“Phoenix Forgotten” stars Chelsea Lopez, Florence Hartigan, Justin Matthews, and Luke Spencer Roberts. Released on April 21, 2017, the film is about three local teens who set out to find the source of the widely reported UFO phenomenon.
The film features the directorial debut of Justin Barber, and it is based on the 1997 UFO sighting known as the “Phoenix Lights”. Wow, two mostly unknown films in one weekend. That has to be some kind of record. Anyway, this next film I’ll be reviewing focuses on the most popular UFO sighting in history and the three brave young souls who dare to uncover its secrets, and yes, it happens to be a found-footage film. Now the question in everybody’s minds are this: What the heck happened to those teens before they suddenly vanished into thin air? As far as I can tell, it’s quite possible that this film will answer that question, but in terms of its execution, will it be able to scare us into not searching for those answers ourselves? Well, clearly, I’m never going to investigate the case myself, but the film itself didn’t do a great job of scaring me that much.
The cast delivered some decent performances.
The 1997 video footage style was well-customized.
The third act felt a bit similar to The Blair Witch Project. The only difference is this film’s flat execution.
The ending felt abrupt. (One of my personal weaknesses in film reviewing.)
The quality felt like a made-for-television movie.
The story was very predictable.
The characters were one-dimensional and uncaring.
Final thoughts: “Phoenix Forgotten” is best described as The Blair Witch Project with UFOs. While its unknown cast weren’t that bad and the 1997 footage style was on point, the film made me hard to forget that it took the challenge of being as impactful as the 1999 found-footage horror classic and failed pretty dang hard. Its predictable story, the uncaring characters, and its forced impact in the third act are the main qualities that made this fact-based found-footage film forgettable and…well, that’s about it. It’s just forgettable. From my point of view, it’s just one of those films that I watch in the theater once and never again unless I’m bored.