I love a found footage movie. Granted they can get boring with the shaky cam effect, and watching a whole load of nothing for ages. Here I list ten found footage movies I liked for one reason or another. I haven’t added the mainstream choices likes The Blair Witch or Paranormal Activity because we’ve all seen those. Maybe you haven’t seen some in the list below, maybe you have some gems for me, let’s see. In no particular order here’s some found footage horror gems from me to you.
The Tunnel is an Australian found footage feature directed by Carlo Ledesma that is presented as a full on completed documentary. The story follows a journalist and her crew as they explore the ancient, dilapidated tunnels that run beneath the surface of Sydney’s streets. This is due to the state’s governments initial idea of using these tunnels as a water recycle plant and ignoring the fact that there are reports of homeless people dwelling in this warren of underground alleyways, and more disturbing reports that they have been steadily disappearing.
A good portion of The Tunnel is dedicated the build-up of going down into the dark tunnels, but once down there, things quickly escalate and the tension and sense of gnawing dread is executed with cleverness and creativity.
The acting is very well done and the four main characters acquit themselves well with their decisions that, for the most part, feel like logical ones. The locations for The Tunnel are eerily fantastic and if you’re a fan of suspense, The Tunnel is definitely worth a watch.
Most horror fans should’ve seen this, but in-case you haven’t, watch it!
V/H/S is a collection of short found footage horror films, the wraparound “Tape 56” (Directed by Adam Wingard), is supplied by some typical hoody types committing a burglary trying to find a particular V/H/S tape they believe they can get money for but stumble upon dozens. As one of the gang begin to watch the anthology unfolds.
In “Amateur Night” (Directed by David Bruckner), a couple of guys give a pair of Spy-cam glasses to a friend and the three go out to have a wild night on the town, ending a little crazier than intended.
“Second Honeymoon” (Directed by Ti West) a couple’s vacation is disrupted by a mysterious intruder ending in deadly consequences.
“Tuesday the 17th” (Directed by Glenn McQuaid) sees a young woman taking her friends out to a secluded wooded area where things get fuzzy. Literally.
“A sick thing that happened to Emily” (Directed by Joe Swanberg) involves a series of webcam video conversations between girlfriend and boyfriend and the girl believing that her apartment has some strange paranormal activity going on. If only.
“10/31/98” (Directed by Radio Silence, Tyler Gillett, Justin Matinez, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Chad Villella, Adam Wingard) is a Halloween house party that is a bit more messed up then they planned to get.
V/H/S is sure to have something you enjoy, and that’s the beauty. I like it.
THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES
Directed and written by brothers John and Drew Dowdle, The Poughkeepsie Tapes is a “found footage” film, told in a faux-documentary style.
Based around the town of Poughkeepsie, New York, a stash of over eight-hundred disturbing video tapes of torture, murder and dismemberment from a serial killers decade long reign of terror have been discovered in an abandoned house. The audience is presented with interviews of FBI officials, psychologists, police offers, victims’ parents, and much more.
As the film progresses, things become deeper, more intriguing, and inevitably, more and more engrossing. Images and sequences increasingly become exceptionally haunting. The profile of the killer constantly changes as officials confess they have no idea who it is. Even wrongly naming an innocent man. The execution is one of style and detail that doesn’t rely on loud, abrupt musical chords and cheap jump scares.
The Poughkeepsie Tapes occupies more than just mindless snuff, but depth and an efficient backstory. The degree of realism is impeccable and was achieved without the pretentious “based on a true story” tagline. A lot of thought, time and effort has gone into the making of The Poughkeepsie Tapes, and overall I personally enjoyed it a lot.
THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN
Directed by Adam Robitel, The Taking of Deborah Logan (also known as The Taking), is a possession movie with a twist.
Ph.D. student Mia Medina is making a documentary to chronicle the mental disintegration of an Alzheimer’s patient. Her subject is Deborah Logan and her struggling daughter, Sarah. Deborah has just been diagnosed with exhibiting early signs of the debilitating disease, and she’s the perfect candidate to study.
At first, it seems like Deborah is simply a time-bomb waiting to go off, but once the filmmakers start poking around and discovering all sorts of secrets, what starts out as a study of a woman with a devastating disease, quickly turns into something far worse than medical science can diagnose or understand.
As Logan, Jill Larson gives an absolutely fearless performance with willing to go as far as it takes. You have to admire her ability to portray her ailing character so well.
You may think this is “just another possession movie” but the scares are real and it’s an emotionally disturbing film. I would recommend giving this one a look.
Directed by Zachary Donohue, The Den is a modern found footage horror set online.
Young woman Elizabeth Benton (Melanie Papali- Smiley), earns a grant to study social interactions on an instant chat-roulette webcam site called The Den. On a mission to chat with anyone and everyone she can, Elizabeth wishes to explore the habits of its users and spends 24/7 logged onto the site.
Among the many seeking cheap thrills, fraudulent info or to be ogled while touching themselves, Elizabeth is greeted by a user represented only by a smiling still photo of a pretty young woman. This user comes up more than once over the first few days of her experiment and it’s soon clear something is amiss.
After her boyfriend goes missing, she loses her grant and her hard drive gets wiped, Elizabeth finds herself in a murderous cat and mouse game online.
The biggest strength of this movie is its absolute commitment to the style; with some minor exceptions, The Den is completely shot as though you’re looking at a computer screen. You see the main character’s webcam as if you were video-chatting with her. If you have a Mac and watch it online, you might even confuse it with your own computer screen.
Its execution is impressive and it’s a very entertaining film with plenty of disturbing and unforgettable scenes. It’s modern and fresh, and the characters are likable with the main protagonist doing a remarkable job.
Turn the lights off, get comfortable and watch this movie on your laptop or computer.
The scary thing about conspiracy theories is that they can’t be dis-proven. Writer and director Christopher MacBride’s The Conspiracy is a very clever approach to the matter.
The Conspiracy bases itself around two documentary filmmakers whose latest subject is in the form of conspiracy nut job Terrance G.
Terrance is a classic conspiracy whacko; finding connections and patterns in dates of the greatest turning points in American history. At first, Terrance’s claims fall on cynical ears and the two friends question his beliefs, but when Terrance claims he’s being followed and then disappears, the validity of his theories sets the filmmakers on their own trek for answers.
Eventually Aaron connects the dots to a powerful organization called The Tarsus Club. The occupants and members of this Tarsus club are looking to create a “New World Order”.
With help from an insider Aaron and Jim successfully manage to disguise themselves as members and infiltrate a Tarsus club ritual. Things become terribly intense for the pair as they realize they’re in over their heads and their lives will be changed forever.
The suspense is top notch and actors Aaron Poole and James Gilbert do an excellent job with their roles, giving believable and adept performances. Likewise, the supporting cast is outstanding and only lend more credibility to the films premise.
The Conspiracy delivers complex theories and raises disturbing questions that are not easily dismissed. I would recommend it to everyone.
Based on the true story of The Dyatlov Incident, Devil’s Pass, directed by Renny Haarlin and shot in found footage style, has a very interesting thesis.
The Dyatlov Pass Incident, a genuine Russian mystery from 1959 is about nine hikers who were found dead in the Ural Mountains in curious and seemingly concealed ways. Many people believed and still do to this day that the episode had something to do with the Russian government.
Devil’s Pass is the fictional account of five Americans who get a grant to make a film about it and re-trace the steps of the original hikers on a trail through the east shoulder of the mountain Kholat Syakhl (which means, Dead Mountain) — also known as Dyatlov’s Pass.
Prior to the hike, the team meets and greets with a couple people who know about the incident, including a woman who was part of the ’59 Search Party. This woman, Ayla (Nelly Nielsen) recounts events around the discovery of eleven bodies. Eleven, not the nine that has always been reported, adding to the conspiracy that the Russian government might have been involved in sweeping facts under the accepted rug.
The acting was well done and believable by all and I think horror fans will enjoy Devil’s Pass but if you’re into conspiracy theories, you’ll also get a kick out of it.
MEGAN IS MISSING
Megan is Missing is a found footage fictional drama inspired by actual events which bases itself around two typical teenage girls. Megan Stuart (Rachel Quinn), is a rather sexually experienced, rebellious young teen who exudes confidence. While her best friend, Amy Herman (Amber Perkins is a rather reserved, quiet, shy and inexperienced teen.
Like most adolescents, they enjoy partying with their friends and chatting on the internet. They are unafraid of anyone they speak with, taking all words as truth and getting excited if the person they’re chatting with is seemingly hot. This is where Josh comes in. Persuading Megan to meet him behind a diner. Not in front of or inside, or even at the side, behind, but this doesn’t deter Megan.
Now again, the acting is tedious but if you can get to exactly the last 22minutes of the film, you might find some scenes that might stay with you longer than you might like.
Director Michael Goi shows us the realization, ease and ugliness of internet predators with Megan is Missing.
Afflicted starts with the sendoff of two back packing BFF’s Clif Prowse and Derek Lee, who are also the writers and directors of the movie, heading on a once in a lifetime around the world trip. Derek wishes it to happen sooner rather than later due to serious illness threatening to take his life at any time. Clif the camera buff and equipment junkie plans to document absolutely everything along the way, posting it live online as he does so.
This found footage style filming soon gets into the gritty after Derek meets a slightly strange girl called Audrey and takes her back to the lads hotel room. This is where the bite takes hold.
Derek starts to get really ill but Clif notices how he also seems to have these chronicle style super powers, giving him a series of tasks and tests to try out, all still live online. All of which Derek exceeds beyond normal human ability.
The movie is fast paced, greatly shot and if you’re looking for a bit more bite with your vampires, I’d definitely say give Afflicted a go.
Directed and written by Joel Anderson, Lake Mungo handles the subject of grief and a family’s hope for afterlife very well.
Recalled mainly through interviews, camera shots, and cell phone footage Lake Mungo tells the tragic story of sixteen-year-old Alice Palmer, played by Talia Zucker, who drowned while swimming in the town’s local dam. What seems like an open and shut case of accidental death, is turned upside down with the start of strange events within her family home.
Lake Mungo slowly builds an unsettling sense of atmosphere and dread of the unnatural and unknown, along with an unexpected but welcome mystery elements. The plot heads to some unexpected places.
If you’re looking for a pure, jump out of your seat horror flick, this isn’t it, but fans of psychological horror should enjoy Lake Mungo with its spooky and satisfying mood and great twists!