|Found footage, missing movie: there's still no |
sign of Oren Peli's Area 51.
Horror movie news site ShockTillYouDrop.com (STYD) posted an article last week highlighting the continuing popularity of ‘found footage’ movies and previewing some future entries in the sub-genre.
Most of the upcoming movies mentioned in the STYD article have paranormal themes (ghosts, demons, etc.), but, judging by the brief story outlines provided, a handful of the titles may turn out to feature aliens. Indeed, one of them – Area 51– definitely does (no great surprise there).
Regular visitors to Silver Screen Saucers will know that Area 51 has gone through a bumpy – or, at least, staggered – production process. In June of last year, the film’s producer, Jason Blum, told STYD, "I anticipate the movie will be mostly done in three or four months." Obviously, that was seven months ago, and still no sign of it.
Here’s what STYD has to say about Area 51:
“Oren Peli’s sophomore directorial effort has been in the can since November 2009. Sort of. While Peli, who has been wearing his producer cap since Paranormal Activity, will remain mum on anything related to Area 51 that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from churning out whisperings of re-shoots that continue to this day. Producer Jason Blum told us in an interview that it was a work in progress. With so many projects in development from Blum/Peli, they can afford to take their time. However, will similarly-themed Area 51 films being made take the wind out of this film’s sails by the time it comes out?
The film itself, when it reaches the screen, follows a trio of kids who trespass on the eponymous government base and encounter an alien menace that has been set loose.
Status: Completion and release date unknown. Paramount is distributing.”
You’ll notice that STYD mentions “similarly-themed Area 51 films”, implying that others may be in the works. If there are, I’m not aware of them. Unless, of course, STYD is thinking of the upcoming Area 51 TV series based on the controversial book by Annie Jacobsen?
In addition to Area 51, there are also three other upcoming ‘found footage’ movies in which ETs might put in an appearance.
Here they are as described by STYD:
“Here, the found footage consists of the final days of a documentary film crew that ventures into the Bermuda Triangle. Again, a no-brainer, I suppose. “Found footage” is going to permeate every possible thematic angle; it was only a matter of time before the Bermuda Triangle came into play.
Status: In development at WWE Studios with a script by Bobby Lee Darby and Nathan Brookes."
“About a camping expedition that goes wrong when the main characters encounter a bevy of weirdness out in the woods, including a creature that runs around on four legs, government experiments and more.”
Status: Complete. Seeking U.S. distribution."
You can read an early - and very positive - review of Evidence over at DreadCentral.com, where you'll also find clips of the movie. You can view the trailer right here...
“UK found footage thrills from director Dominic Burns.
The plot goes like this: In December 2011 a strange futuristic-looking artifact was uncovered in an uncharted Mayan temple in Mexico – examination of the artifact revealed binary coded information which appeared to be encoded footage. The content was unlocked by students at Chicago state university and appeared to be several hours of video footage heralding the end of the world… time stamped in the near future. Investigation of those featured in the footage produced several names and the authorities attempted to question those involved about the validity of the footage. But all of the people featured in this footage have disappeared.
Status: In production.”
So, we have one film (Bermuda) in development; one film (The Warning) in production; one film (Evidence) complete and seeking distribution; and one film (the hotly anticipated Area 51) pretty much in the can but clearly not yet ticking enough boxes on distributor Paramount’s checklist of audience-friendly qualities to justify its theatrical release at this time.
Will Area 51 see the light of day in 2012? Maybe, but don’t hold your breath. Still, it will hit the big screen sooner or later, and with that in mind, let’s just hope it’s more compelling than Hollywood’s last alien-themed ‘found footage’ movie, Apollo 18 (note to screenwriter: rocks not scary... even with legs).