Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Area 407 is Only for Movie Masochists: A Movie Review

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*full disclosure: a DVD screener of this film was provided by IFC Midnight.

Directors/writers: Dale Fabrigar, Everette Wallin.

Cast: Abigail Schrader, Samantha Lester and James Lyons.

There should be a law banning first time feature filmmakers from using the found footage style of filmmaking. Otherwise, a film such as Area 407 aka Tape 407 is created. This film is basically eighty plus minutes spent with a fourteen year old girl holding a shaky camera. She and her friends love to scream into the microphone while capturing too many shots of people's legs. Keep the camera higher ladies. There is no music to accompany the film and all of the dialogue was ad-libbed over a five day shooting period. Most films are shot between 15 to 20 days, but not this one. Characters stumble through a weak script and Area 407 gets the much deserved Worst Film of 2012 nomination on 28DLA. And this is by far one of the worst films seen by this reviewer this year.

Let's try this fun excercise. Let's see if this film's plot can be summed up in ten words or less: a plane crashes in dinosaur park! That was only six and that is all the attention that this film's story deserves. Really, this film is like Jurassic Park with one percent of that film's budget. Only in this film the dinosaurs are shown in one or two measly scenes. Prepare for disappointment in the writing and in the production.

And the problems in Area 407's production style are numerous. None of the actors are supported with a solid script or dialogue. Therefore, they are forced to create conflict or to overact in order to fill the film's overly long runtime. With no frame, the acting is often awkward, repetitive or just annoying.

Guidance from the director seems minimal, as well. In the early scenes, a young girl just comments on passengers boarding a plane: "oh, that man helped her. He's nice." Wow, this is both boring to watch and to listen to. Imagine giving a young girl a video camera and letting her shoot randomly. This is what you will see in the first 10 minutes of the film.

The shooting style only worsens as time goes on. In a car, the camera bounces all over the place. Some scenes are unwatchable and this film critic found himself reading hilarious reviews on this title, rather than watching the nauseating filming style. Shooting also takes place on the run with the camera operator filming the ground. Directors Dale Fabrigar and Everette Wallin just have no clue as to what should or should not be shot. Filmmaking control is relinquished to the confused actors.

This whole film feels like a what-not-to-do project. Not entertaining nor enjoyable to watch, Area 407 is emphatically not recommended for any audiences. This movie never should have seen the light of day and a distributor somewhere needs to learn how to reject a film at the screening level. Otherwise, sloppy schlock like this outing gets released in the market place. And this is definitely not a film you want to pay money for as your only reward will be a partial glimpse of a dinosaur and fourty plus minutes of women screaming. Skip this film at all costs.

Overall. 2.5 out of 10 (terrible, terrible film).

A funny review of this film is available at The Horror Club:

Area 407 at The Horror Club

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