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Aliens: Zone of Silence (2017) – User Review

User Rating: 4.5

I love the sub-genre of alien abduction in the found footage world. It’s a fantastic combination and I’ve experienced SO MANY good movies shot this way. Last one was Phoenix Forgetten, an almost perfect found footage. But I’ve got SO disappointed wathing this one… There are just too many ideas put together and in theĀ WRONG way. And by this I mean they’re breaking the found footage rules AGAIN.

The plot is nice and simple. There’s two missing persons in the desert lands of Mexico. And the sister of one of these guys is doing a documentary while on her way to find what happened to them. She’ll receive some help from a friend of the guys that will guide her by phone, since he will be in his home checking all the cameras the girl will take with her in this research.

And here’s the first problem…

This guy is a sort of sidekick character, that should be helpful to have some dialogue during the movie and lighten up the things a little bit. And, in theory, it’s cool. But it’s simply realized in the WORST possible way… Why? Well, it all starts as a documentary, with the girl narrating her intentions and then we just have no more mockumentary but we have alternate shots of the girl in the desert and the guy in his home… WHY that?? Who’s putting everything together? Is it the guy? Editing everything every time? But why would he put in the documentary the shots of himself in his own kitchen while watching television? Wouldn’t be just simpler to show JUST the recordings of the girl in the desert? This thing annoys me SO MUCH and it makes no sense at all…

It’s just as if they thought “Well, it would be lame having the guy just as an external voice, let’s put some shots of him randomly”. And that’s the worst way to do found footage. A found footage movie is NOT just a collection of recordings by different random convenient cameras. There has to be a SINGLE found footage. Otherwise, we lost immersion and the movie just becomes a normal movie done in a weird way…

Then we have the censor bars during some of the tapes… And that makes things just worse… Why in the world would someone lose time to edit such unimportant things (random faces and products in a supermarket) while the video itself is a massive clue about aliens… They should have avoided that silly and unnecessary scene in the supermarket…

Then, I think I heard some added sound effects while switching cameras. And that’s very annoying considering I have to think that someone has edited those sound effects after the video was completed, which makes no sense considering the importance of the video.

So the immersion is completely ruined in every aspect. That said we have some good acting JUST by the two actors portraying the missing guys. The other two actors(the sister and the friend) are just too much inconsistent.

I don’t know, there too many things done too much randomly. Such as the sandstorm moment. Why that? Just to show a sandstorm to fill some holes in the movie? It makes no sense at all. The edited mockumentary should contain JUST the important things or, if the footage was pure and unedited, it should contain EVERYTHING.

I’m giving it a 4.5 rather than a 3.0 just because SOME of the acting was good and some scenes had some true tension. But apart from that, the movie could have been done MUCH better. That’s a pity because this sub-genre has so much potential in my opinion. I would say this is the bad version of Phoenix Forgotten, considering the similar plot. Is it worth watching? Yes… but it’s gonna be painful most of the time for a found footage purist…

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