'Hangar 10': Film Review

Courtesy of IFC Midnight
This found-footage horror film should have stayed lost

Daniel Simpson's found-footage horror film concerns three treasure hunters encountering UFOs in England's Rendlesham Forest

By now it's safe to say that criticizing found-footage horror movies is becoming redundant…but not as redundant as the films themselves, which recycle their genre tropes with depressing regularity. Case in point: Daniel Simpson's Hangar 10, which misses nary a single cliché in its visually disorienting and narratively confusing proceedings. Being given a token theatrical release, the film should find some traction with undiscerning and addictive late-night VOD consumers.

Supposedly inspired by The Treasure of the Sierra Madre—in your dreams—the film, supposedly consisting of footage found on a stolen laptop, depicts the adventures of three treasure hunters armed with metal detectors as they venture into Suffolk, England's Rendlesham Forest in search of ancient gold coins.

The nondescript group includes Sally (Abbie Salt), her boyfriend Gus (Robert Curtis) and her ex-boyfriend Jake (Danny Shayler), who's mainly come along to document the proceedings and because of his fascination with extraterrestrials. The forest, you see, was the site of an infamous true-life 1980 incident involving UFO sighting at a U.S. Air Force base.  

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As with most of these efforts, it takes a long time for things to get going, with the trio immersed in constant bickering that they apparently feel the need to document for posterity. They soon encounter such strange sights as a field strewn with dead horses, and it's not long after that when things begin to go bump in the night.

Cue the appearance of mysterious lights, strange beings, and even more bickering, presumably for the sake of dramatic tension. The characters wander around in circles, constantly getting lost, before one of them disappears. They find their way to the abandoned military base, resembling the sort of haunted house attractions that pop up every Halloween, before having close encounters that are unfortunately presented without the benefit of a John Williams score.

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Shot in the usual whiplash and seizure-inducing style that manages to simultaneously provoke both headaches and sheer boredom, the film does offer the occasional spooky moment, mostly provided by the evocative locations. But they're not enough to compensate for the endless derivativeness on display.

Production: Newscope Films
Cast: Danny Shayler Abbie Salt, Robert Curtis
Director/director of photography: Daniel Simpson
Screenwriters: Daniel Simpson, Adam Preston
Producers: Laurie Cook, Jason Newmark, Will Clarke, Paul Higgins
Executive producers: Peter Hampden, Norman Merry, Andrew Bosell
Editors: Andrew Hulme, Masa Skalec
Casting: Lucy Kenkins, Sooki McShane

No rating, 87 min.

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