Category Archives: Found Footage

Unfriended (2014)

Director: Levan Gabriadze
Starring. Heather Sossaman, Matthew Bohrer, Shelly Hennig, Moses Storm, Jacob Wysocki. USA. 1h 23m

Just when you thought it was safe to turn on your pc and bitch about your dead class mates.. think again mofos! Unfriended is a modern found footage desktop horror. A group of friends are chatting together online when their dead “friends’” account comes online and starts terrorising them both on and offline, with the threat that if they close the chat then they die, but staying in the group chat doesn’t change their fate either they are stuck between a rock and a hard place and forced to sit back and watch each others demise, but they get to view the disgusting violent ends of their BBF instead.

It’s the anniversary of Laura Barns suicide, a year to the day she committed suicide after a video of her passing out and crapping herself at a party went viral. On this tragic anniversary her former best friend Blaire enters a skype chat with her boyfriend and some of her close friends but when Laura’s facebook account starts sending messages they expect that someone in the group is pranking them. One by one each of the teens are outed on social media and then begin to act strange and appear to kill themselves, has Laura come back for revenge?

Well it’s so obvious what’s going on here, it’s pretty easy to work out who leaked the video and who’s back for her revenge, the only expectations are the slayings and they are pretty silly, one girl drinks some bleach, which is plausible, as she was skyping from the laundry room, another guy just happens to have a blender in his bedroom and finds a way of using that off himself. A blender? I don’t even have one to hand in my kitchen I keep it in a cupboard, is that weird?

The idea is pure gold, using social media as a tool for a found footage basis is something that really awoke the genre again and I think that’s what got a lot of bums on seats in the cinema, but the payoff was just lousy,  it’s hard to feel afraid when you’ve personally not encouraged someone to kill themselves so really the audience were routing for the dead chick, but with a year of planning she coulda come up with something a bit more elaborate, I’d wanna make em suffer bwhahaahaaa!

It’s quite a familiar scene, teen faces looking down their webcam in a group chat on Skype and/or DMing each other on facebook, but when things start to go awry usually you just turn it off and put on a movie, call an adult or something right? These teens didn’t even work out how to go live or work out a neat hashtag for their night of bloody carnage. #allmyfriendsaredying  #shoudlaneveruploadedthatvideo #godgaveusrockandroll. In terms of the movie being an experiment of a real time online horror it could have worked better as a live “game” experience, but in the terms of a movie which is limited to mobile and laptop of the main characters also limits the audience’s depth of perception and attention. It would have been cool if you could have dialled in on your mobile while the film was on to “tune in” to some of the action.. not there’s an idea!!

Let’s hope that lessons have been learnt for the upcoming sequel, and I hope that we all know that cyberbullying is bad.. ok..

Rating 3/10

RUnfriended : Dark Web (2018), Friend Request (2017), E-Demon (2018), Truth or Dare (2018), Dark Summer (2015)
L – A-Z of Found Footage Movies, Cyber Found Footage Movies
A – How believable does horror have to be?

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E-Demon (2018)

Director: Jeremy Wechter
Starring: Julia Kelly, John Anthony Wylliams, Christopher Daftsios.  USA. 1h 26m

It’s quite easy to simply explain this movie as being a demonic indie version of Unfriended (2014) but that would be doing it a disservice as it’s actually better than unfriended, not only is the creepy atmosphere more enhanced it has much better setups to it’s more shocking moments.

Launching with a masked figure warning us about “certain events”and truths that have to be exposed to the public, an  Anonymous style broadcast is a stark warning from the E Demon Resistance that opens with a group of friends start a routine web chat, and start to enact their favourite past times which is basically pranking each other which they lightheartedly called “getting freaked”.  The first uber elaborate prank involved a young man speaking with his grandmother who warns him about a haunted trunk and witchcraft. He proceeds to go into the loft where he has opened the trunk and starts to perform a ritual which results in him releasing a deviously clever demon that had been trapped for centuries in Salem, Massachusetts. Continue reading E-Demon (2018)

Unsane (2018)

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Starring. Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple. USA. 1h 38m

Everything about the opening of this movie is just dull and unassuming, which is a risky and dangerous move from director Steven Soderbergh, luckily it doesn’t last too long. While introducing the lead, Sawyer (Foy), we learn just how mundane her life is, the faceless office worker, who suffers all the nagging and office politics as the rest of us, she eats lunch while skyping her disapproving mother and later hooks up with a (not tinder) date, but after taking him back to her place with no strings attached sex, she freaks out thinking that he’s her stalker and the film re opens with her talking to a therapist.

We start to learn that Sawyer has been running away from an unknown stalker, hiring professionals (Matt Damon) to secure her routes to work, protect her personal details etc., but simultaneously we are also privy to the idea that she might be suffering from delusions and that the stalker is a fabrication of her overactive and vivid imagination, Unfortunately at this point in the movie she accidently signs herself into a psychiatric ward for observations, and for the rest of the film we, alongside her have to try and piece together just how sane or unsane she really is. Continue reading Unsane (2018)

The House on Mansfield Street (2018)

Director: Richard Mansfield
Starring: Matthew Hunt, Daniel Mansfield, Kathryn Redwood, . UK . 1h 14m

 

I’m a proud defender of found footage and was eager to see this new british indie horror, it follows Nick Greene (Hunt) who’s an amature film maker, recording his own film of his move from London to Nottingham. The Movie starts strong and has many merits but .. It’s a PG 13 and doesn’t really give the chills that I was expecting,

As he settles into his quaint miniature historic cottage, he has two weeks before he starts work, after a brief encounter with his lovely neighbour Emma (Redwood) he’s back to filming his adventures in his new hometown. Visiting some of the local attractions he’s more mystified by what’s going on back at home. Emma gifts him a small craft pouch, something that her sister makes for good luck, he’s been instructed to hang it in his home to ward of evil spirits, after hearing some scratching in the walls and ceiling, he finds a similar more pungent pouch in the loft but the noises stop… but this is only the beginning. Continue reading The House on Mansfield Street (2018)

Conspiracy (2012)

Director: Christopher MacBride.

Starring. Aaron Poole, James Gilbert  Canada. 1h 24m.

Usually found footage movies are cheap and easy to make, often addressing unusual subjects and laced with fears and shocks. Conspiracy has all of these elements along with a convincing storyline with an unusual compelling ending

The film starts with Aaron and James mocking a guy on YouTube who spends his days trapsing around  with a box, a loud speaker and a board of information, and spends his days proclaiming various conspiracy theories, while James is happily laughing at him, Aaron is intrigued by the amount of people in the comments agreeing with him (along with the usual YouTube troll patrols). It’s clear that Aaron and James are both playing “themselves” and that Aaron is the (Mulder) believer while James (Skully) is totally sceptical about all of this but he tags along for this documentary. Continue reading Conspiracy (2012)

I Zombie (1998)

Director/Writer/Producer: Andrew Parkinson.
Starring. Giles Aspen, Ellen Softley. UK. 1h 18m.

For this debut feature film writer/director/producer Andrew Parkinson has come up with a personal and cruelly dark mockumentary detailing the demise of a single man from a zombie virus.

The mockumentary opens with a woman talking about the disappearance of her ex-boyfriend Mark in past tense, the restarts with mark coming home to Sarah who’s making the finishing touches to her event, which Mark regretfully has to skip to collect samples, the couple argue and the scene ends, Mark is then seen trekking through a wooded area, the botanist is searching for moss samples (slime mould I’d imagine) when he stumble on a decaying station wagon intrigued he follows another path and eventually finds an abandoned agricultural building . He enters and explores the rooms when he finds an injured man leaned up against the wall, hearing a female scream he rushes in to help, finding a decaying woman having a seizure on a rotten mattress he tries to pick her up to get her to safety but she bites his neck, he drops her and rushes into the forest. Continue reading I Zombie (1998)

Monster Project (2017)

 

Day 7 – Monster Project

Director: Victor Mathieu.
Starring. Jamal Quezaire,Justin Bruening,Murielle Zuker, Toby Hemingway, Yvonne ZimaUSA. 1h 34m.

I want to kick myself after watching this film, I had high hopes and every one of them was smashed into pieces. It’s particularly hard for me as I often defend found footage movies, it’s such a unique genre that is often hated on and with movies like this… I have to hold my hands up and agree.

A couple of YouTube pranksters film fake monster and paranormal videos, they’re in it for the YouTube Bucks and the Likes, but they want to try and be more authentic and want to find real monsters to film to prove their existence. After making this snap decision they just pop out and find a few real critters, including a sleepwalker, a vampire tattooist, a real possessed Japanese chick who levitates and does the usual Sadako shit, after confirming their credentials, they hook up with their long lost ex’s and go to a remote location and begin the interviews. It’s quite apparent that one of the main members of the cast has a few inner demons to exorcise from his past and soon he becomes a focal point but why? Continue reading Monster Project (2017)

The Dyatlov Pass Incident /Devil’s Pass (2013)

Director: Renny Harlin
Starring. Holly Goss, Matt Stokoe, Luke Albright, Ryan Hawley, Gemma Atkinson. UK/Russia. 1h 40m.

Based loosely on real events this poorly conceived horror manages to derail all the original horrific accounts from the plot to invent a new less frightening one. The original story revolves around a small group of young experienced hikers who went missing, the mystery was sparked when their charred, radioactive and broken remains were found in the deep snow miles from their camp site. The theories of what happened ranger from a Yeti attack, government black ops, and the more common UFO scandals but really no one really knows the truth. But now we have another theory that seems a little different from the rest, but neglects to really pin point the events and instead conjures up some new ideas with another set of hikers making what seems to be all the same mistakes. Continue reading The Dyatlov Pass Incident /Devil’s Pass (2013)

Proof of the Devil (2014) AKA The Butcher of Louisiana

Director: Paul Catalanotto.
Starring: Lisa Mackel Smith, Sam Cobean, Michael Bienvenu,  USA. 1h 15m.

After a string of murders, a young man named Jesse returns home to finish off his parents, the dramatic scenes of him butchering his father lead to his infamous serial killer profile name of the Butcher, the sketchy found footage shows him doing the unthinkable but promising not to hurt his mother while he moves around like a puppet and commences the killing. After a short trial and while proclaiming his innocence, he’s executed by lethal injection. Years later his mother invites a film crew to document her raising the devil in order to prove that demonic possession exists that this is what happened to her son. It might seem of a strange way to prove his innocence but it makes for a brilliant documentary and the crew can’t turn down such an amazing opportunity. Continue reading Proof of the Devil (2014) AKA The Butcher of Louisiana

Alien Abduction (2014)

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Director: Matty Beckerman
Writer: Robert Lewis
Starring: Katherine Sigismund, Corey Eid, Riley Polanski. USA. 1h 25m

Found footage is the genre which everyone love to hate but I thoroughly enjoy the first hand take on traumatic and intense situations. There have been a few interesting alien found footage shorts and the segment from VHS 2 (2013) simply titled Slumber Party Alien Abduction, which is creepy and really fast paced horror.
Taking into consideration a few decades of abduction accounts, there’s scope for a number of movies, but the directorial debut from Beckerman successfully manages to combine a lot of ideas and theories together to tell a gripping story and uniquely from the perspective of an 11 year old autistic boy named Riley. Continue reading Alien Abduction (2014)