I’ve interviewed Blumhouse’s Jason Blum three times over the years, and in every conversation, one of my go-to questions has been “When is Oren Peli’s Area 51 coming out?” His most recent answer was simply “You’d have to ask Oren Peli.” For whatever reason – but by implication, not one that was Blumhouse’s call – the alien-themed found-footage flick that was to capitalize on the success of the director’s breakout hit has not seen the light of day until now, six years after we thought we’d see it, and eight years after Paranormal. Based on the trailer, it’s conceivable that he was getting the effects just right on a budget, but also based on the trailer (UPDATE: YouTube version IS EMBEDDED BELOW), it looks like he’s been preempted by both The Signal and As Above So Below.
Area 51 opens May 15 on-demand and at Alamo Drafthouse theaters. Is it possible the last guy to really shake up the found-footage format can do so again?
Luke Y. Thompson has been writing professionally about movies and pop-culture since 1999, and has also been an actor in some extremely cheap culty and horror movies you will probably never hear much about (he is nonetheless mostly proud of them, as he met his wife on one). As editor of The Robot's Voice since 2012, he can take the blame for the majority of the site's content, all of which he creates because he loves you very, very much. (Although he loves nachos more. Sorry.)
Prior to TRV, Luke wrote for publications that include the New Times LA, Los Angeles CityBeat, E! Online, OC Weekly, Geekweek, GeekChicDaily, The L.A. Times, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, and Nerdist