DVD Review: Tape 407 / Cert: 15 / Director: Dale Fabrigar, Everette Wallin / Screenplay: Dale Fabrigar, Everette Wallin, Robert Shepyer / Starring: Abigail Schrader, Samantha Lester, James Lyons, Melanie Lyons / Release Date: Out Now
So let me just get this out of the way first: Uuuuurrggghhh ugh aaaarrrgh. Yes that was the sound of me sticking my fingers down my throat at the thought of having to watch another straight to DVD ‘found footage’ film, but hey I got through it so let’s begin. Tape 407 has a story credited to three separate people, it took three people to come up with this and although it starts well it soon slides into banality.
The set-up is simple; two annoying teenage sisters board a night flight from New York to Los Angeles and have the habit of filming anything and everything as they annoy their fellow passengers on New Year’s Eve. We meet the stock disaster movie characters including the plucky air hostess, the obnoxious fat man and the dodgy looking photographer who bonds with the kids. Then turbulence strikes and the footage cuts out. Just when you thought you may have escaped, the camera clicks back on in the midst of plane wreckage out in the wilderness in the dark. The stock characters are freaking out, as is the teen behind the camera but she flat out refuses to turn the damn thing off. Trouble is these people are not alone; something large and ferocious stalks them through the dark.
The problem with Tape 407 is that the film doesn’t have the budget to justify what it wants to accomplish. The crash is quite well done and evidently took up most of the budget, when they decide to turn it into a creature feature the cracks show and it never gets to fulfil its potential as a result. Basically the plane has crashed into a government experimental nature reserve or something and you don’t have to have seen Jurassic Park to know what’s in the darkness.
The performances are actually quite strong and although they make the most dumb-headed decisions in the face of death, the actors are all quite convincing. When you have no budget you have to play to your strengths but the director of Tape 407 isn’t willing to accept that advice so you get some lame creature effects and a chilling last scene that is ruined by a wholly unconvincing full shot of a creature that feels unnecessary and contrived. The whole thing seems to drag on forever as well with endless shaky cam scenes of dark desert floors.
There may have been a good film here somewhere, as far as I know Dinosaurs are one of the last things to get the found footage treatment but Tape 407 isn’t that film.
Special Features: Trailer