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Finally, Found Footage with Velociraptors: Area 407 Trailer

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | April 18, 2012 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | April 18, 2012 |

The last thing that the world needs right now is another found footage horror film. Other than genocide. Yeah, it probably needs that less than found footage. I’m sure there’s a Kony joke in there that isn’t funny, but I can’t connect the dots so that will be left as an exercise for the reader. The rules for found footage are very simple though. Show just enough to terrify, but never show enough that you reveal the fact that your special effects budget was whatever costumes your buddy working at CVS slipped into his backpack the week after Halloween.

Area 407 was previously known as Tape 407, which is a far more interesting title if only because you wonder what the other406 tapes have on them. It implies the video rental section of the warehouse in Raiders of the Lost Ark. I assume they had to change the title since no one under 20 knows of tape as anything other than duct or scotch.

Here’s the trailer:

See, it was relatively effective on the plane, through the crash, even as the first weird stuff starts happening. And then there’s a goddamned velociraptor and I laughed so hard the irritable neighbor upstairs starting pounding on the floor. Boom! And there it is again in full view, head to claw, clear and in focus. I am sick of these motherfucking raptors at this motherfucking crash site.

First of all, don’t show the shark, this is horror 101. But really really don’t show the shark in the trailer of your low budget film. Clear shots are not your friend.

But more importantly, they were playing it straight and serious and more or less effectively and all that tension just deflated out the instant a velociraptor showed up on screen. It’s not because the effects were bad, it’s because you can’t see them without automatically assigning the film to the SyFy Originals bucket while yelling Jurassic Park quotes. Slamming the door on a raptor? They’ve learned to open doors! The drinking game for the movie will be to snarl “clever girl” in an Australian accent and then take a drink.

Oh, and I think this might be the first spoiler ever revealed in a trailer by grammar. Text appears in the trailer announcing: “The survivor’s story has never been told.” That would be a definitive article plus a singular possessive case, indicating that there is exactly one survivor to the events of the film. I hope it’s a raptor.

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.