Phoenix Forgotten (2017) Horror Movie Review


“Phoenix Forgotten” is a found-footage science fiction thriller that delves into the enduring enigma of the Phoenix Lights. Directed by Justin Barber and produced by Ridley Scott, the film intertwines the real-life phenomenon of unexplained lights over Phoenix, Arizona, in 1997 with a fictional narrative of three teenagers who disappeared while investigating the event.

The movie, released in 2017, attempts to rekindle the found-footage genre by presenting a story that oscillates between a documentary-style investigation and a horror-thriller. The film’s premise is rooted in the actual event known as the Phoenix Lights, where thousands witnessed mysterious orbs of light in the night sky, leading to widespread speculation about their origin.

The narrative follows Sophie, played by Florence Hartigan, who embarks on a quest to unravel the truth behind the disappearance of her brother and his friends 20 years after the incident. The film’s structure is a mix of present-day interviews and the unearthed footage shot by the teenagers, providing a dual perspective on the unfolding events.

Critics have had mixed reactions to “Phoenix Forgotten.” Some have praised its unique blend of fact and fiction, noting that it stands out in a genre that often feels stale and repetitive. Others have criticized it for not fully capitalizing on its premise, resulting in a film that feels underwhelming despite its intriguing setup. The consensus seems to be that while “Phoenix Forgotten” may not be groundbreaking, it offers enough suspense and mystery to keep viewers engaged, especially those with an interest in UFO lore and found-footage films.

The performances, particularly by Hartigan, are commendable, bringing a sense of authenticity to the film’s documentary feel. The cinematography effectively captures the desolate beauty of the Arizona desert, which serves as a haunting backdrop for the story.

In the Nutshell

“Phoenix Forgotten” is a film that may not satisfy all viewers, especially those expecting conventional horror thrills. However, for those intrigued by the blend of real-world mysteries with fictional storytelling, it presents an interesting take on the found-footage genre. It’s a film that invites the audience to ponder the possibilities of the unknown and the lengths to which one might go to uncover the truth. Whether “Phoenix Forgotten” will be remembered as a cult classic or a mere footnote in the genre remains to be seen, but it certainly provides an eerie reflection on the human fascination with the unexplained. I give 3 out of 5 stars.

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Genre: Sci-Fi Found Footage

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