I first saw the trailer of this film in December, marketed only as "#PHOENIX", and I could find absolutely nothing about it afterwards. It was this mystery that wildly intrigued me, and when it was finally given a release date, I knew that I was going to see it.
The film presents itself in a way that is somewhat original. The mockumentary format of the film made me feel a lot more invested than the average found footage horror film. In this film, the found footage was interspersed throughout and at the finale, with the rest being occupied with talking-head style interviews and other faux interactions of an investigative documentary. The last thirty minutes of the film are completely found footage, and make up the least interesting part of the film. It just isn't scary. The first half isn't supposed to be scary, and it works, but the second half, the horror film half, bored me.
I thought that the filmmaking style for the mockumentary half was pretty good. The shots and editing were well done to emulate the style of an investigative documentary. The found footage was even integrated with a purpose, different than most films of the genre. Unfortunately, the most developed character is dropped halfway through the film, and the film switches style to the shaky cam nonsense that is typically expected.
Overall, "Phoenix Forgotten" shined a bit brighter than most of the lights in the sky, but it still wasn't a great film. General horror audiences will be disappointed by its lack of scares, and everyone else will be disappointed by its mundane second half.
Big Tuna's Rating: C+
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: No.
I am a huge movie fan that wants to tell people about my very varying taste and opinion of film.