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Hangar 10

Hangar 10 (2014) Movie Poster
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UK  •    •  83m  •    •  Directed by: Daniel Simpson.  •  Starring: Robert Curtis, Abbie Salt, Danny Shayler..
       33 years after the infamous Rendlesham Forest UFO incident, three metal detector enthusiasts hunting for Saxon gold in the same region, capture incredible footage of UFO's whilst filming their expedition. As night falls and with their navigation equipment failing, they find themselves facing a terrifying encounter with an unforgiving alien presence.

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Review:

Image from: Hangar 10 (2014)
Image from: Hangar 10 (2014)
Image from: Hangar 10 (2014)
Image from: Hangar 10 (2014)
Image from: Hangar 10 (2014)
Image from: Hangar 10 (2014)
Image from: Hangar 10 (2014)
Image from: Hangar 10 (2014)
To get things straight from the outset, "Hangar 10" (aka "The Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident") is NOT a cheap and useless Turkey, filled with daft dialogue and illogical sequences of events, notwithstanding its presence among the cheaper supermarket movies on DVD.

Rather, this is a film that takes itself pretty seriously and tries hard - a fact that is made all the clearer by bonus materials featuring British director-writer Daniel Simpson. The piece took two years to make in the course of 7 visits to the real locations in Suffolk (Forest and disused MoDUSAF bases likewise). Interestingly, efforts to make all seem gloomy and inhospitable were apparently thwarted somewhat by the film crew's rather regular encounters with bright, sunny weather! But those who doubt (as I did) that rural East Anglia can really play host to the kind of deserted desolation shown in the film may take heart from the real-life fact that Rendlesham Forest covers 1500 ha - that's quite a large area (certainly by British standards), and easily enough space to get lost in. While Rendlesham village has some 3000 people, the area south of it that includes the Forest and base is on a kind of peninsula between river estuaries with just a few (mostly tiny) villages, plus a lot of forest and heath.

To get something else straight, the "Incident" here is not the world-famous December 1980 one (which may or may not have been anything unusual), but "a fictional" one involving 3 young adults out (semi-legally) with metal detectors in 2013. "Fictional" it may be, but also very similar to the "real" 1980 descriptions from US military personnel, in that lights and noises and assumed alien presences are involved.

It's then a reasonable enough topic for a sci-fi film, and it's also a reasonable enough candidate for the kind of "hand-heldfound footage" work we (and our balance systems and stomachs) have tried to get accustomed to thanks to offerings like "Cloverfield". Indeed, like the latter film (and indeed the trendsetting "Blair Witch Project"), "Hangar 10" has as its raison d'etre a faith that audiences will like to experience, to fear, and to fail to fully understand, events of a magnitude and nature well beyond human ken.

Though rather little actually happens here, and though we have seen far worse things in many other films, this work DOES achieve its goal of disorientation, and a surprisingly high level of scariness for that reason. It also pursues a plot line that becomes clear enough as the film proceeds (clearer still if the alternative ending is consulted). If that story looks implausible or ludicrous (as well it might, obviously) that is more a reflection of a refusal to accept sci fi premises on the part of the viewer than it is any real failing on the makers' part.

That leaves the one remaining question of whether one (and more specifically a sci-fi-appreciating one) would actually want to bother.

I did, and on the whole I don't regret it. This film has more integrity and cohesion than a great many other filmed pieces of science fiction, including many that had hugely greater budgets at their disposal.


Review by James from the Internet Movie Database.