‘Based on shocking untold true events’
Phoenix Forgotten is a 2017 found footage science fiction horror film directed by Justin Barber, making his feature debut, from a screenplay by co-producer T.S. Nowlin.
Ridley Scott (Prometheus; Alien franchise) is one of the film’s co-producers. It stars Florence Hartigan, Chelsea Lopez, Justin Matthews, and Luke Spencer Roberts.
On March 13, 1997, a set of mysterious lights appeared over Arizona. The phenomena became known as The Phoenix Lights, the most famous and alleged UFO sighting in history.
Three teenagers 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…
In the US, the film was released theatrically on April 21, 2017. A Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD release is due out on August 1, 2017.
Reviews [contains spoilers]:
“In terms of look and feel: It’s exactly what you’d expect from a found footage film. The cast is completely believable and the film’s pacing is excellent, but Phoenix Forgotten won’t appease moviegoers looking for spectacular FX or something gory to satisfy some bloodlust.” Joshua Millican, Horrorfreak News
“There’s really no reason for Phoenix Forgotten to exist. It’s way behind on release trends, and there’s no secure tie-in to the “real” Phoenix Lights incident that inspired the picture. Barber is just serving up more of the same tired camera quake and ineffective acting, only managing to remind viewers of more interesting takes on an exhausted subgenre.” Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com
” …the three kids get lost in the desert, sort of squabble over tensions within the gang, spot some Indian markings on rocks […] see more ambiguous UFOs, get nosebleeds and lose hair and are finally scooped up into the sky by a glimpsed device that looks like a big gyroscope. This bunch of kids aren’t very distinctive and their fate is all too familiar.” The Kim Newman Web Site
“While the film is close to technically flawless as far as found footage technique is concerned, Phoenix Forgotten does have challenges with pacing—the film is a slow burn. Some viewers may be put off by the slow plot development during the first half of the film. Patience will pay off, however, as the film has a good climax.” Found Footage Critic
“After 40 or so minutes of teasing hints that its makers may have hit upon a fresh approach to found-footage thrillers, Phoenix Forgotten indicates the genre may be having its last gasp on life support as the movie devolves into yet another threadbare patchwork of mounting hysteria, faux cinéma vérité, and shaky-cam visual clichés.” Joe Leydon, Variety
“The found footage itself is titillating and although the teens never made it home, it still dangles the promise that they just might escape. Phoenix Forgotten is the perfect Friday night escape, a movie that succeeds without the pressures of landing a shocking twist or impressing with gross out gore.” Jamie Righetti, Film School Rejects
” …Forgotten does a lot with a little, and despite favoring Paranormal Activity-esque occurrences over extraterrestrial ones late in the game, it’s convincingly and attractively retro in style without going overboard.” Steve Pulaski