“Found Footage” Movies Anyone? (Some of These Are Actually Good)

Mileage may definitely vary on this one.  Some find “found footage” movies realistic and scary, others complain about headaches induced by shaky hand-held camerawork, while I’m probably somewhere in the middle.  THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, granted an excellent pre-release public relations buildup, ultimately suffered from (in my opinion) a danger inherent in the sub-genre:  a genuinely, promisingly scary buildup dissipated by the end “reveal” — or lack thereof.  Was that all it was?  In the case of THE BLAIR WITCH . . . well, I shouldn’t reveal it, but it was disappointing to me.  Or in the wonderfully, terrifyingly built-up Spanish film [REC], well what was it after all — could anyone actually see?  Or is that just me?

Then there are ones where there’s just too much waiting (realistic, I suppose in fairness) for, again to me, too little payoff even in the buildup.  PARANORMAL ACTIVITY anyone? — spooky to some perhaps, but to me, well, I have a cat.  Bang!  Too many “special effects” just found a, to me, too easily found possible explanation.  But also there are ones that I think work well.  CLOVERFIELD for instance starts perhaps too slowly, but when it gets going it becomes genuinely scary and, granted one does have to suspend disbelief, it’s fast enough that the ending packs a genuine punch!  And for one that both packs a genuine punch, and builds up horrifyingly along the way — and is all too believable (especially if one is into conspiracy theories) — may I suggest THE BAY?  Granted there may be a little cheating, the film presumably composed and edited “after the fact,” but I recommend it as possibly the best of the genre so far.*  And also, in this case maybe a sort of “hybrid,” but partially “found footage,” Norway’s TROLL HUNTER is funny as well, though perhaps more fantasy than actual horror.

So that’s my opinion.  Others may differ.  But for a rundown on these and five more, to decide for oneself, please to peruse “11 Seriously Scary Found Footage Horror Movies ” by THE-LINE-UP.COM staff by pressing here.


*Reviewed here, I might add, on these very pages, see June 8 2015.

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