Tape 407: The Mesa Experiment is a 2012 found-footage horror film. It's also known as Area 407 in the United States.
The film opens with two teenagers flying from New York to Los Angeles on New Year's Eve. Their nightmare begins when their plane hits extreme turbulence mid-flight. The relentless weather attack causes panic and terror amongst the passengers until the plane ultimately crashes in a remote government testing area. The handful of survivors from the crash, bloody and disoriented, are then insistently pursued in the darkness by unknown predators that are part of the government's top-secret Mesa Experiment.
A sequel, Area 407: Part II is in production. On top of dinosaurs, the film will also feature zombified soldiers. From what is seen in the trailer, it will not be another Found Footage film.
The film contains the following tropes:
- Bioweapon Beast: It's not so much unsubtly implied as it is dangled in front of the audience dancing can-can while juggling chainsaws that the reason there is a bunch of rampaging velociraptors in the middle of the American Southwest desert is because a Government Conspiracy bred them to be used in this fashion.
- Camera Abuse / Ominous Visual Glitch: As the film progresses, the video has more static and glitchy display problems, moreso when the creatures are around. Oddly enough, the glitches are more in common with a film camera than with a digital one.
- Darkness Equals Death: And there are very few lights to keep it at bay
- Deliberate VHS Quality: Implied with the way the rampaging monsters create a visual glitch when they are nearby. The main problem is that the two cameras supposedly capturing all of the film's footage are shown to be digital, and so would be showing a very different kind of glitching in those circumstances.
- Developing Doomed Characters: Everything up until the crash.
- Downer Ending: Everybody dies either to the raptors or to government agents who kill them to keep the raptors secret.
- Dropped a Bridge on Her: Laura is the only person who is killed by the stupidity of the other survivors, rather than the monsters (look below on Sacrificial Lion for an explanation).
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Inverted by the creatures of the film.
- Expy: The plot of the film shares similiarities with an unused film script of Jurassic Park 3.
- Found Footage Films
- Government Conspiracy: With the regular solution that follows.
- Hope Spot: From the moment they crash, the whole situation is an endless barrage of these:
- The survivors hear people moving around and call out to them, thinking it's people from the front end of the place that survived. It's the raptors, who have eaten everybody (living and dead) of the front section. This is confirmed by one of the survivors who wandered off to find his wife, that was on the front end.
- Returning to the plane, the survivors find food, beverages, and other supplies to help them survive, including the cameras with the powerful lights seen previously. Even Charlie starts making nice with everyone. Then Lois gets eaten.
- Running away from the pursuing raptors, the group arrives to a hut that can protect them, with some flashlights, and a person arrives! This person is a member of the Government Conspiracy, who only asks them who they are and how many are they, and then gets back on his car and leaves them to die.
- The survivors arrive to a Ghost Town that has a general store, with enough supplies, a fortified structure, and even a working radio! Nope, the person on the emergency frequency is a hard-core Obstructive Bureaucrat that absolutely refuses to search for them unless they go back to the plane and fire a flare into the air so they can be seen (even when they beg for the radio to be tracked). The survivors have to go back, and in doing so, lose more of their number.
- The group finds an abandoned car! The raptors surround the car and Jimmy, who is already severely wounded, does a Senseless Sacrifice in trying to draw them away that ends with him and Laura dead. The girls are forced to drive the car themselves, and crash it shortly after, forcing them to keep on running for safety.
- The girls are able to leave the perimeter and find a road, with a Good Samaritan! Nope. It's a member of the Government Conspiracy, and they are Killed to Uphold the Masquerade.
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The crash and subsequent events happen during the morning of January the First.
- Hysterical Woman: Almost ever single female survivor of the crash breaks into hysterical rambling and screaming. Though to be fair, outside of one instance the men are just as bad.
- Jump Scare: Multiple examples, but Lois' death is the best one around because of it being the first.
- Kill 'Em All: Not even the man who kills the girls to uphold the masquerade survives!
- Nothing Is Scarier: You never really get to see good glimpses of the beasts, but rather you simply hear its noises and shrieks.
- Raptor Attack: Turns out that the area the plane crashed in was a government secret project area that bred these.
- Sacrificial Lion: Laura, the Air Marshall and impromptu leader of the survivors. She runs after Jimmy when he tries to perform a Heroic Sacrifice by attracting the raptors away from the group and is run over by the girls when they try to drive the car by themselves, and Jimmy remains still (stunned by the occurrence and trying to reassure the girls) just long enough for a raptor to jump on him.
- Stock Dinosaurs: Raptors, to be precise
- Stock Footage: One of the earliest trailers to the sequel featured dinosaur effects that was created by splicing footage of the Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor from Jurassic Park
- Super-Persistent Predator: They're raptors, what the hell do you expect?
- Trailers Always Spoil: The trailers for the film spoil the fact that the predators hunting the characters are actually raptors.