Horror Movies and Games Set in Area 51

You might well believe that the truth is out there. But as of this week; it’s safe to assume that any evidence of Alien invaders held at the infamous ‘Area 51’ has been swiftly moved to a more secretive location. 

The 1.7 million people who have currently signed up to attend the Facebook event Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us have been getting a lot of attention this week, including a stark warning from the US military. Area 51, around 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas  is run by the US Air Force and used for flight testing stealth planes (which may explain some of the thousands of ‘UFO’ sightings in the area). With the military’s sinister warning “The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets” it’s probably not wise to attempt to break into the facility. However,  in honor of the storming of Area 51 we decided to list some of the horror media the area has inspired; so that you can get in on the action without the possibility of death! 

Area 51 (2015) 

Perhaps the most well known horror film to feature the base is 2015’s ‘Area 51’. This found footage science fiction horror film was directed by Oren Peli, best known as the director of the original Paranormal Activity. It follows a group of friends who document their attempt to break into the secret facility – unaware of the horrors they will uncover inside. Originally intended as a follow up to the directors most famous film, Area 51 took over six years to complete. Mainstream film critics were quick to dismiss the film, but the Found Footage Critic was more generous, saying “Fans of Area 51, U.F.Os, aliens, conspiracy theories, and science fiction will most assuredly have fun watching Area 51.”

Area 51 Confidential (2011) 

A more indie offering from director Brandon Slagle in ‘Area 51 Confidential’ from 2011. It is set up as a military training film, and another found footage style horror film. A group of strangers awaken in the desert surrounding the military facility with no knowledge of how they got there. They then must contend with otherworldly and terrifying creatures. The film fell into obscurity shortly after release, with horror fans blaming it’s unoriginal storyline that didn’t do much to innovate the alien sub-genre.

51 (2011)

Another offering from 2011, ‘51’ was released by After Dark Films and directed by Jason Connery. In the film, political and public pressure forces the government to allow two well-known reporters to visit the base. However, their tour goes horribly wrong as a mysterious creature attempts to liberate both himself and those of his fellow species. Horror fans did note that this film featured a rather bizarre, though not particularly frightening, line up of alien creatures. 

Area 51 (2005 video game)

If found footage movies aren’t your thing, perhaps dusting off the original Playstation for some retro gaming is a better option!  ‘Area 51’ was released by Midway for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Microsoft Windows and tasks players with battling hordes of mutants. Area 51 is a first person shooter, played from the perspective of the protagonist, Ethan Cole. On the players journey, they are able to use both human and alien technology and weapons. Interestingly,  Marilyn Manson voiced one of the creatures found in the game. 

Area 51 (1995 video game)

Fans of sci-fi horror probably won’t get the chance to play this one, but we thought we would include the first video game to feature Area 51 on our list. The light gun arcade machine was released by Atari and was a major hit in the arcades, selling over 20,000 cabinets. The plot involves STAAR (Strategic Tactical Advanced Alien Response) in an attempt to stop an alien takeover of Area 51. The game was inspired by a concept from an article in Popular Science called “Searching for the Secrets of Groom Lake”. It’s most fondly remember for an innovative technique where the digitized video stored on an on-board hard disk made up the 2D characters and enemies, while the backgrounds of scenes were rendered in 3D. 

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