really should have given us a whole lot more than just another camcorder film. In fairness, I think some people will enjoy this. I did not.
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The government should deny this films existence.....
FlashCallahan6 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Reid has always been obsessed with UFOs.

While on a weekend trip to Vegas, he convinces two friends to join him on a mission to break into Area 51, where they find terrifying proof of alien presence......

Found footage films, you either love them, or hate the socks off them. Unfortunately, every once in a while there is a really good movie released in this genre. Willow Creek, Exists, The Borderlands, and the V/H/S series are fine examples of how a found footage movie can work..........but there is a slew of rubbish that you have to trudge through to get to the impressive ones.

This falls far into the latter category.

So we have the usual gang of teens that we get in these films, one is always obsessed with the subject matter, and the others, dubious as they are, always go along for the ride, because it's a road trip isn't it?

So we get the usual footage of people driving to desolate areas, where they are confronted by suspicious looking people, they talk to other people with whom are also obsessed with the subject matter, and this happens for the majority of the film, and the first two acts just drag and drag until we finally reach the titular place.

By this time, you couldn't care less with what they discover, and even though the last ten minutes are impressive, both visually and atmospheric, it's too little too late, for the rest of the film is just so boring you lose any interest for the characters, and their quest.

Copies are destined to be buried in the Nevada desert next to E.T.
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Way underrated
rbwisdomweilder15 March 2017
Not sure why this movie has such a bad rating, it's not bad at all. There are moments when things become legitimately terrifying and it just keeps escalating! Maybe people have something against found footage but this was done very well. As fan of the horror genre, I can't recommend this enough, especially if aliens creep you out! All in all its a very well-done movie that deserves a way better rating. Definitely give it a watch if you're looking for a scary movie!
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Awful, boring and terrible acting
technetium-9410716 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I have recently just finished watching this movie, and what torture it was, but thankfully I made it through with only 1hr 30 of missing time.

I decided to watch this movie because I love anything to do with UFO's, aliens, ET this should have been right up my street. It wasn't.

From the first 10 minutes I knew i would hate this movie, the acting is laughable, absolutely laughably bad which completely put me off. The plot is completely ridiculous and stupid and all the way through you are thinking, sure, of course they would make these stupid decisions. Every UFO/Area 51 cliché is in here which to any avid UFO fan who has a keen interest in the field it just makes you cringe. Its like they have read a few UFO stories on the net and put little bits of detail from each story in here.

The most secure base on the planet and some young idiots manage to break in without being seen. You cant even get near the place because of the perimeter control yet they manage to get in easily.

And finally the whole film being recorded through a camera has been done to death, its not fun or clever anymore, its a cheap way for a director to make a quick buck for little time and effort. This movie probably took around a week to film its that bad. Please, no more shaky camera films, they are boring and unoriginal, they have been done too many times.

All in all, this movie was genuinely one of the worst films i've ever had the misfortune of seeing. People can make their own minds up but I cannot recommend avoiding this movie enough, its a terrible waste of time.
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What a load of rubbish
routerreg6 June 2015
Bought this film from Sky. What a load of crap. Only watched it because I'd paid money for it and thought it might get better. Unfortunately, it only got worse. If this had been free, I would have deleted it within 30 mins. Please, please, please, do not waste any of your life watching this utter crap. This Film Is Complete And Utter Rubbish. Quite honestly I think it was written and acted as if this was your first drama project in secondary school. You're given an idea and had to develop it. If I had been their teacher, I would have gave them an F, in fact it would have been ungraded. It was like they'd ran out of ideas at the end, or the school bell had rung and they had to make an ending. It was that bad, that there isn't even a soundtrack when the titles rolled at the end.
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Abysmal film; not scary!
amazo-the-magician21 June 2015
I love scary movies, and I really love "scary" movies-- from Blair Witch to Paranormal Activity, I've always been a huge fan of shaky cameras and found footage. Ghosts and aliens scare me, and classic terror tropes work wonders on me! Things jumping out from behind other things and unexpected screams are my idea of a fun movie night.

If you are looking for a scary movie with aliens as the focus, I would recommend picking up Dark Skies, or John Carpenter's The Thing... but not Area 51, because this is a terrible film. I put it on expecting to be shock-scared, or at least creeped out... but all I got was progressively more and more annoyed.

The first half of the film does absolutely nothing but establish that the viewer should lack empathy for the main characters-- they are vapid young men who enjoy drinking, planning ineffectively, and disrespecting professional entertainers.

The second half of the film is meant to heighten the viewer's anxiety and presumably scare us, but it falls disappointingly short in that respect. Instead it devolves into lots of running and flailing, lots of awful camera work, and terrible physical acting. When the end finally comes, it's more a relief than anything else.

The only positive thing I have to say about this movie is that the main characters' treatment of their female colleague was basically respectful, which is more than what I can say for most movies that are structured in the "x number of guys + 1 girl" model. Nobody grabs her breasts or calls her disgusting names or belittles her intelligence based on her gender. That's awesome.

The rest of the film? Really not so much.
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Pleasant surprise!
nicholaslong-708557 September 2015
First, I must say that most of the low ratings for this movie say "not scary!" The movie may have been sold to audiences as a pure horror movie, but false advertising shouldn't take away from the movie for what it is: A found-footage movie about a group of friends (one way more than the others) who go to great lengths to break into Area 51 that should be classified as a suspense sci-fi movie; definitely not horror.

A great portion of this movie is about the set-up of these guys (and a girl) getting ready to sneak into the lower levels of the base, which I can see how the average movie-goer could scoff at. If you go into this movie hoping for action, I'm sorry. Though it isn't what many were expecting, it is still very interesting to see their plans unfold.

The third act is where it really surprised me. Oren keeps with the golden rule of good horror: waiting for the unknown is a lot scarier than finding the unknown. You see very little of the aliens, which could be a let down to those looking for a monster movie. But watching the shadow of the aliens walking down the hall, or seeing an alien slowly slide from the darkness is truly creepy. There were many times I was very tense and on the edge of my seat.

The ending isn't as bad as many people are saying, for I kind of liked it. With some slightly better writing/imagination towards the ending, it could've made this movie a true diamond-in-the-rough. The acting, despite what many say, is tolerable and, for the most part, believable. The main character does have these moments of awful, goosebumps- inducing acting, but the other elements of the movie made me forget about it.

All in all, give it a shot. Its streaming on Netflix, and I'd say its well worth a shot. Worst scenario, you lose an hour and thirty minutes of your day. Or you could walk away with a pleasant experience. Just remember to keep your mind open to what the movie wants to be, not what you want it to be. Have fun!
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Take It From A Horror Movie Type
Gargantuan-Media27 August 2015
Director Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity) demonstrates that low key acting and high-tension situations combined with the right amount of digital effects can rock "found footage" horror films. Writer Christopher Denham fleshes out the mysteries of Area 51 with a disturbingly realistic tone.

All three mains Jelena Nik, Reid Warner and Darrin Bragg commit fully to their roles as unlikely explorers thrown into a maze of military secrets, alien artifacts and very real, very ticked-off extraterrestrials.

The third act was so good and so hard hitting that I had to remind myself it was "only a movie" several times.
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Decent for a found footage flick
joelcberzas16 May 2015
I did not expect much going into this movie. I was hoping for a little better than Alien Abduction. That being the case, I ended up pleasantly surprised! The first 70% of the movie could have been condensed into about 10 minutes of plot actually necessary to understand and enjoy the movie. However, it was worth sitting through to get to the last 30%. The suspense was surprisingly effective. I even found myself tensed up and gritting my teeth a few times. Special effects, although not plentiful, we effective as well. I agree with a previous reviewer that I felt dissatisfied with the end of the movie. I think that, maybe with a bigger budget and a well thought out ending, it could have been much better. A pure horror fan will likely not appreciate it. On the other hand, if you enjoy SciFi/horror/suspense combo flicks, then it's definitely worth a watch.
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"Critics" gave Gravity a 9, and flunked Area 51.
musback7 July 2015
As a big sci-fi fan and UFO-enthusiast, I really recommend watching this film. Even though I watch a lot of movies, I was a bit discouraged watching it because of the '4/10' rating. But unlike what many people here wrote... This movie did not disappoint me in any possible way. It has a great build-up, strong climax and mind-challenging ending. The constant suspense (after the introductions), no obvious scientific 'mistakes', some good jokes at the right times and zero jokes in serious/tense moments. The acting, the story, It all felt very credible to me. Bottom line: If you like the Area 51 mystery, give the movie a chance and the credit it deserves. Don't always rely on IMDb/'critic' ratings. I was physically ill after watching Gravity. If you agree with me on that part, I think you'll be safe watching this movie! Also, If you enjoyed the movie "as above, so below", you're quite certain to enjoy this.
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Yet another boring found footage movie
bpickell200322 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
When will these movie makers realize that the current format for found footage movies are just downright terrible. They all follow the same format. 60 minutes of extreme boredom,then there is fifteen minutes of planning a trip, ten minutes of lets do something incredibly stupid, and then if, just if they show you what is attacking/chasing it is a millisecond of a glimpse.

Just one rhetorical question though. Why is it every single alien movie that is made anymore is always found footage? Have writers lost their creativity and can't actually write a good blockbuster alien movie?

One last note. Found Footage movies would be a million times better if they would show you what the creatures look like. And not just a glimpse.
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The minimalist approach surprisingly creates an involving trip, although it's hampered with vague visual and unsatisfying conclusion
quincytheodore16 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Found footage genre hasn't found much success after the initial trend start with REC or Cloverfield. It attempts to create a more personal experience with first person view often falls flat with cumbersome shaky shots and unclear scenes. Area 51 suffers from the same exact problems and it stutters towards the end, but it also manages to set an occasionally interesting trip, especially in the first half.

Story follows Reid and his friends as he tries to infiltrate the highly secured titular facility. To do so he must investigate the area and bypass many security measures. For most early parts, the film delivers quite the ride as audiences follow these guys on Vegas and its surrounding. Some investigations and interviews set the tone right, and not in overly silly way. Characters are also pretty decent and likable as though they are real life friends.

Unfortunately, it soon arrives at familiar territory of hazy shots and mindless running. The scenes in the city or desert are identifiable, but when it is stranded in dark corners, the movie loses the momentum significantly. Script is also numbingly bland as characters would yell the same thing over and over again, this is especially true when they are repeatedly shouting, "We gotta go". With both visual and audio decrease in quality, it just turns into a confusing escapade.

Cinematography is to be expected from this kind of found footage flick, it's rather elementary, but there are a few good shots with modified vision. At several scenes the film builds up the suspense pretty well, these are not all translated into thrilling moments. It almost seems like it has problems in latter half, resorting to cheap alien gimmick and nullifying its early decent production.

Area 51 has a presentable start with more engaging use of the found footage, but it falls to the same issues and ends up like the rest without accomplishing much.
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Peli's sophomore effort works
victoryismineblast16 May 2015
Oren Peli gave us Paranormal Activity way back in '07. I liked it a lot, and it kind of brought a new resurgence to the found footage genre which has exploded since then. Since then he has racked up a bunch of writing and producing credits but now finally 8 years later he has directed his second feature.

Area 51 begins like so many other found footage entries of late. A bunch of young adults with a camera film their partying, going to strip clubs, basically doing a bunch of young adult stuff.

But when they decide and plan to infiltrate Area 51, things get really interesting. Peli brings a lot of refreshing ideas to the table and in my opinion, totally delivers. The tension and suspense as these people infiltrate first the area, and then the actual facility is nailbiting. Once inside, we are treated to a non-stop ride of weirdness and all kinds of alien technology and other stuff I won't mention.

Definitely a must-see for found footage nuts like me and fans of sci-fi horror in general. There's a lot to like here. 8/10.
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Not Great, but it was Fun and Tense,
chrismackey197215 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This was better than I thought it would be. I had no hopes for this at all. I'm tired of the found-footage films, though I'm not sure that's actually what this would be. I found myself entertained.

The part towards the beginning when Reid and Derrin are sneaking around in some guy's house was tense, and it had a jump scare. There were actually a few throughout the film, but not many.

They had an interesting storyline, because who doesn't want to know about Area 51? However, for such a top-secret, high-security military base, the security seemed rather lacking both before and after they entered the base. Through quite a lot of their time in the base, Reid, Derrin, and Jelena would talk with normal pitched voices and run down the stairs like a pack of elephants. No security was around. That's not how I'd envision any military base, let alone Area 51.

The alien was interesting, in the very few frames they showed it. I guess the design wasn't considered serious enough, so they devoted as little footage as they could.

The tenseness of the scenes was fun. I would've waited in the car with Ben.

Overall, I thought it was a fun movie. I gave this a 6-star rating.
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When will the director come up with a real movie instead of "found foot ages"
mercede7515 May 2015
Looks like the director has found an easy and cheap way of making films in which all he has to worry about is a handy CAM. All that he ever has to do is to record some people from around and after adding a title, releases it as a "found foot aged" movie. I'm really getting sick of this found foot age type junk. this is an easy way out where you do not have to plan anything and you end up making a movie in just few dollars. If you think you cannot do any better please stop making films and do something useful for the society. I hate people who watched and made that rotten para-abnormal activity a popular film. Hey Mr. Director, Come up with a real movie. you can't fool people every time with your nonsense found footage crap.
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Better than the rating suggests
mikan204018 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This film is a pretty solid found footage movie. I have to concur with other reviewers and agree that the first hour could have been condensed into at most thirty minutes. That said it is important to see Area 51 for what it is and it is a low budget horror movie that relies on all of the stereotypes of found footage films including camera work too shaky for you to really see too much of what is going on, lots of people running about yelling, people who seem to value their camera's more than their own lives etc. Right, now that it out of the way, the film is actually quite enjoyable and pretty tense. It is clear from the get-go that the group are going to end up inside Area 51 so that is not a spoiler. How they do this is pretty clever in my opinion. The story is pretty interesting as it progresses. We have it all soldiers, men in black, scientists, aliens chases, the works. I didn't really care for any of the cast but as a piece of 90 minute no brain work needed entertainment I think it is certainly worth the time. A solid six from me.
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Very surprised in a good way
haddonfield0417 May 2015
I'm shocked that this film only has an average of 4.1. I thought the trailer looked really cool. The movie starts out a little on the slow side and like the guy said before me, you could've condensed the first 70% into about 10 minutes. But it's worth every minute. I'm a ufologist (a person who studies ufo's, alien abductions, etc). I have a friend who actually works at area 51 and she's brilliant. By brilliant, I mean a brilliant mind. Funny thing is, her area is studying alien life, lol. I'm not joking either. Anyway, everything I've read and learned about area 51 over the past 20 years seemed amazingly accurate in the film, and honestly, I don't know how they pulled it off. But it worked surprisingly well. And the last 20 minutes of the movie are intense! Go see it.
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We've Got to Get Out of Here
doctorarzt18 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
After a mysterious encounter at a party, Reed becomes obsessed with breaking into Area 51. Unfortunately, we're just not as interested as he is.

Area 51 scores a zero on character development, deciding on character templates that are so familiar to schlocky found footage films that they instantly feel overdone. Along with his two friends and the daughter of an Area 51 tell all book, Reed is suspiciously erudite when it comes to the craft of breaking into top secret government installations. Out of the box he knows how to get past the high tech detection grid, and even has a map of the prized underground S-4 base.

There is little suspense and most of the more 'tense' moments are too predictable to raise any anxiety.

As for the discoveries themselves, most are torn out of the most boring chapters of UFO Folklore. Spoiler Alert: there are aliens at Area 51. We never get to see them.

The ending is a contrived bit of Alien Abduction straight out of every Alien Abduction film you've ever seen; just nowhere near as good.

An Embarrassing moment for Oren Peli.
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Don't believe the haters, it's a good movie
deloudelouvain14 October 2015
So much haters on this website. You wonder why? Because honestly if you like alien stories and suspense then you definitely going to like this movie. Well at least I did. And I am not even a big fan of camcorder movies. In fact I don't really like that way of filming. I am sure it would have been even better if they would have filmed it normally. Nevertheless the whole movie is full of suspense. From the part where they prepare themselves to the part where they decide to execute their plan to enter Area 51 it's all suspense. The actors might not be well known but at least they put down a believable performance. I really don't get why so many people don't like this movie. You know it's going to be about aliens just by the title of the movie. If you don't like that then just don't watch it, but please stop wasting our time with negative comments.
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IMDb: Populated by Hipsters.
Reaper94116 May 2015
First off; I'm a massive found footage fan. Always have been since the initial Blair Witch Project (Which I also thought was a masterpiece of a movie - Especially for the budget.) Even now, I still think it's completely relevant to the horror genre.

Area 51 isn't perfect. I don't think any movie is; possibly with the exception of Fight Club. However it's the best piece of cinema I've seen lately. I think it's ludicrous that Area 51 has received a 4.3 rating when movies that are much worse (YellowBrickRoad) receive a much higher rating.

Not even gonna lie; when I watched YellowBrickRoad I was expecting it to pick up any moment. The entire time. I was left feeling robbed, cheated and in a state of confusion - What the hell was that garbage?

It seems reviewers on here only tend to give high ratings to the "Artsy" films with subtle hints at trivial things.. Like a plot. Or any body whatsoever to the movie..

This was entertaining. It did the job and definitely does not deserve a 4.3 rating.
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If you like the style of filming, It's pretty good!
sicboyslim25 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
First off, if you don't like the shaky cam films then don't watch it. I personally like the style of films. I thought this movie was well done, found it very..satisfying, most movies about aliens and stuff they never really find anything but this one was different. It was a little slow at first but wasn't totally unwatchable like others have stated. It quickly gets to hidden secrets and trippy stuff. It's like he wanted to go down the rabbit hole so bad, once he was in it it just kept getting deeper. Once he got to that last point, he knew he had gone to far and was f*ct. Just like that guy told him. That freaked me out. N that's what I was looking for.
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Area 51 is NOT a horror film! Its a good sci-fi!
vixtravels223 January 2016
This is a surprisingly effective sci-fi. And certainly has something that other "found footage" movies do not have. All my life I have been a major horror genre fan, who happens to like sci-fi too, but obviously there are differences in said genre. To be honest I sat back and prepared myself for a "very" standard movie ride, and as for reading the terrible reviews I had almost convinced myself it would be awful. Its NOT! Area 51 is certainly more stylish and well thought out, but it is certainly not a horror film. The flow of the movie is smooth in what I call a nice to bad situation. For instance I call "single white female" and "fatal attraction", to be "nice to bad" films. You can feel the passion for the base, from the characters, who are likable, and come across as just a bunch of young friends on an adventure. There are no jump scares that might induce a heart attack, and the dialogue is clear and not drowned out by music or effects. You feel as if your on this adventure with them. If your a fan of sci-fi or conspiracies about area 51, I am sure you will be impressed by this solid effort. So turn off the lights, grab some popcorn and a beer, sit back and enjoy. This movie is unpretentious, and refreshingly does not take itself too seriously. However, if your looking for a horror gore fest, please look elsewhere...This is NOT a horror movie!
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