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After Dark Originals: Area 51 [DVD]

3.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Pressure is mounting on the Air Force concerning their most secretive base, Area 51, used to house elusive “long-term visitors.” Bowing to political and public pressure, two reporters are granted limited access to the facility. But when one of the “visitors” uses the visit as a chance to liberate himself and fellow captives, Area 51 turns from a secure government base to a horrifying destination of terror.

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"There are no aliens to be found in Area 51." So says the military commander (Bruce Boxleitner) of the place, in a statement that almost guarantees major extraterrestrial mayhem is about to commence. As 51 opens, a journalist (Vanessa Branch) and a politician (John Shea) are embarking on a top-secret tour of the fabled research unit, and at that exact moment the alien residents decide to stage a little rebellion. One of the creatures can shape-shift (à la The Thing), which means the human fighters can't trust their eyes. This "After Dark" straight-to-video installment is surprisingly competent: director Jason Connery (yes, Sean's actor son) exploits the straightforward situation in trim, efficient fashion, and an unusual number of dialogue exchanges are actually involving. In other words, the actions of the characters might make no sense, but at least they sound good performing them. Jason London and Rachel Miner fill out the cast as soldiers (respectively dopey and tough) who must rise to the occasion when faced with an otherworldly foe. It probably helps to go in with low expectations, but this contained little thriller is a cut above the general run of such things. --Robert Horton

Special Features

• Behind the scenes

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: September 20, 2011
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0058ZPN9U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,721 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
This movie had so much potential just by the title. Then I started watching it, and found it to have rather sub-par acting and cheesy aliens, with a very basic plot and bad special effects. The only thing I liked about it was the decision to cast Rachel Miner
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Hold on to yer' seats as the 'after dark' series brings you this tense movie ( for your pleasure ? )
Officials of the secretive 'Area 51' unit give in to public pressure and speculation by allowing a ''restricted'' tour of the base
by some well known journalist's.
The area however has 'beings' not of this world within it's compound, it is not intended that the visitor's get anywhere near these........but, things go wrong when some of the out-of-this-world creatures break out causing havoc and terror.
Has some decent graphics on board, and is worth a spin for 'horror-feast' fans, not great but watchable.
(I believe 'Area 51' probably does harbour secrets, why not ?....what do you believe ?
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51, or Area 51, or whatever you want to call it, is another Sci-Fi Channel co-production (like the cringe-worthy Scream of the Banshee) with this year's After Dark lineup. With that all in mind, you probably already know what you're getting here. Directed by Jason Connery (son of Sean) and featuring genre stalwarts like Bruce Boxleitner, Jason London, Rachel Miner, and John Shea all slumming it here as the fabled military base succumbs to an attack by the aliens they've been keeping prisoner for years, 51 delivers the goods for those looking for low-quality shocks and splatters. It really is better than the sum of its parts however, even with the overly weak acting and occasional unintentional hilarity that arises during some of the action sequences. All in all, 51 isn't the worst flick of this type you'll come across, and that has to count for something I guess in the end.
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By Kaelan on November 10, 2011
Okay, I am not one to enjoy Alien movies. I Like Low Budget, B Slashers. And even though this is low budget, it is about Aliens, and nothing more. Not a good addition, to the After Dark Originals. I Could see this being another sequel to "Aliens" Although i wasn't a big fan of this one, it is still an okay movie. You Will LOVE it, if you enjoy Alien movies. After Dark, Stick with the slashers.
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Once again the Syfy network has decided to offer an original film via the After Dark franchise. The difference is that this time around they've got a fairly decent flick. It's not Oscar material but it never pretends to be either.

Due to the public outcry over secrets being held at what has been called Area 51, the military and top level politicians have decided to allow a couple of journalists in to see that they have nothing to hide. Of course we know they do have something to hide and as we watch base commander Col. Martin (Bruce Boxleitner) explain to his men, the only things these journalists will see is what they want them to.

The two journalists are Sam Whitaker (John Shea), a top network news anchor, respected for his in depth investigative pieces and Claire (Vanessa Branch), an online journalists who's blog is the most read news site looking into cover ups. Along with them are their camera people. These four and the Col. head down to the first level where he will allow them to see that there is nothing to hide except a few military secrets.

What they don't know is that there is a deeper level to area 51, one that does indeed house not just one but several aliens. For whatever reason these aliens, completely different from one another, are about to break free and seek freedom. Talk about bad timing.

The base goes on lockdown and the tour group takes cover where they can. Unfortunately one alien, the big bulky scaly one with claws, seems to enjoy popping heads off soldiers and making blood squirt everywhere. Yes, the costume is pretty bad but it harkens back to the good old man in suit monster movies. It doesn't take itself seriously and it's a good thing.

The other alien is a little more difficult to deal with.
Read more ›
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Be warned...51 is NOT a "true" After Dark original like others in the series. 51 is a SyFy channel tv movie and it shows. Unlike earlier ADO superior efforts, 51 is an amateurish attempt to cash in on the iconic legend of Area 51.
Under Jason Connery's (son of 007 Sean) pedestrian direction, the plot is fairly simple: a group of reporters is inexplicably granted permission to tour the legendary Hangar 18 and upon their arrival, one of the captive aliens stages an uprising resulting in the release of other dangerous aliens.
There are no CGI monsters, rather a return to the men in rubber suits circa the 1950's. Connery even allows the camera to dwell shamelessly on these creatures to further stress the low budget.
B movie stalwarts Bruce Boxleitner, Jason London, Rachel Miner and John Shea try gamely but given their material, there's not much hope. And let's not forget the friendly Yoda clone---how original!
51 is sort of entertaining in a quirkish way but certainly not a classic!
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Too bad the cast was wasted here, because this movie is trying very hard to be Alien, Hangar 18, and who knows what else...and failing miserably at all of them. Cheesy, cheap, dull, illogical, and more.
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