A group of comedians make a hybrid documentary about chasing aliens in “Dreamland: A Storming Area 51 Story,” a staged, goofy movie with “Blair Witch Project” production vibes. It all started in September 2019, when a Facebook meme encourage alien hunters to storm the Top Secret military base in the Nevada desert. This gave director, co-writer and star Brian Moreno the idea to grab a camera crew, hit the road from Los Angeles, and drive an r.v. out to tiny town of Rachel to capture the event. The result is this film.
Moreno mixes fiction with reality, combining interviews with real UFO aficionados, actual local news coverage, and cinema vérité footage of the event with a couple of funny subplots about his inept production crew and their unusual friends. In the story, Moreno claims that he’s a life-long alien enthusiast, and he plays the part well. He is believable and credible, but his supporting cast of fellow comedians (Griff Pippin, Andy Kozel, Natasha Pearl Hansen, and Brian Schlesinger) steal much of the show. These folks are naturally funny and likeable, and the movie wouldn’t work without that crucial element.
The script is very basic without much plot to speak of, and at times it feels like the filmmaker didn’t have much of a plan either. Think of it as a project you and your friends decided to make after an epic round of late night drinking. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but you have to be funny to make it work. Luckily, the jokes and one-liners land because of the precision of the delivery by comedy professionals. It’s not easy to tell when (or even if) the cast is acting.
“Dreamland: A Storming Area 51 Story” is essentially an adventure about a bunch of doofuses making a documentary without much of a plan, but somehow, it works. There’s not a wealth of material for those expecting a comprehensive picture of the event and a lot more could’ve been done with the idea (especially when it comes to the letdown of an ending), but it’s fun to hang out with this gang of lovable losers while they search for extraterrestrial life from above.
By: Louisa Moore