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Phoenix Forgotten (2017) – User Review

User Rating: 8

Finally I’ve found a totally satisfactory found footage film! I don’t get at all the user ratings on this one, ’cause it is almost a perfect found footage. But let’s start analyzing it.

The reason for filming is totally reasonable. Since the movie appears to be a mockumentary, shot by a girl (Sophie) who’s doing some research about her brother (Josh) who’s disappeared in 1997 in unknown circumstances. The mockumentary part is really interesting and realistic. And we get to see also some footage by Josh that helps us understand better what might have happened to him and his two friends that were with him when they disappeared. The acting is really impressive and in no moment I felt the scenes forced or acted.
So, if you’re looking for an immersive found-footage, this is the one for you! There is a catchy mockumentary part and an awesome found footage part so that you’ll enjoy it for sure!


But let’s talk now more in detail… The last half (almost) of the movie is entirely found footage, the most interesting one because it is the missing piece of the puzzle to solve the mystery. I simply LOVE how they prepared everything to get to that part. The mockumentary just increases the hype for the found footage part and it works perfectly. Besides, I love the fact that the last footage is put as it is, with no music(as there was in the mockumentary part, and no criticism intended, it was perfect and justified there), and no interruptions. There’s also a very good playing with the seen/unseen factor, avoiding to show too much and too few. Just perfect. And let me get back again to the acting. Especially Ashley and Mark acted convincingly. Josh too, for the few scenes where we see him, but being the cameraman doesn’t allow him to prove his acting skills as well.

The only things that upset me a little bit are at the very ending… WHY do they make us see the camera FALLING FROM hundreds of meters, with the lens pointing down and JUST AFTER THAT the camera still recording almost perfectly… I don’t really get it… I would be ok with the tape still safe inside the camera, but the lens… really?? A bit too much…

And the phrases on screen at the end? Just NOT necessary… I was totally ok with Sophie doing all the mockumentary, finding out what happened, and willing to complete the documentary to show the world what happened (and how the military avoided talking about it). But seriously did she need those phrases?? “The military denies every connection with the disappearings” and “The search for the truth continues”?? Thank you, but the movie itself would be enough to make the thing go viral… NO need of those phrases of course… On the contrary, this made me lose a little of immersion because it was just like saying “Hey! This is something I’m saying to make this more realistic!” in an unnecessary context because the last footage is pretty self-explanatory by itself…

But without these very last mistakes, I think it would have been a 10. So, for me, it still deserves a full 8. Worth watching and really a great found footage!

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