Alien abductions have long been a staple of science-fiction stories, film and television. The idea of a mysterious light enveloping our homes and extracting us from our beds is a terrifying one, made more so by the underlying fear that the threat might not be science-fiction at all, but science-fact…
New sci-fi horror Phoenix Forgotten is based on the shocking, true events of March 13th, 1997, when several mysterious lights appeared over Phoenix, Arizona. This unprecedented and inexplicable phenomenon became known as “The Phoenix Lights”, and remains the most famous and widely viewed UFO sighting in history.
Phoenix Forgotten tells the story of three teens who went into the desert shortly after the incident, hoping to document the strange events occurring in their town. They disappeared that night, and were never seen again. Now, on the twentieth anniversary of their disappearance, unseen footage has finally been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition. For the first time ever, the truth will be revealed…
The film comes courtesy of producer Ridley Scott, a man who knows a thing or two about extraterrestrial terror having directed undisputed classic of the science-fiction horror genre, Alien.Phoenix Rising ratchets up the tension until all hell breaks loose in a truly terrifying finale. Ahead of the film’s release we‘re taking a look back at some of the best alien encounters and abductions to have beamed down on to our screens over the years.
Obscure British oddity from the ’80s, Xtro gets its abduction in early as father Sam is plucked from in front of his farmhouse while he plays with his son at the start of the film. Three years later and Sam returns… or so it seems. Xtro’s earned itself a cult following thanks to a bizarre story, original alien designs, and an array of disgusting effects work. Well worth a look if you have few drinks and don’t mind the slower retro pace.
Many of the best alien abduction films take their stories from true-life accounts from people who claim to have had encounters with beings from another world. Communion, like Phoenix Forgotten, makes no exception. Based on the non-fiction book of the same name by acclaimed horror novelist Whitley Strieber, the film details the author’s abduction from his cabin in the woods of upstate New York by non-human beings. The brilliant Christopher Walken stars as Strieber, a man tortured by nightmarish visions of unearthly grey aliens, and the sinister experiments they performed on him. Genuinely creepy and quite believable.
Fire in the Sky (1993)
Fire in the Sky is another film based on an allegedly true abduction account, this time that of logger Travis Walter, as detailed in is book, The Walton Experience. Robert Patrick stars in the film, with a performance that would later see him cast in a prominent role in the X-Files 8th season. The film really excels in the final scenes when we’re given a full view of the abduction experience when poor Travis awakens aboard an alien spacecraft and is led to an examination room for full autopsy. The abduction experience is really brought to life with some fantastically realised creature effects.
The X-Files Episodes: Duane Barry & Abduction (1994)
Classic sci-fi series The X-Files was really hitting its stride when this epic second season two-parter landed, setting the course for many major story arcs in the seasons to come. Necessity is the mother of invention, and that proved to be the case when lead actress Gillian Anderson, aka Agent Dana Scully, fell pregnant and needed some time off the show. How to get rid of her for a few episodes? Alien abduction! In the episodes, Scully is kidnapped by Duane Barry, an escaped psychiatric patient who claims to have been abducted by aliens and is terrified of them returning for him. With Agent Mulder hot on their trail, Barry takes his hostage to the location of his original abduction, only for Scully to be taken in his place. Two of the best.
The Fourth Kind (2009)
“There are four kinds of alien encounters. The fourth kind is abduction” runs the tagline for this Mila Jovovitch starring mockumentary take on sci-fi horror. Mixing documentary footage of ‘real’ abduction victims with actors recreating events from apparent true-life testimonies, the film successfully creates the impression that the horrifying on-screen alien encounters are very real.
V/H/S/ 2 ‘Slumber Party Alien Abduction’ (2013)
V/H/S 2 is a follow up to the original horror anthology film that collects terrifying ‘found footage’ shorts from the best young filmmakers working in the horror genre. Hobo with a Shotgun director Jason Eisener helmed the Slumber Party Alien Abduction segment in which a group of young kids are terrorised at their home by a group of aliens intent on capturing them. Intense and scary stuff, with a shocking ending (especially for animal lovers).
Alien Abduction (2014)
Like Phoenix Forgotten, Alien Abduction is a found footage feature that uses a reported paranormal phenomenon as the basis of its story, in this case the mysterious Brown Mountain Lights. The film follows a family whose camping trip in the woods is interrupted by the appearance of vicious aliens. As equipment malfunctions and their car runs out of gas, the unfortunate family find themselves on a predetermined path leading to a scary, alien-filled end.
Original sci-fi horror Extraterrestrial operates under the idea that the government have a treaty with a group of extraterrestrials, giving them free reign to abduct unsuspecting humans for experiments. When a group of friends come across a downed spacecraft and shoot one of the otherworldly occupants, the pact is broken and the aliens go on the hunt…good fun and with a probe-based ending you will not forget in a hurry!
Signature Entertainment presents Phoenix Forgotten on DVD and Digital HD 18th September