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AREA 407
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Reviewed by: Ammon Gilbert

Directed by: Dale Fabrigar

Starring:
Abigail Schrader
Samantha Lester

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A plane crashes somewhere between New York and Los Angeles, pitting the survivors against a pack of killer dino-lizards. All the while, said passengers are filming their whole experience with a couple of video cameras.
Is it good movie?
The found footage genre kick-started back in 1999 with THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, but really didnít go mainstream crazy until Oren Peliís PARANORMAL ACTIVITY hit some 10 years later. Since P.A. made a shitload of money, studios and filmmakers alike have been cranking out one found footage flick after another. Some have been good (PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3, CLOVERFIELD, THE LAST EXORCISM), and some have been complete garbageÖ like AREA 407, one of the latest films from the latest offerings of the subgenre.

Everything I hate about the worse found footage flicks out there takes place in AREA 407, making it a sufferable 90 minutes, offering nothing in terms of entertainment or cinematic value. Which is a real bummer because the concept is fairly awesome: a plane crash pits the survivors against dino-lizards. Itís like LOST meets THE GREY (except with mini-dinos), and yet its execution is anything but extraordinary. Itís mindless, pointless, and all around a lame time. And why, praytell? Letís get into this shit.

Nothing worse than a found footage flick than when thereís no reason for the camera to be rolling. Investigating ghosts or making a documentary are great reasonsófilming other passengers on a red-eye flight from NYC to LA just for fun is not. Itís stupid. And to make matters worse, the cameraman in this case is a 14 year old girl who doesnít shut up but blathers on and on like the most annoying 14 year old girl youíve ever met. Her commentary and narration style was like nails on the chalkboard by the time the plane goes down and everyone with it. Yikes!

Once on the ground and the real scares and confusion for the survivors ensues, the flick picks up a little bitÖ but not enough to really redeem itself. Most of the characters are a-holes to each other, thereís a lot of screaming going on, lots of name calling, and lots of confusion. And yes, thereís still no reason for the cameras to be rolling. That is, until they realize they can see better with the camera lights on (using them as flashlights and whatnot), which is a smart way to weave the use of the cameras into the plot. But instead of filming what their surroundings are so they can see what the hell is going on (after people start getting picked off one by one by these JURASSIC PARK-style lizards), they continue to just film eachother! How the hell can anyone see anything if the lights are always in one anotherís faces? Just ridiculous.

So while the concept was solid, the film as a whole was difficult to sit through. Extreme shaky cam for the sake of shaky cam, lame narrators, unlikable characters, and not enough dino-action for my liking. One thing they did do that could have made the film better was alternate footage from two different camerasÖ but then, they just tape each other and not the action thatís unfolding around them, giving us the complete opposite of what we want as an audience.

Video / Audio
The Extras
Last Call
AREA 407 is the epitome of what every bad found footage movie does wrong: annoying characters, unnecessary presence of the camera in the first place, too much shaky cam action, and poor execution. Obviously a rip-off of CLOVERFIELD, the flick doesnít even remotely come close to being as good or as entertaining, ending up as one of the worse found footage flicks Iíve seen in a while.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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