Death of a Vlogger (2019)

Director: Graham Hughes
Starring: Graham Hughes, Annabel Logan, Paddy Kondracki, Patrick O’Brien, Joma West.UK. 1h 28m

Found footage movies are generally the cheapest and “easiest” to make however a lot fail when they try to hard, overthinking the details and missing the obvious, a lot of film makers would have jumped into this movie as a teen drama, however, Graham Hughes uses himself and his own flat to make a really personal and cerebrally challenging film that turns out the be one of the best in the genre despite the one terrible cliché it falls into occasionally.

Graham stars as himself, in his own home, as a wannabe YouTube star, attempting all the trends that we remember from planking, the ice bucket challenge to bottle throwing he seems desperate to find fame online, but he’s more than just a wannabe he is a cultured soul and tells some really great sensitive story about world war II parachuters who had issues with perception, after jumping out of a plane, many would land of roofs and simply jump down, after falling hundreds of feet without injury, a few feet just doesn’t seem to much however that’s when they would gain their biggest injuries… and perception is what Graham is about to rick roll his audience with in many sinister ways.

The film gets very general, and plays it safe to start with, sprinkled with Youtube style pranks and clips from an interviews with Grahams friends and those who’s help he employed, but the turning point comes after his eye surgery, temporarily bind, his besties and possible squeeze, Erin (Logan) helps him set up the scene, for his live vlog update, but some creepy shit starts to happen the door slowly opens, and his cup moves across the table by itself, and there’s a hint of someone hanging over his shoulder as he exits the room. Folks, we have a haunting! The online feedback is impressive, people from all over the world (but only in English… tut tut) are all wowed by the possible real evidence of the afterlife.

The film introduces a lively and over cocky paranormal investigator, Steve (Kondracki) who’s more concerned with having tons of followers but does offer to help investigate and performs a live 360 Seance, which is one of the highlights of the movie as it was filmed with a 360 camera in one take, the jump scares and shocks continue throughout the movie until another character is introduced, the stunning and authoritative Alice Harper (West) who spends her life debunking such claims with her crush and dry approach. Then the movie pushes and pulls it’s audience through ideas of belief and disbelief, every item of proof is contracted with “proof” and theories of a hoax from a very powerful Alice. You’re given evidence but I really do urge everyone to look for details in every scene, my keen eyes picked up on something from the start but then I have a thing for Hawaiian shirts but there are clues everywhere and this opens the film up to be so layered.

For me the let down is the entity itself, the film falls into the tired formula of long dark hair and white clothes, if Graham had managed to pull something new out of the hat then this would be damned near perfect! There’s a lot of clever camera work and suspense filled scenes, those moments which linger on as Graham is creeping around his flat with his camera (not) hoping to catch something and you get drawn in looking for something to move, anticipating the jump scare, and the timing and delivery is key here and it’s right every damned time! As well as convincing acting and a compelling story, for Found Footage and with its one mega let down it’s worth more than all the Paranormal Activities (2007-2021) together in my humble opinion.

Coming only a few years after Grahams mini masterpiece A Pracital Guide to a Spectacular Suicide (2014) and with Paddy Kondracki’s future short film, Katie’s Post-Apocalyptic Vlog (2020) I don’t think we’ve seen the last of these two crafty characters and their wonderful worlds of death, suicide, spirits and the end of the world, I do sincerely look forwards to watching the rest of their work and wonder if they will be able to out do this cracking little horror which is all up to the viewer to work out how scary it is depending on their beliefs, its’ certainly one to rematch and discuss afterwards, not only about the paranormal but Graham also raises questions about depression and the addiction to online popularity.. fancy a chat, hit me up on twitter.

TLDR:

 

Rating: 7/10

R: Dwellers : Curse of Pastor Stokes (2019), A Practical Guide to a Spectacular Suicide (2014), Katie’s Post-Apocalyptic Vlog (2020) Short
L: Social Media Horrors, My Favourite Found Footage to Date… ,10 Found Footage Films Vol 1
A: The AOFA Short Introduction and History of Found Footage

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