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Phoenix Forgotten (2017) HD online

Phoenix Forgotten (2017) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Horror / Mystery / Sci-Fi / Thriller
Original Title: Phoenix Forgotten
Director: Justin Barber
Writers: T.S. Nowlin,Justin Barber
Released: 2017
Budget: $2,800,000
Duration: 1h 27min
Video type: Movie
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.


Cast overview, first billed only:
Florence Hartigan Florence Hartigan - Sophie
Luke Spencer Roberts Luke Spencer Roberts - Josh
Chelsea Lopez Chelsea Lopez - Ashley
Justin Matthews Justin Matthews - Mark
Clint Jordan Clint Jordan - Steve
Cyd Strittmatter Cyd Strittmatter - Caroline
Roberto Medina Roberto Medina - Walt
Jeanine Jackson Jeanine Jackson - Melissa Foster
David Carrera David Carrera - Jack Foster
Matt Biedel Matt Biedel - Daniel Abrams
Serendipity Lilliana Serendipity Lilliana - Young Sophie
Ana Dela Cruz Ana Dela Cruz - Luisa Moreno
Jonathan Schmock Jonathan Schmock - Mr. Garland
Jay Pirouznia Jay Pirouznia - Private Investigator
Kevin Boontjer Kevin Boontjer - Pilot

The footage claiming to be from 1997 was shot on modern digital cameras in HD. To simulate the look of lo-fi analog footage, after the special effects were added in, the footage was copied to actual VHS tapes which were then re-digitized to finish editing. The analog defects are therefore real and not simulated. This had the added benefit of making the computer effects look more integrated with the original footage.

Based on the "Phoenix Lights" of Phoenix, Arizona a supposed UFO sighting witnessed by thousands on Thursday March, 13 1997.

In Josh's childhood room, there's a poster of an alien from the Alien franchise. Producer of the film, Ridley Scott, directed the original Alien and several other films in the series.

The "Phoenix Lights" UFO sighting is the most famous UFO sighting in the world and was witnessed by thousands.

Even though the UFO sighting this film is based on is most famously known as the "Phoenix Lights" there were also sightings of the same lights in parts of Nevada, other parts of Arizona, and even some parts of Northern Mexico on March 13, 1997.

The desert footage at 32:09 is not in Arizona, but actually on San Diego County Road S22, heading down into the town of Borrego Springs, CA. It then cuts to a view of Fonts Point in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (California's largest state park).

The stretch of highway and exit for Crown Valley Road that is supposedly in Mesa, AZ is actually in Acton, CA. The road sign says Acton and not Mesa like in the movie. The real highway is California State Route 14: Antelope Valley Freeway. The sign is for exit 24 heading East on the freeway.

Both the press conference and subsequent recant of former Arizona governor Fife Symington was actual archival footage from CNN.

For the final shot, in which the camera falls from a flying spaceship, the filmmakers actually attached a JVC camcorder to a small weather balloon while it was recording, and allowed the camera to fall back to the ground when the balloon popped. To their amazement, while the camera's body was damaged and lens shattered, the inner mechanisms survived the fall and even kept recording.

Reviews: [25]

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    This movie really surprised me honestly. I did not expect at all to like it as much as I did. I'm a huge fan of the found footage genre when done right and it's very hard to find some good ones out there. This movie in particular was hands down my favorite "indie", as you can all it, found footage movie.

    From the beginning there's already a sense of suspense to it and mystery behind what happened to the missing trio. It's kinda obvious based off of the type of movie this is that they are abducted, but what leads up to it is very interesting. A slow burner for sure, not much interesting happens until the last 30 minutes but before that is a very well crafted backstory and "mockumentary" style movie. They go in depth of the backstory of each of the kids and the protagonist of the movie is on a constant search for not only her missing brother but the other 2 that he brought along with him. Being an AZ native I was very surprised at how realistic this movie is and really, even if you're not from there, this movie is VERY realistic. The acting seems real, the way it's filmed feel very 90's, and the actual events aren't your usual CGI and jumpscare filled horror. There's a lot of suspense and mystery behind what actually happened.

    This movie I would recommend to anyone with a willing eye, or just anyone in general.
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    Phoenix Forgotten portrays itself as a movie about the sister of a teen who went missing after the phoenix lights incident in 1997. If you're not familiar with the phoenix lights, a bunch of strange lights appeared over Phoenix, then disappeared and was then never explained.

    Sophie Bishop, 20 years after her brother went missing, decides to shoot a documentary about what happened, and try and discover the truth. That sums up the first 2/3 of the movie and involves interviews with her family, plus footage shot by Josh (who was, of course, a camera geek and budding movie director). Caught halfway between this fake documentary and found footage movie, Phoenix Forgotten never really gets off the ground. There is some groundwork laid for the final act of the movie, but mostly the first couple acts are forgettable.

    The third act is where the movie really takes off, as the director fully embraces the found footage genre, and succeeds. The camera actually makes sense that it would be filmed, and the actions seem very believable. The main problem with the end of the movie is how the movie just ends. Don't expect any explanation of what was just witnessed or what it means. Is it human, alien, or other? That's up for the interpretation of the viewer and leaves the film weaker off.

    The other issue with the ending of the movie is it totally drops Sophie's documentary. While this works better for the pacing of the movie being watched, it's odd that a thread played out for so long is just dropped.

    In the end, viewers who enjoy the found footage genre should find something enjoyable here. But the dropped threads, questionable first hour, and ambiguous ending hurt the film.
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    What the hell is Phoenix Forgotten, you ask? Well, dear reader, that is a great question. I had never heard of this movie until it appeared on the release schedule a couple of weeks ago. I never saw a single trailer or commercial for it. It features a cast of unknowns, is from a first-time director (Justin Barber) and was even released from a first-time distributor (Cinelou Films). Yet somehow, this pile of nonsense was given a nationwide theatrical release and, according to the arbitrary rules that I've established for myself, that means that I have to be the one person that goes to see it. You're welcome.

    Phoenix Forgotten is a found-footage movie inspired by the real-life sighting of a UFO flying over Phoenix in 1997. Following the sighting, three teenagers suspect that something strange is afoot, so they grab some hand-held cameras and head into the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland to investig-……sorry, wrong movie. They grab some cameras and head into the desert to investigate. After wandering around for an eternity or so, they start to see and hear strange things, they get lost, their compass stops working and they start to realize that there really is a witch in the woo-…. sorry, wrong movie again. They start to realize that there really are aliens in the desert. This footage is mixed with documentary footage, set in the present day, of the sister of one of the kids trying to investigate their disappearance. The sister's story literally goes nowhere; the movie doesn't even return to her after the 1997 footage ends. I'm not a betting man, but I would wager that the original intent was for the footage of the three kids to be the entire movie and the filmmakers added the sister when they realized they didn't have enough material for a feature-length movie.

    Nothing happens in this movie. Nothing. I mentioned that the sister's entire subplot is just filler to pad the running time, but not a damn thing happens for most of the 1997 footage either. It's like your most boring friends are forcing you to watch home videos of a hiking trip that they took, but the sadistic bastards rented a movie theater for the ordeal. As a found footage movie, we know how this is going to end. It will end the same way all these goddamn things end. The camera will get real shaky, there will be some loud noises, the camera will fall to the ground and text will appear saying that the characters were never seen again. I spent what felt like an eternity watching these jackwagons wander around the desert waiting for an ending that is more inevitable than the last act of Titanic. I checked the running time as I left the theater and couldn't believe that it is only 87 minutes. I thought I was in there for hours. I expected the sun to be rising and giving me the finger as it rose above the horizon. But, no. Time just stood still for me as I experienced the horror of sitting through this.

    This movie feels like a film student's senior thesis that was accidentally released to theaters. When this is available on demand/Netflix (which should be in a few hours or so), I challenge you to lay down, put this on and try to make it to the end of the movie without falling asleep. There are no other rules to this game. You can make a pot of coffee using Red Bull instead of water and substitute cocaine for sugar if you want. I bet that you will still fail. If you succeed, your reward will be losing 87 minutes of your life that you will never get back. Good luck!
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    Just goes to show what is someones trash is someones treasure and looking at reviews on here I nearly did not bother watching this and that would have been a shame as its a good movie and certainly as good as any other found footage movie out there and better than a lot of them to.

    I started to watch this with a finger close to the stop button on the remote but I never stopped it. In fact I was riveted from beginning to end. I loved the way they blended real events and news reports with the fiction parts of the story which really grabbed you and the lead in with all the footage of the kids messing around made you want to watch until the end to see what happens.

    Don't always believe the reviews on here and watch this movie you might be very surprised.... I was
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    I'm not sure if Phoenix Forgotten marks, much more than even last year's "soft reboot/sequel" of Blair Witch, the "found footage" sub-type or genre of horror, the full circle of what it's been all about. The funny thing is that this is not entirely even found footage; it is actually, to go back further, indebted too to what Blair Witch was itself doing an homage to, Cannibal Holocaust, though that didn't pretend to be the documentary that this does. While we do get to see some of the footage shot in 1997 by the main woman's older brother sporadically in the first two thirds, we don't get the full, unfiltered "found" part of it until the last twenty minutes. And, whether it's because a lot has been built up beforehand with the characters, it's the best part of the movie.

    I should note that this first two-thirds feels longer because some of the character build up is of the stock kind; the acting isn't that bad, certainly considering the low budget, but this all seems to go on for a long while. It almost puts the director Justin Barber into an uncomfortable position: he has to really have something that pays off for our patience, or else we're going to be quite mad (there was a large family sitting near me which had such an inclination at the end of the film, with one exclaiming, and I quote, "That s*** was ass!") Thankfully, it pays off just enough to be passable. Could it have been more, or a little less predictable? Of course, it almost always can be.

    I do have to stress that this is probably a better movie than you're expecting while, simultaneously, being reasonable enough for a rental or even a Netflix viewing - not so much for a movie theater screen where, indeed, much of what we see isn't so cinematic as to warrant a giant screen experience. What stands out is that the performances are by people who are trying (and the writing is trying for them too, at least up to a point, the actress, Chelsea Lopez I think, on the poster is the example of that), and the director and his team make some clever motions to bringing alien invasion into the found-footage horror style.

    So the special effects are all seamlessly done in the frame of what *is* a shot-on-90's-consumer-grade camcorder. There isn't anything in the present day, so everything in the past has to work. As far as capturing that rough-edged 90's approach technically speaking, and getting us to believe it, they do a competent job. If anything if the whole movie had been *more* in the 90's style - say, if they found rolls and rolls of tapes and that's all they had to go on, no present-day interviews with boiler-plate answers from the parents and experts and journalists - it'd be even more appealing.
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    I thought I would hate this movie when I saw the trailer. I've been fooled before by found footage horror movies about people going to a secluded place in search of the supernatural, yadah yadah yadah. Usually they're terrible, but I saw this one and was pleasantly surprised. My biggest complaint is that the part of the movie focusing on the documentarian who has found this footage, the real meat of the movie, isn't very engaging at all. Half of the movie focuses on 3 kids trying to find proof of aliens, but we are gradually shown this story through the story of the main kid's sister uncovering the footage. Whenever it cut back to the sister, I just wanted to get back to the main plot. However, the long setup is very much worth the payoff at the very end. This is a slow burn film that takes a while for the important events to happen, but the final act of the film is well worth the wait. I don't often get scared by horror movies, but the ending of this films kind of terrified me. Paranoia slowly builds until we're treated to a very tense ending that gives enough closure to satisfy but also leaves a few things to the imagination. Phoenix forgotten isn't fantastic, but for what it's worth, it's much better than most of the other formulaic horror movies studios are currently cranking out. It's well acted and produced, and I liked it. Don't be expecting to much, but if you're in the mood for a good UFO movie, I'd recommend it.
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    Those words are what I was literally screaming in my head beginning about a half an hour into the film, as the first act of the movie went on and on with all these unnecessary and drawn-out interviews with the family members and friends of the three teenagers who went missing back in 97' after the Phoenix Lights incident in Phoenix, Arizona. I honestly felt like I was watching a faux documentary on the film, perhaps something to watch in the special features section of the DVD when it comes out, but it made up over half of the movie!

    The sad thing, this film had a lot of promise and potential, and so much of it was squandered in the end. The Phoenix Lights, unlike The Blair Witch, which this film, quite rightfully, is constantly accused of being a ripoff of, was a real phenomenon which took place twenty years ago. To this day it was never really been explained, and while there are tons of individuals out there claiming to know what took place, it still remains a mystery to the general public. Also, some very interesting ideas regarding the Ancient Astronauts Mythos, with references to Merkabah or Ezekiel's wheel from the Old Testament actually providing some insight into the mystery later on in the "found footage" part of the movie when you find out what really happened to the three missing teenagers, Mark, Josh, and Ashley.

    In addition to this, some potential for emotional depth and drama regarding the younger sister of Josh who went missing back in 97, regarding her current goal of attempting to find out what really happened to him by creating the "documentary" part of the film, also never amounts to very much. I understand this isn't some deep Hollywood drama about what the mental states of the friends and family of those unfortunate people who are never heard from again, but it could have been a lot more in-depth than it was without losing focus.

    In the end however, it ultimately falls prey to far too many of the clichés and pitfalls which unfortunately plague almost every "found footage" horror movie these days, and yes, at times, it seems very reminiscent of an earlier film nowadays regarded as a classic, 1999's The Blair Witch Project. A real shame because for quite a while towards the end when it finally shows what happened to them, it was genuinely eerie and foreboding but then of course the ending itself manages to be one of the most anti-climactic I've ever seen. It was okay I guess, but falls far from greatness.
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    This movie is truly a waste of your time. The acting, plot, and production are all below average. I have no idea why this film has a rating of a 5 of 10 it in no way deserves it. Greenlighting movies like this is a sign that the industry needs reality check. No one likes a predictable, overused, cliché ending. The audience all walked away bewildered when the credits started to role. Please readers take my advice and warning, stay away from this film.
  • avatar


    " Based on shocking(?) Untold True Events(??) "

    The events are about as shocking as stale popcorn, the story was untold because the screenwriters have just recently written it, and the events are about as true as can be expected from a found footage flick, especially in this day and age. 

    They seven years anniversary of 1997's Phoenix lights sighting had already passed, so had ten years anniversary, so the filmmakers decided to drop this wholly predictable and formulaic, barely feature length, eighty- minutes long hybrid of 1999's Blair Witch, 2016's Blair Witch, and a generic X Files/ alien visitation plot into cinemas on the next clichéd, hyperbolic anniversary. They shouldn't have bothered.

    The derivative plot involves the search for teenagers who disappeared during the 13 March 1997 sighting of unidentified lights above Phoenix, Arizona, after their video camera is found, documenting their final moments, for no other reason than so it can be used in a found footage flick.

    In addition to being one of the least ambitious films in recent memory, the trailer tells shows most of what is in store here, including telling us the teens were supposedly never seen again, so the final outcome holds zero suspense. There's so little to say about this movie, because there's so little substance to it. While admittedly, it isn't * terrible *, it also isn't worth watching, either.
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    The movie is about a woman who does a documentary on the disappearance of her brother and his two friends that happen back in 97.

    The Hi-8 footage used to compose those scenes from 20 years ago makes the movie seem like a throwback of the Blair Witch Project (Which I think was shot on 35mm, actually). It's almost a found footage movie within a found footage movie as this documentary filmmaker goes back over the case of her missing brother interviewing family and friends of all three as well as the police department, trying to find something that was possibly missed 2 decades ago. Then she would go through her brother's old Hi- 8 footage that tells the story of what happen up to the part where three teens (Oh! just like in the Blair Witch Project) went missing, while investigate a series of lights that appeared in the sky at the time that had no origin.

    Honestly, the movie really takes a while for the story to get jumping. The documentary made on the missing kids is not that interesting yet effective in setting up the Hi-8 footage of the three missing kids. Getting to know these kids is actually not as interesting as watching that last 20-30minutes when the film indeed becomes like the Blair Witch Project.

    I did really like what they did for the Hi-8 footage, not only a real throwback to the 90s in look and feel but the camera work in itself was actually really good (And it has to be because you can see the obvious change in quality from Hi-8 analog to the digital format we are doing today.)

    So overall, the movie takes a long and sometimes dull time to get to the fun stuff, but I would say it leaves me (just) satisfied once they get there.
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    In 1999, "The Blair Witch Project" exploited the found footage film format more successfully than any movie before it and had people asking whether the events depicted really happened. In the ensuing years, of course, found footage has become old hat, which makes it pretty impressive that 2017's horror sci-fi mystery "Phoenix Forgotten" (PG-13, 1:20) has managed a twist on this formerly fresh film format that has audiences once again wondering whether what they're seeing on screen is real. The twist (not a spoiler, just a little background explanation) is that this movie takes a mystery based on actual events and builds a story around those events that makes what you're seeing seem real, or at least plausible.

    On March 13, 1997, a group of lights appeared in the night sky, moving across Arizona (visible from the Nevada border to northwestern Mexico) and were stationary over Phoenix. Thousands of people saw the lights and many claim to have seen the outline of a V-shaped unidentified flying object which moved silently through the sky. The U.S. Air Force explained the stationary lights as flares from one of their planes on a training flight, but no one has been able to explain away the set of lights that appeared to be part of an object that reportedly crossed most of the state. "Phoenix Forgotten" draws on the true story of three teenagers who disappeared while investigating the lights and utilizes fictional footage.

    Sophie (Florence Hartigan) is looking for her older brother – and has been for 20 years. She returns to her hometown of Phoenix to make a documentary on the disappearance of her brother, Josh, and his high school friends, Ashley and Mark, who disappeared after they went into the desert to try gathering some video of the strange lights that had recently appeared over their town. Sophie interviews her parents, Steve (Clint Jordan) and Caroline (Cyd Strittmatter), who got divorced because of the stress and their different ways of dealing with the mystery of their son's disappearance. She also talks on camera to Ashley's parents (Jeanine Jackson and Matt Beidel), a teacher (Ana Dela Cruz) from her brother's high school, a police officer who investigated her brother's disappearance, the press secretary of the former governor (who had publicly mocked the UFO speculation – at first) and a reluctant U.S. Air Force officer.

    The main thing Sophie has to go on are home videos of the appearance of The Phoenix Lights (during the party for her 6th birthday) and the tape from the camcorder that was left in the back of Mark's car, which was found abandoned by the side of the road. Josh (Luke Spencer Roberts) was the kind of kid who always had his video camera glued to the side of his face. Ashley (Chelsea Lopez) is a member of the high school's AV Club, who does news reports around the school and whom Josh would like to get to know better. Mark (Justin Matthews) is their cocky and adventurous friend whose main qualification for going on this little adventure is that he has access to an SUV. We see footage of the three friends as they witness and discuss that unexplained light show, interview some local witnesses and prepare for their excursion into the desert. Not much happens that night and then… the tape suddenly ends. That doesn't make sense to Sophie. She isn't satisfied with all the dead ends. She's sure that… the truth is out there.

    "Phoenix Forgotten" is a creative and fun found footage film. Telling this story in the form of a documentary allows for variety – the use of background footage, old news reports, new interviews and found footage, all of which are skillfully woven together by first-time feature film director Justin Barber (who also co-wrote the script, with T.S. Nowlin, writer of the "Maze Runner" movies). Telling this story this way also allows Barber to side-step the pitfalls of the found footage format. Using unknown actors gives a movie of this kind a sense of realism – and this cast is talented enough to make it work. Like its spiritual ancestor, "The Blair Witch Project", this film drags at times, but has an exciting climax. "B+"
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    In the literary world, plagiarism can end a career - in the movie industry, it's just another way to fleece the public. The makers of 'Phoenix Forgotten' show off their cynicism and creative bankruptcy by churning out an anemic Sci-Fi version of 'The Blair Witch Project' without offering a single moment of originality.

    In this lifeless re-tread, three teenagers disappear when they go hunting for UFOs after some lights are seen in the Arizona skies. Twenty years later, a documentary film-maker discovers a video tape which suggests what happened to them. The Blair Witch copycatting is shameless - a trio of high-schoolers are substituted for three college students - invisible ETs in the Southwest desert stand in for an unseen poltergeist in rural Maryland - spooky aliens moan in the darkness instead of a malevolent backwoods spook. Apart from these minor variations, the two films' plots and climaxes are uncannily similar as both threesomes get lost, bicker and panic in identical fashion. The second-rate script, third-rate acting, fourth-rate direction and fifth-rate shaky camera fakery of 'Phoenix Forgotten' are all inferior imitations of the original. The movie runs for 80 minutes, but feels a lot longer - and should be avoided at all costs.
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    So, just got out of Phoenix Forgotten and I want to put my head in boiling water. Maybe that's not the most compelling way to start off my review, but what can I say? Phoenix Forgotten isn't the most compelling movie. In fact, it's so uncompelling, I fell asleep TWICE watching it. I've never even fallen asleep once watching a film before in my life, and I've watched some pretty awful movies.

    In all seriousness though, this is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. The structure is completely broken and incoherent; it starts off as half documentary and half found footage focusing on two characters for 30 minutes; Josh, who is filming a school project on recent UFO sightings in Phoenix in what will eventually become the found footage element of the film, and his sister Sophie, making a documentary about her brother's disappearance 20 years ago. The film will switch off between these 2 characters back and forth for the first act, until it goes into straight documentary for 20 minutes focusing on Sophie. Then the film abandons Sophie completely for the last 30 minutes to focus on Josh's found footage. This would have been tolerable (If irritating) if any one of these segments was engaging, compelling or scary, but none of them are.

    The acting is Halloween: Resurrection levels of bad from everyone on the cast. There's SO much fake crying from the teens in "spooky" situations; where the actors and actress will scrunch up and water their eyes because they can't cry on cue, and then make their voice hysterical to get out as much fake emotion as possible. The worst offender is Chelsea Lopez as Ashley, Josh's crush. She whimpers and half-heartedly yells (NOT screams, YELLS) in desperate attempt to convince the audience they're watching "real footage", but not once did I ever feel this was a real character in real danger The adults aren't much better, I'm probably only being nicer to them cause we don't see them as much.

    As for the scares? Well, if you're morbidly terrified at the thought of bright lights, nosebleeds, raining pebbles and LOUD NOISES (These noises and explosions that rock the films ending like a hurricane presumably make up most of the film's $2 million budget...I can't see it going to anything else like, I don't know, making a solid horror movie), I'm sure you'll need to sleep with the lights on. For me and everyone else at my screening though, they were just obnoxious and repetitive. They seriously shoulda just called the movie "The Spooky Lights."

    This film's so bad that I couldn't help myself from loudly making fun of the movie at the film's climax, and rather than get annoyed, the rest of my screening actually laughed and cheered at me mocking it. Nobody raised their hand and said "Well, I thought it was good" or even "It wasn't that bad." Everyone was making fun of it coming out of the film and insulting its ineptitude right along with me.

    It's so bad, I'm genuinely concerned it could very well be the death of found footage horror. Which really scares me (Ironic, I know) since I only SAW the film since we get so few theatrically released found footage horror films these days and I try to catch every one I can in theaters so I don't miss out. "The Blair Witch Project" this is not. "Blair Witch" this is not. And I feel sick to my stomach seeing this poorly acted, poorly structured, unscary monstrosity being so frequently compared to either.
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    Somehow... I'm pretty sure there was more found footage in the trailer than there was in the actual movie. I've never seen a "Found Footage" film take so long to get to the found footage. All the scenes from the trailer were taken from the last 15 minutes of the movie... so I feel like they advertised this movie as something it wasn't. I was expecting to see footage of 3 kids lost in the desert but it took the film a whole hour to get to that point. And when it got there it wasn't even good... let alone scary... unless of course you're scared of heavy winds, flashing lights, sand, and falling rocks.

    The premise (even though it was a blatant Blair Witch ripoff) STILL had potential though. To take that long to get to the good part then RUSH the potential good part! What were they thinking?! Don't bother... this wasn't good at all.

    I give it a 2 for having real footage of the governor of Arizona in it... but that's it. Full commentary WITH spoilers on YouTube/Twitter @moviebuffchick1
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    This was, hands down, the worst "movie" I have ever seen. I was actually car sick before the end of it. The effect that the constant motion of the hand held camera created made me nauseated and gave me a slight headache, as though I had just stepped off an amusement park ride. Sure, it lent authenticity to the project ( i cant call it a true film), but enough is enough! That was overdone. That being said, I still could not suspend disbelief. It was what it was- a few high school kids out on a lark. Period. If it were based on a true story, it found the wrong arena to present it's case. It should've stayed on the billboard shown in the project. A movie theater was no place for this haphazard attempt at finding the missing kids. This was a waste of time we can't get back, not to mention not being worth the cost of admission.
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    Sophie Bishop returns to Phoenix. It was 20 years earlier that UFOs interrupted her 6th birthday party. Her older brother Josh pursued the UFO with friends, Ashley and Mark. They go missing soon after. In present day, Josh's old footage is found and Sophie follows the investigation.

    The present day stuff is lacking any tension. It's circling the old footage. It would be more compelling to play all of the old footage first. At least, there is an expected payoff with the found footage and that gives them some tension. The footage could lead to some questions, and present day Sophie could follow in their footsteps to find some ultimate answer. As it stands, the found footage is fine and present day Sophie is lackluster.
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    I have just seen this movie and it was pretty boring. If this film had been released in 2000, as one of the first FF-films, it might have been good, but now its just boring. There is nothing new and original about this movie and its quickly forgotten.

    If its your first FF-movie then you might like it. Its not bad, just boring. Maybe they should have done more about the big revealing at the end, but didn't have the money. That could maybe have made a better movie.

    Its a movie to kill some time with nothing else. If you want to see it, then lower your expectations.

    I give it 4 because Its not a badly mad FF-movie, just unoriginal and boring.
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    IMDb needs to give all these amateur reviewers some proper guidelines on how to review a film more accurately, instead of comparing this to that etc.. And for anyone who thinks me and my review are fake due to my high scoring, click on me and you will see otherwise - by a long shot.

    I've explained how to properly review a film about a dozen times out of my over 220+ reviews (and over 600 ratings), and based on the idiotic reviews for this film, I'll explain it again.

    Firstly, you don't compare an amateur/indie film with C-list actors to a blockbuster big production film with A-list actors! It's like comparing an Olympic runner to a retired old man that goes for regular walks. Clearly we know who is better, faster, and more qualified to win! You compare each in their own class, or in the case of rating a film, on it's own merits.

    You also look at who backed any film (big production company=big $$$ for a better film) and the key individuals involved in the production (director, writer, etc..). This film had no big backing and only a 2+ million dollar budget - and should not be compared to a 200+ million dollar film.

    So now let's get to the specifics that made this film great. We have here Justin Barber of which the 'highlight' of his resume is mainly Art department (19 credits) for 'graphics'. This is only the 2nd film he's ever directed and written, his first was a short. So this film was his writing and directorial debut! WOW! Even if he was a seasoned director and writer, still WOW! Justin Barber nailed the writing with an excellent story (lame reviewers comparing it to Blair Witch - so what, you only have one film to compare this too smh?) and his directing was perfect - from close ups, to cam shots to angles and sweeps, it was outstanding. I tip my hat to you Mr. Barber and look forward to your next project!

    Now let's look at the actors: of the leads, Luke Spencer Roberts and Florence Hartigan are the only two with some acting experience, mainly in TV series, and thus only C-list actors. Chelsea Lopez is only know for two major films, and this is one (and the first) of them. Justin Matthews has only 3 items on his resume - 2 TV shows and this (first) film! These kids nailed their roles to 100% perfection! They performed better than some A-list actors I've seen lately and they were very convincing and perfect in their roles! WOW, I can't wait to see where they'll be in 10 years from now, bravo guys!

    I could find absolutely nothing wrong with this film. I really enjoyed it and it was very convincing. Cinematography was excellent as was the editing. Sound was on point. Sure something like this has been done before, but not by amateurs and end up being this good! For that matter, what film out there has 'not' been done before?

    This was a fun ride, entertaining, captivating and thrilling - and executed perfectly. Even if I wasn't rating this on its own merits, it would still score at least an 8 or 9. But on it's merits, it's a perfect 10/10! Watch this with an open mind and realize what and who is behind any film before you slam it.
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    I loved everything about 'Phoenix Forgotten'. I loved the structuring of the story, intertwining 'found-footage' with 'mockumentary' and using them to not only elongate the film, but also to show other sides of the story and add to the mystery in that way. I loved the way the story found fiction amongst a real-life event. I loved the story itself and the fascinating way it was told. I loved the performances. I loved the visuals. Put simply, I loved this movie.

    I found myself absolutely entranced by it. It isn't a film that sets out to scare you (it might do that, but it isn't exactly its motive for existing), instead it tries to captivate you and make you care. It pulls this off incredibly well. And when I say it doesn't set out to scare you, I simply mean that there aren't jump-scares around every corner and the horror side of things isn't as obvious as it is in a lot of modern films. The final half hour or so of the film will have a tremendous impact on a lot of people though.

    As far as flaws go, they're pretty hard to come by. I will be fascinated to read some negative reviews on this film and see just what exactly people didn't enjoy about it. I'm almost certain I'm going to disagree with the majority of their points. 'Phoenix Forgotten' is a brilliant, fresh and original film that is not to be missed.
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    With the way the film was marketed (pretty well done trailer) and the way the film was carried out in the way it did (1/2 doc 1/2 found footage) was pretty interesting and hasn't really been done this way. This first half of the film is the present (doc) and it inter- cuts to the old footage that was found at the scene. But then the sister finds the last tape that was never recovered. That's when the film ends on the last 35 minutes of the rest of the found footage! The shots were pretty well done, footage of the Phenix lights in the beginning was actually the real footage so kudos to that. This film had a form and they stuck to it which was good. My partner hated this movie but I actually liked it. Things that people complain about in found footage films were actually done well in this film, but people are still not going to notice and complain so...My only complaint was I wanted more found footage running time and maybe some more "action". Sound design, cinematography, climax (towards the end of the doc in the first 40 mins), acting was all really awesome! A few twists and turns you didn't see in the trailer. Overall a good movie.
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    Normally I'm leery of found footage movies, and I probably wouldn't have paid to see this one if I wasn't aware of who was on the production team. The storyline was quite good -- light years ahead of most found footage flicks. Pretty believable, not at all contrived. The dialogue seemed pretty natural. Overall, very well-written with some fine young actors.
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    'PHOENIX FORGOTTEN': Two and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

    A low-budget horror flick about three missing teenagers, that were trying to find the source of a 1997 UFO phenomenon called 'Phoenix Lights' (when they disappeared 20-years earlier). Newly discovered found footage shows the teens' final hours (before they vanished). The film was directed by debut feature filmmaker Justin Barber, and it was written by Barber and T.S. Nowlin. Nowlin also served as a co- producer on the movie, alongside the great Ridley Scott. The cast features Chelsea Lopez, Florence Hartigan, Justin Matthews and Luke Spencer Roberts. The film is your pretty standard 'found footage' low-budget thriller, nothing memorable but nothing too laughably bad either.

    On March 13th, of 1997, multiple strange lights appeared in Phoenix, Arizona. They were witnessed by several shocked locals, and believed to be a UFO sighting by many. Three teens (Lopez, Matthews and Roberts) went investigating the phenomenon, and went missing. This film picks up 20-years later, on the anniversary of their disappearance, when one of the missing teenager's sister (Hartigan) decides to investigate her brother's disappearance.

    The movie is definitely nothing original, or scary (in my opinion). It is decently acted and directed though, for the genre. It's based on a real event too, so at the very least the film is somewhat educational. I didn't find it boring, or overly cheesy either. I'd say it's worth at least one viewing, if you're a fan of this type of movie.

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    First, I'll reveal that I enjoy found-footage films as a sub-genre of horror films, and that many people apparently don't--or they see every found-footage film since "The Blair Witch Project" as a rip-off of that film. While I recognize "The Blair Witch Project" (and much of the Paranormal Activity series) are, so far, the pinnacle of the genre for us fans of it, in my opinion "Phoenix Forgotten" turns out to be a very worthy addition as well. I don't see it as a rip-off of "Blair"--in my view it felt more like an energetic, imaginative (even loving) homage. Let's face it, there are only so many plots out there for any film genre--most new great films are just clever takes on old plot lines from long ago--and "Phoenix" takes a "Blair-ish" plot line and structure and mixes in some familiar sci-fi in a way I found both frightening and paranoia-inducing. That "maybe-it-could (or did) actually happen" paranoia is what works so well in a good found-footage film. Unlike "Blair Witch," last year's sequel to the original "Blair Witch Project," which so over-used the "shaky cam" and confounding quick-edit technique (that can work well in this genre) to the point of ruining any enjoyment of that sequel, "Phoenix" employs both in just the right amounts, and the ending section, which is incredibly satisfying because it so perfectly teases you with specific payoffs and explanations while also keeping you in suspense, is one of the best endings I've seen in this genre. It continues to haunt me days after I've seen the film, and has me hooked on wanting to see it again. One thing: this film is definitely meant to ideally be seen on a big screen with a great sound system (especially for the ending "payoff"/explanation section), and I was lucky enough to see it that way. While I do think it would still be a good film to watch at home (especially with the lights out on a very dark night), if you can see it in a theater with great sound I recommend doing so.
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    Combine "The Blair Witch Project" with "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," and you've got the gist of freshman director Justin Barber's found-footage, sci-fi, horror chiller "Phoenix Forgotten" involving an alleged UFO sighting in Phoenix, Arizona, on Thursday, March 13, 1997. "Maze Runner" scenarist T.S. Nowlin and Barber have appropriated that larger-than-life incident called "Phoenix Lights" for their superficial saga about three teens who took off into the desert to document this phenomenon with a camcorder. Unfortunately, they vanished without a trace, but left behind their camcorder. For the record, "Phoenix Lights" made national headlines, and experts have described as it as "the most widely seen mass UFO sighting in US history," second only to the renowned Roswell UFO crash in 1947. Nevertheless, I'm fed up with low-budget, found-footage thrillers as uninspired as "Phoenix Forgotten." They neither make my skin crawl nor make me feel sympathetic about the plight of characters too asinine to know better. Basically, the actors and actresses play stock characters, with little aside from biology and apparel to differentiate them. Neither the original (and extremely overrated) "Blair Witch Project" (1999) nor its abysmal 2016 remake did little to arouse either my curiosity or raise my hackles. Mind you, found-footage movies aren't all awful. The Vietnam war epic "84 Charlie Mopic" (1989) was one of the best. "The Paranormal Activity" franchise has been consistently gripping. Nothing in "Phoenix Forgotten" will make you chew your fingernails, unless you've never seen a horror movie. Further, this formulaic film features pedestrian performances by unknown thespians without a bit of charisma who were cast largely for their ordinary, inconspicuous looks. Nowlin & Barber have forged characters that aren't interesting for their own sake, and their dialogue isn't quotable. Worse, the film doesn't spring any surprises that would make you scream "WOW!" The first half of "Phoenix Forgotten" is dreary enough to lull you into a stupor. The marginally better second half struggles to compensate for the somnambulance of its monotonous first half. The convenient found-footage sequences are predictably designed to trouble you with lots of dizzy camera work with sporadically scrambled video imagery.

    Sophie (Florence Hartigan of "Magik and Rose") has returned to her hometown of Phoenix to produce a documentary film about her older brother Josh (Luke Spencer Roberts of "Hail, Caesar!") and his two friends, Ashley (Chelsea Lopez of "Novitiate") and Mark (newcomer Justin Matthews), who got lost in the desert 20 years ago while making their own documentary about U.F.O. sightings. Josh had been a videophile for years. When we first see him, Josh is recording his younger sister Sophie's sixth birthday party when mysterious lights illuminate the skies over Phoenix. At one point, either two aircraft or spacecraft scream overhead and rattle their windows. Local television stations aired reports about the suspected UFOs, while elected officials staged a press conference with a guy dressed up as an extraterrestrial to defuse the paranoia surrounding the sightings. The U.F.O. coverage whetted Josh's curiosity sufficiently enough that he started shooting interviews with anybody who had either witnessed or heard about the unidentified flying objects over Phoenix. Naturally, the military debunked those UFO sightings. Indeed, Air Force officials at a nearby installation issued a statement that aircraft had been on training maneuvers and had deployed flares.

    When Sophie comes home, she interviews her parents, who have been divorced because the search for their son devastated their marriage, as well as Josh's friends in an effort to find closure. Sophie and her cameraman are about to call off their documentary when a high school librarian discovers a package stashed in the school's storage facility. The package contains another camcorder with a cassette cartridge in it. Sophie's hopes soar when she learns that not only can the tape still play but also that Josh shot the footage. All along everybody, including local law enforcement, could never adequately explain why Josh would have left behind his camcorder in his vehicle. The revelation is that Josh had two camcorders! Sophie lends the footage to a military official to examine. He warns Sophie that she shouldn't show that tape to anybody. The remainder of "Phoenix Forgotten" concerns what Josh and his friends recorded after they plunged into the desert. The three wind up lost, and tempers flare as they struggle to find their way back to Josh's SUV. After they get back on the road to Phoenix, Arizona, something with a glaring light approaches them from behind and overtakes them. Inexplicably, Josh's vehicle conks out, and the three set out on foot. Before long other mysterious things occur, and they are swept up in cyclone winds, explosive sounds, and bright lights.

    Presumably, producer Ridley Scott, who directed the original "Alien," must have been banking on teen audiences afflicted with ADDH to mob the multiplexes and parlay this $639-thousand budgeted feature into a weekend blockbuster like "The Blair Witch Project." The trouble with Barber's film is that he takes too long to establish both the characters and the predicament. Unfortunately, the filmmakers wear us out keeping track of lots of insignificant details about the characters and their environment designed to make "Phoenix Forgotten" appear more plausible. The abrupt editing stresses the spontaneity of the moment, but Barber neglects to align our sympathies with characters. As the chief protagonist of "Phoenix Forgotten," Sophie searches desperately to determine what became of her ill-fated sibling. Incredibly, "Phoenix Forgotten" partially duplicates the plot of a 1989 micro-budgeted, straight-to-video epic entitled "UFO: Abduction." The big brother in the latter film is taping his niece's fifth birthday with a hand-held camera when UFOs blasted out of nowhere. Afterward, the hero and his two brothers rushed into the woods to investigate their sighting. They located the flying saucer and encountered three aliens. Frantically, the brothers withdrew to their house, and the aliens besieged them. Predictably, Josh's found footage suggests that aliens abducted the trio. Altogether, "Phoenix Forgotten" is best forgotten as just another crackpot conspiracy theory lensed with little imagination.
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    I must admit that I underestimated this movie. It is very well done in the sense that the suspense gradually builds up. Once the adrenaline-infused scenes start rolling, it gets very intense. The found-footage characteristic in this movie is very convincing - mainly due to the fact that the camera angles during fight-or-flight situations are compensating for the suspense element.