Think horror, think Lost meets Jurassic Park! On second thoughts scrap that thought, but Tape 407 does involve a plane crash and some sort of dinosaur hell bent on killing the survivor.
After Dark productions have given us some great little horror gems over the last few years, some slightly better than made for TV productions, and some not, unfortunately this release falls into the latter category.
The premise is this: two girls are flying from NY to LA on NYE, one is absolutely determined to catch everything on her camera (yawn – as if we not had enough of these real events captured on camera films already – Cloverfield, The Last Exorcism and Paranormal Activity). The plane unfortunately does not meet its final destination due to turbulence and crashes into a Government Testing Area. The traumatised passengers are then hunted in the darkness by some unknown menace. Wow – two horrors for the price of one!
As with many of these recorded ‘real life’ event films, the fact that the footage has been found, does not usually bode well for the unfortunate victims.
What’s wrong with the film? The first girl holding the camera has the most annoying whiney American accent I have ever heard, so we can#t wait to see her demise! She proves to be more annoying than Jar Jar Binks! The film is split into two halves, the plane journey and then the aftermath. After the plane crashes only the fuselage remains, there are no flames, no smoke, just lots people running around shouting over each other looking like a walking advert for Dulux Crimson paint. It literally looks as if they have been painted with red syrup.
They are then systematically picked off one by one by the dark menace. The fact that it is set in the dark obviously means very little money needs to be spent on effects, as you never actually really see the creatures until the end, and in the meantime we are nauseously given the now compulsory shaking camera, often blinding at times as the lights bounce off the ground.
There is no tension and the victims always seem to do the wrong thing. Do I stay in the relative safety of indoors and wait until sunrise or do I run around cluelessly in the dark waiting to be killed by an unknown predator? And I’m sorry, but if you were in a plane crash would you not be more concerned about your survival rather than zooming into the faces of those dying! Or would people respectfully ask you to switch the bloody thing off?
I suppose the excuse for running with the camera with the light showing was to help them see? Perhaps I’m unnaturally gifted, but I can see quite well in the dark thank you very much! Turn the camera off please! This is unimaginative film making at its very worst!
Overall Verdict: If this is tape 407, let’s hope the other 406 have been destroyed!
Reviewer: Stephen Sclater