Two decades after three teenagers disappeared in the wake of mysterious lights appearing above Phoenix, Arizona, unseen footage from that night has been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition.
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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Could have been better if it knew what it was
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.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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