Overall Score: 8/10
FEAR FACTOR: 6/10
SPECIAL EFFECTS: 8/10
This *fictional* movie revolves around three teens who went missing in 1997 after investigating a possible UFO sighting. Now, 20 years later, the little sister of one of the teens is trying to figure out exactly what happened to them. She analyzes videos that the teens took and interviews detectives that worked the case, and soon enough she uncovers new information on their disappearance.
I’m going to say the bad things first:
-The first half of the movie was primarily documentary-style, so there wasn’t anything scary. Even in the end, it wasn’t horrific. It was like the Blair Witch movie in the sense that there was a lot of build up where you expect to be scared, but few moments that actually scare you.
-I got a little motion sick when watching the “found footage.” My friend did, too. This is rare for me so I mean who knows…maybe we both just happened to come down with the stomach flu mid-movie.
-The ending was frustrating…like really frustrating.
Now for the good things:
-This is one of the few horror movies whose storyline grasped my attention. Because the first part is mostly just a documentary, you’re forced to dive into the emotions of the plot without being distracted by jump scares.
-The story was based around a real UFO report (the Phoenix lights), and knowing this made it feel much more real. Nobody actually went missing in March of 1997 when the mysterious lights were spotted, but because there was some truth to the background of the plot, I occasionally forgot that the whole thing was just a movie.
-The acting was surprisingly good and the characters were lovable.
This wasn’t the most exhilarating movie I’ve ever watched (though it did get more scary toward the end), but it was high quality and I appreciated its deep sense of mystery. It wasn’t nerdy, it wasn’t cheesy, and I left wondering if there’s more to “UFO sightings” than we might think. Whether you’re easily scared or tougher than a loose string on your sock band, you’ll find enjoyment in “Phoenix Forgotten.”