The secrets of Oren Peli's AREA 51 movie revealed!

Movieby Eli Reyes


Director Oren Peli, fresh off the success of his debut with Paranormal Activity, has been shooting his "found footage" style take on Area 51 in Utah for the last month or so. Though the storyline has been a closely guarded secret, it's public knowledge that the film will be centered around three teenagers whose curiosity leads them to the legendary and mysterious Area 51 Air Force base deep in the Nevada desert.

Though Peli will have a considerably larger budget than the $11,000 he had for Paranormal, he has stuck with casting unknowns in the Area 51 film adaptation. It's almost impossible not to draw comparisons to his debut, especially when his follow up will be using the same type of narrative. Though I would have preferred the action of a closer adaptation to the game, it's not too hard of a trade when we'll get the suspense Peli will be able to bring to it.

So just what can we expect from this closely guarded project? Well it's not so guarded after all, as the guys at LatinoReview have a source named LEVLE, who got a look at Peli's 43 page Script/Outline hybrid. Though it's just an outline, in the same way he approached his debut, most of the dialogue will be improvised.

Are we gonna just going to get Paranormal Activity with aliens or Cloverfield on a military base?

Check out LEVLE's revelations below:

Area 51 Script Review


Do you remember the first Saw film? There was an excitement and fear that kept you on the edge of your seat and your fingers over your eyes. Do you remember going to the second or third or fourth film and realizing that it was just a rehash of the same plot? This is only the most recent series of films to follow the trend of taking ideas that worked in one film and beating them to death mercilessly in subsequent sequels. Well, in many ways Paranormal Activity is to the first Saw film as Area 51 is to the first sequel. Today, I got my hands on a recent draft of Oren Peli’s script and, from the first page until the end, I just kept thinking to myself, “Is this really just going to be Paranormal Activity with aliens?”

It was.

I’m not saying it’s a terrible thing. I enjoyed Paranormal Activity and I’m not opposed to alien films in general. It’s just that I fear that every year Halloween will roll around and we’ll have another low budget supernatural thriller, shot on a handycam, from the mind of Oren Peli. Two years from now we’ll be seeing a fake documentary about a group of people looking for the Loch Ness Monster or, god forbid, vampires.

The “script” for Area 51 reads much like I imagine the “script” for Paranormal Activity did. It’s basically a scene-by-scene breakdown with a list of various props, actors, and the general interactions between the actors and their surroundings. There is no written dialogue, but within the action descriptions are general ideas that the actors will be using to improvise their lines with on set. Unlike Paranormal Activity’s single location, Area 51 is far more expansive in its setting.




The film begins much like Paranormal Activity with a dude testing out his brand new handycam. In Area 51, this dude’s name is Chris and he appears to be a typical geek. He has various alien paraphernalia and random computer parts strewn around his garage, but defying all odds, he is still cool enough to fist bump his bro’s as they get set to spend some time at the casinos in Vegas. These bro’s are Paul, the stereotypical skeptic, and Rob, the stereotypical follower. We also are introduced to Natalie, the strong female in the script, whose father swears he was abducted by aliens. Chris goes over to her place to check the data from a telescope that he installed on their roof to look for extraterrestrial activity. He seriously has a telescope installed on this family’s house and it never comes across in the script as being the slightest bit odd.

The next day, the three guys make their way to Vegas and it quickly becomes apparent that the trip is not just for gambling. Chris has arraigned a meeting with a former Area 51 employee named Novak who, while working there, heard rumblings of government cooperation on human/alien experiments in exchange for alien technology. Novak knows the security measures of the compound inside and out, but never got any proof of the extraterrestrial rumors. His apparent goal in life is to get the video proof that confirms his suspicions. Being the skeptic, Paul doesn’t buy any of it, but Chris is 100% committed to bring back the video evidence.

Through some ragtag sleuthing, the gang discovers more about the military base’s impenetrable system of motion detectors, thermal imaging, ammonia detectors, armed guards, as well as “ray guns.” Undeterred, Chris puts a plan into motion worthy of Danny Ocean. Ultimately, Natalie joins in on the fun because her goal in life is to prove that her father was abducted.

I don’t want to reveal too much of the second half, but you can be assured that there is plenty of suspense and a hefty load of aliens and their shenanigans.


In the script, Oren Peli gives the reader a sense of his intentions with the project. This draft of Area 51 is only an outline of what the finished film will become and because of that I don’t want to be too critical of it. I can make many comparisons between this script and Paranormal Activity, but I have a feeling that this project will ultimately evolve throughout the filming process. Even though I have my reservations, I still enjoyed reading this script. I’m hoping that the finished product is a bit more believable (the main characters come across a bit like super spies), but at this point the creative direction is best left to Oren. I’m optimistic that he can make lightning strike twice. I just hope that he doesn’t use the style to try to make it strike every year.

I’d give this script a solid B rating, but if Oren Peli attempts to got the same route for a third time, I will not be nearly as understanding.

So we have no idea how close the script LEVLE got his or her hands is, to what Peli is ultimately shooting. An infinite number of things can change, going from an outline to a final draft.What do you guys think of Area 51's plot and what you now know of the storyline?

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