Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Hangar 10: Rendle Sham
Rendlesham Forest “Incident” is often dubbed “Britain’s Roswell,” so you know
it must be pure hokum. Nevertheless, ostensibly grown adults really believe
there was some sort of UFO cover-up going on at the old RAF Woodbridge while
the USAF was in residence. To feed conspiracy theorists’ persecution complexes,
Rendlesham gets the found footage horror treatment in Daniel Simpson’s Hangar 10 (trailer here), which opens late
night tonight in New York at the IFC Center.
there is a good reason found footage was lost in the first place. In this case,
Gus heads into the woods with his girlfriend Sally and her ex, would be
filmmaker Jake, who will document their efforts prospecting Saxon gold for
youtube posterity. This has to be the first extreme metal-detecting film—and hopefully
course, things are highly awkward from the start and get even edgier when
strange lights start appearing. No abductions yet, just lights. Basically, for
the first forty-five minutes, Gus and Jake stagger around saying things like: “Hey,
did you just see that? But what’s with you and Sally anyway?” At this point,
the audience would find alien abduction to be a relief.
said, Simpson deserves credit for stepping up his game in the third act. The
sequences shot in the not-so-abandoned Air Force base have a really stark look
that pops off the screen. His special effects are surprisingly well rendered,
but he does not show too much here, thereby maintaining the tension derived
from uncertainty. It is a shame we can’t simply lop off the last twenty minutes
or so and append it to a better movie.
Simpson is already late to the found footage party, following up his middling Saw knock-off Spiderhole with a Roswellish abduct-and-probe horror show. Devin
McGinn’s not-half-bad Skinwalker Ranch got
there earlier and delivered more genre goods (it also co-stars the eternally
cool Michael Horse). Throughout Hangar,
Simpson does not get much help from his white-bread-and-mayonnaise cast, but
the design team makes the base look huge and ominous, in a crummy government-issue
kind of way.
An hour after Hangar ends, you will completely forget what Gus, Sally, and Jake
look like, but some of Simpson’s Woodbridge visuals will stick for a while.
There are much better found footage alternatives out there, such as The Taking of Deborah Logan and the VHS franchise. If you are in the West
Village with friends hoping for a horror movie fix, it will suffice, but it is
not worth seeking out when it starts its ‘round midnight screenings tonight
(11/7) at the IFC Center.
Labels: British Cinema, Found footage