Phoenix Forgotten

We’ve seen a handful of sci-fi movies take the found footage approach: Cloverfield, Europa Report, Apollo 18, the list goes on. I thought we might have reached “peak found footage” a few years ago, but a new trailer for a film called Phoenix Forgotten indicates that the trend hasn’t completely vanished.

What has disappeared, however, are the characters at the center of this film, which is based on the true story of the “Phoenix Lights,” one of the most widely-reported UFO sighting in American history. Watch the new Phoenix Forgotten trailer below.

Phoenix Forgotten Trailer

The story centers on three teens who spot the UFO and go missing as they attempt to find out more about it. Check out the trailer.

The once-fresh found footage style has become stale over the past few years, and unless a filmmaker is making a meta-commentary about the tropes of that style (which this movie doesn’t appear to be), I’m not convinced it’s the best approach for telling a story anymore.

But hey, it’s a cheap way to make a movie, and I suppose there’s some potential for a few visceral scares in there somewhere. And the idea of the government lying to its citizens has certainly been ramped up to a whole new level in the past few months. Plus, this has some well-established names attached as producers – Ridley Scott, Wes Ball (The Maze Runner), and Mark Canton (300) – so maybe there’s more here than initially meets the eye.

One of the weirdest aspects of this whole thing is that there has actually already been a hand-held found footage movie about this exact same subject matter – and it came out last year. That’s right, first-time director Keith Arem made a film called The Phoenix Incident in 2016. Take a look at that trailer:

Between these two movies, it seems like this topic has been pretty well-covered using the found footage style, so hopefully, filmmakers decide to come at this admittedly strange story from a different angle if they choose to tackle this subject in the future.

Phoenix Forgotten arrives in theaters on April 21, 2017.

Based on the shocking, true events of March 13th, 1997, when several mysterious lights appeared over Phoenix, Arizona. This unprecedented and inexplicable phenomenon became known as “The Phoenix Lights”, and remains the most famous and widely viewed UFO sighting in history.

Phoenix Forgotten tells the story of three teens who went into the desert shortly after the incident, hoping to document the strange events occurring in their town. They disappeared that night, and were never seen again.  Now, on the twentieth anniversary of their disappearance, unseen footage has finally been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition. For the first time ever, the truth will be revealed…

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