A couple goes to the Rendlesham Forest in England with metal detectors looking for gold or something valuable, while another guy just tags along to record everything on his camera (stop me if this sounds too familiar). This destination, however, is where supposedly 30 years before (give or take) took place an incident involving people from outer space, which was conveniently covered by the government.
While Gus, the leader of the trip dismisses the idea, Jake the cameraman, a true believer of the UFO phenomena, takes this chance to look for evidence of said incident (And try to get some with Sally, the girl of the trio, whenever Gus is not watching). After going deeper in the woods, ignoring clear signs that they should get the hell out of there, Gus, Sally and Jake find themselves very soon lost and with their navigation equipment failing. To make maters worse, strange lights on the distance and creepy inhuman sounds in the night let them know that they are not alone on the forest, but it’s not until the next morning when gazing to the sky that becomes clear to them that even if they find the way home, there is no warranty they will leave that place alive.
Let’s get this out of the way ASAP; about 90% of the so-called “Found Footage” genre just follow this formula; “Some filmmakers go someplace that it’s rumored/famous for certain event, although a lot of people says it’s BS, filmmakers go there, get lost, argue between themselves and something starts taking them out one by one” (We can throw the zombie apocalypse or haunted house variation every now and then, but you get the idea) Most often than not, the characters are annoying, the camerawork it’s shaky at best (vomiting inducing at worst) and for 60 minutes almost nothing happens, dragging the pace just to “shock” us with a reveal on the last 10 minutes or so. Let’s leave on the side the issue that for some reason lately every time somebody finds these “recordings” it takes the time to edit, polish and make a sequence of events, BEFORE presenting it to the world, no matter if the footage was from more than one camera…Really? You want to show what those poor bastards found and even died for, and you can’t just go to the friggin point? You need to risk that your audience who can’t watch more than 6-7 seconds of an Ad in Youtube before skipping it, will actually sit thru 60 minutes of padding for a shot that MAYBE is worth the wait?
There are great exceptions to my previous rant like “Cloverfield”, “Trollhunter” and even “Grave Encounters” on the heavy budget side, and “Rec” and “Alien Abduction” on the more modest one, but at least to me it seems you really have to swim thru a lot of crappy films on this genre just to get to the decent, if not really good ones, and some time, you just don’t have that much time to waste.
So where “Hangar 10” stands in the range between “good and bad” as film? Sadly, it had a nice start, but lost its energy in the middle, and towards the end it could not get back the tension, thus leaving the film on the “not quite bad, but almost” territory. I give the film points for at least giving us some cool shots in the first 40 minutes, too bad it fell on the “nothing happens” and “let’s needlessly argue RIGHT NOW” territory after that. Let’s not even talk about the logic of planning a trip to the woods without any food (but lots of equipment) on the idea of “We will eat what we catch” only to later find dead animals for no apparent reason. To make matter worse, there are some things that were not answered and that could make a nice subplot, I won’t go into details, because they are pointy (wink, wink) and possibly spoilery.
The last act of the film is actually nice, with some cool visuals, but again the film leaves us with more questions than answers, like trying to leave an open door for a sequel, which, I’m not going to lie, I would not care much for. The film had some good things to stand out above others, but sadly went for the typical road, making this film one of the 90% mentioned above, when could have been of the other 10%. And NO, the limits on the film are not due budget, it’s due the plot, so don’t even try to use that card, let’s remember the original “Blair Witch Project” which this film clearly is doing a tribute. At least here we DO SEE something…
The film was directed by Daniel Simpson, who directed “Spiderhole” (haven’t see the film, but after seeing the trailer, I might) and co-written with Adam Preston. On the cast we have Robert Curtis, Abbie Salt and Danny Shayler.
So what’s my final take on “Hangar 10? 2/5. Just for Found Footage enthusiasts or to watch while doing the dishes, the film got some good moody and visual moments, but no more than that. By the way, if you’ve seen the trailer, you saw most (if not all) the good parts.