The feeling throughout many sci-fi and horror fans is that found footage is tiresome and overdone. Even incorporated into documentary style, it's all the same; shaky cameras with terrible lighting and supposedly 'real people' who would still hold a camera up right when in great peril. Who leaves a camera turned on tilted at a perfect angle and recording in the boot of a car? It was innovative, experimental and clever when the style exploded with The Blair Witch Project, however, it's not so clever when using the method for the sake of doing found footage. It may be practical and cost effective, but it ruins what is an interesting and promising concept and it makes you wonder, what is the point?
Upon hearing of mysterious lights in the sky, military forces take action and a group of curious and foolhardy men decide to check it out. It’s an adventure story turned horror movie when they realise what they've stumbled into. The atmosphere of the film is electric, but the pace is jarring with the use of intercutting interview pieces. Despite the annoyance of mediocre footage, the effects are great when they show the unusual space crafts among the military jets. The light flares and sonar footage of the action brings it together and gives those thrilling science fiction moments. Director Keith Arem is known for working in video games as a director and in sound design. The Phoenix Incident definitely has the melodrama of an action-packed game. There are some good monster moments that, with more build up, would have been startling. We want to see more action, we don't want to read about it or hear people talk about it. Just show us the damn story please!
Despite the feeding of information, we remain at a loss for what these creatures are, what are their special abilities? There is a lot ambiguity and there is one strange and remarkable character who remains ominous and dangerous and it brings a rather demonic ending to the film, if you can wait till the end of the credits that is.
THE PHOENIX INCIDENT / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: KEITH AREM / STARRING: ELISE MULLER, TROY BAKER, JAMES C. BURNS, KARL GIROLAMO, WILLIAM GOLDMAN, YURI LOWENTHAL / RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 7TH