On April 21st, the Ridley Scott-produced found footage film Phoenix Forgotten will hit theaters from Cinelou Films. The film marks the feature film directorial debut of Justin Barber, who co-wrote the film with T.S. Nowlin.
20 years after three teenagers disappeared in the wake of mysterious lights appearing above Phoenix, Arizona, unseen footage from that night has been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition.
To commemorate the release of the film, World Film Geek takes a look at some of the top films to feature those good ol’ unidentified flying objects, or simply UFOs as well as alien invasions.:
The War of the Worlds (Byron Haskin, 1953)
The classic H.G. Wells novel about a small town being invaded by Martians comes to life via director Byron Haskin. Fifteen years after the famous radio adaptation by Orson Welles, which with the announcement of the invasion (meant for storyline purposes) actually caused panic among its listeners, the film treatment starred the likes of Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, and Les Tremayne as they attempt to stop the Martians from wreaking havoc. A remake was made in 2005 starring Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning.
Invaders from Mars (William Cameron Menzies, 1953)
In this classic sci-fi film, a young boy, played by Jimmy Hunt, sees a crashed spaceship and when his father goes to check it out, he returns only to begin acting different. As the townsfolk find the crash themselves, they begin to undergo radical changes in attitudes. The boy discovers that the alien who has landed has brainwashed the people and along with an astronomer and scientist, the boy must put an end to things in his small town. The film was remade by Tobe Hooper in 1986.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel, 1956)
Chaos ensues when an alien force arrives and begins to take over the bodies of the townsfolk. A doctor, played by Kevin McCarthy, must find a way to uncover the madness and stop the alien invasion. The film was remade and copies on numerous occasions, including the 1978 Donald Sutherland-led remake and the 1993 Abel Ferrara-directed Body Snatchers.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg, 1977)
One of the great classic films involving aliens and humanity. Richard Dreyfuss plays a line worker who has experienced UFOs and as a result, finds himself isolated in the wilderness, where he will experience something he will never expect. This all comes while a team of scientists are investigating strange occurrences in isolated areas, led by one of the great auteurs of cinema, Francois Truffaut.
Fire in the Sky (Robert Lieberman, 1993)
In 1975, Arizona logger Travis Walton (D.B. Sweeney) disappears after he and his friends encounter a flying saucer and is found five days later. While he has returned, he has no recollection of what had happened. However, once his memory starts to come back, he begins to claim that he has been abducted by the aliens aboard the UFO.
Independence Day (Roland Emmerich, 1996)
As America awaits for the arrival of an alien force, it is revealed that these aliens mean business. They destroy major cities and landmarks all over the world. When scientist Jeff Goldblum discovers the weak point on the aliens, he decides to use it to help the world launch an assault on the alien forces, with the likes of Will Smith and Randy Quaid joining in the fight for humanity. A sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence was released in 2016.
The Fourth Kind (Olatunde Osunsanmi, 2009)
A series of disappearances have been occurring in Alaska for over four decades. A young psychologist, played by Milla Jovovich, interviews traumatized people and unravels the mystery that these disappearances could actually be the result of an alien invasion where the fourth kind is in fact, abduction. When the details of the aliens are similar between the patients, Jovovich encounters a possibility she never imagines.
Skyline (Colin and Greg Strause, 2010)
This extraterrestrial film revolves around a bright light in Los Angeles that draws a group of partygoers. When one looks at the light, he is taken away by the alien force and now the rest of the group must evade the invaders, who plan to wipe out the entire human population. A follow-up, Beyond Skyline, is geared for a release later this year with the likes of Frank Grillo and the Indonesian action duo of Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian. The follow-up was written and directed by this film’s writer, Liam O’Donnell.
This is just a sample of the some of the top films involving UFOs and alien invasions all to commemorate the release of Phoenix Forgotten, set for release in theaters nationwide on April 21 by Cinelou Films.