‘Area 51’ Trailer: ‘Paranormal Activity’ Director Returns With His Long-Awaited Follow-Up
Like the famed government site itself, Oren Peli’s Area 51 film was something that’s existed for a while now, but has remained shrouded in secrecy and hidden from the public. The director began working on the project in 2011, and the last update we received was sometime in 2013. Since then, the film has been stuck on Paramount’s shelf, and it wasn’t clear if Area 51 would ever see the light of day. Coinciding with today’s abrupt announcement of the film’s upcoming May release date, we finally have an official trailer.
Area 51 was supposed to be Peli’s follow-up to Paranormal Activity, but the film sort of mysteriously disappeared when it was weirdly shelved over at Paramount’s Insurge banner. Paramount is re-absorbing Insurge, which might explain why the companies are suddenly releasing Area 51 (along with a film called Drunk Wedding) without warning.
Peli once again employs the found footage approach, this time switching it up from ghosts to aliens, as a group of friends attempt to — and apparently succeed in — breaking into the highly-classified government site to help their friend deal with the mysterious trauma that’s been plaguing him. While the direction looks solid and about what you’d expect from another Peli found footage project, there’s some highly questionable CGI mixed in there that doesn’t particularly read well given the film’s lower-quality camera style.
Area 51 will hit 16 Alamo Drafthouse theaters on May 15, and will play throughout the weekend, ending its brief run on May 17. In addition, the film will only play once per day, giving you just three chances to see it in the theater. If you don’t live near a Drafthouse, no worries — the film also hits VOD on May 15.