Archive for September 9, 2015


Silly me. I thought that, when it came to “found-footage” UFO-themed horror flicks,  Oren Peli’s Area 51 just had to be the bottom of the barrel. The nadir. The armpit. The asshole.  Then I came across a low-budget 2014 effort from the UK called Hangar 10 and realized how staggeringly wrong I was.

The marketing behind director Daniel Simpson’s half-assed opus is certainly interesting — it was quietly dumped out onto various VOD “home-viewing platforms” (it’s since been released on DVD, but being that I watched it on Netflix I can’t really comment on any technical specs or extras-that-probably-aren’t-included-anyway) with little by way of explanation, I’m assuming in order to lure in unsuspecting folks who were stupid enough to believe it might be “real.” The credits are curiously incomplete, as well, and as a result it took some little amount of legwork on the part of horror buffs to even suss out who played some of the roles here. So who knows — maybe a few people really did think this was an honest-to-goodness documentary. But man, once that low-rent CGI kicks in, there’s just no doubt whatsoever.


Viewers of at least average intelligence will have pieced it together a lot sooner than that, though, given how sub-standard the acting here is, but  hey —before bitching any further I suppose I should at least divulge the basic plot details : three metal detector hobbyists (I know, I know — try to contain your excitement) are on the hunt for ancient Saxon gold in Rendlesham Forest, site of Britain’s most famous UFO “flap” some 33 years ago. They decide to film their “adventure” on their HD camcorder. They don’t find any gold. They do find an evil alien presence that is returning to the same spot it visited before. I guess maybe the universe isn’t as big as I thought, or maybe the quaint English countryside is just so awe-inspiring that invaders from Zeta Reticuli simply have to see it again. Who really knows, and who really cares.


As far as IMDB has been able to confirm, the three principal players here are Robert Curtis as Gus, Abbie Salt as Sally, and Danny Shayler as Jake, who are all thoroughly unconvincing ( which is a pretty remarkable feat when you consider how one-dimensional and boring the characters they’re tasked with playing are), while the script was co-authored by Simpson and one Adam Preston. So there’s that “mystery” solved, I guess, but the more pressing question is — now that people know who was responsible for this debacle, do these poor souls really want their names attached to it?


I know that I sure as hell wouldn’t. Hangar 10 is about the most wholly unremarkable film one that could possibly imagine, and an actual documentary on metal-detector enthusiasts would probably be more interesting to sit through than this is — even if all they found were a few discarded beer can tabs scattered here and there. Huh. This one looks like it might be from a mid-70s Pabst can.

I will give Simpson and his cast and crew credit for one thing, though — this little number they’ve cooked up makes even Area 51 seem like Oscar-caliber material. That’s a genuinely amazing achievement to be sure — but it’s hardly a good one.