From Paranormal Activity to Area 51

October 6, 2009

Director Oren Peli, the man who made Paranormal Activity for the paltry sum of $10,000 or so, is getting ready to make a movie about the mecca of all UFO conspiracy theories, Area 51 of Nellis Air Force Basein Nevada.

Collider tells us this about the film:

Peli will begin production next week, and is reuniting with his producer from “Paranormal” Jason Blum, on the new film which is said to follow 3 teenagers whose curiousity leads them to Nevada where the Nellis Air Force Base is the supposed home to Area 51.  The new film is planned to be modestly budgeted at $5 million...

Here's the problem with movies about UFOs and/or aliens. When these movies are done right (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Fire in the Sky, Communion) they have the potential to both educate viewers and simultaneously scare the hell out of them. There is something so primal in the fear that aliens can inspire that no horror film can ever top.

But few UFO and/or alien movies ever live up to their potential, and they either make the aliens cute and loving (E.T.) or just downright stupid and unbelievable (Artificial Intelligence). There's nothing wrong with a big-budget blockbuster where the point is to watch aliens blow stuff up, the problems come in when a filmmaker tries to make the phenomenon true to life.

Most filmmakers know very little about the thousands of pages of government documentation on the subject, or the actual sightings and evidence, and thus create fictional accounts that are much less scary than things that have actually been reported by real people.

In the event that Peli knows his way around Project Blue Book and The Disclosure Project, there's a chance he might just do justice to this film.

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