Director: Kathleen Behun Starring: Max Hambleton, Whitney Rose Pynn, Mickey River, Eduardo Roman .USA. 1h 29m
The haunted house trope will be one that will live with us forever. There’s just nothing more terrifying than having something unnatural and creepy happening in the place where you lay your head. Things are a bit different in Katheleen Behun’s Found Footage frolic. News of a house so haunted that no one can live in it for 21 days reaches a group of young kids with some wanderlust, belieivng that the tales are total bullshit they barricade themselves in for the long run.
Director: Various Starring: Various Worldwide. 1h m
Despite setting records on the Shudder platform, there’s a lot lacking from this instalment of the VHS series, however maybe there was a gap in the market, as this came out during the height of yet another lockdown! leaving it with reviews swaying from weak to the best of the series? Being a total marmite chapter lets me dive deep into it. The wrap-around for this anthology-found footage compilation follows a SWAT team stumbling on a sinister VHS cult and the underground compound, for all of the other wraps it’s one of the strangest as we don’t really see the team settling into the movies like the rest.
Director: Jacob Gentry Starring: Harry Shum Jr, Kelley Mack, Chris Sullivan, Anthony E Cabral .USA. 1h 44m
Jacobs Gentry’s uncanny valley neon lit thriller is a great diversion for horror fans, but unlike other broadcast horrors it fails to give a satisfactory conclusion to its own question but will raise eyebrows though it’s stunning display of solid drama and a deep dive investigation.
While logging tapes of retro TV Broadcasts, a video archivist, James (Shum Jr.) discovers a disturbing clip that he believes is a sign of early hacking, out of his armchair investigation, James is innocently trying to track down the source but it turns into a deadly cat and mouse chair that night lead to solving a slew of murders.
Director: Gregory Levasseur Starring: Denis O’Hare, Ashley Hinshaw, Alexandre Aja, James Buckley. USA. 1h 29m
Not quite found footage, but using a lot of the first person perspective shots, the Pyramid attempts to break the story of the century when a team of experts dig up the most uncanny find in a very unusual hidden pyramid.
With a high strung story and worrying cast the movie keeps losing grasp of its own concept. Long are the forgotten days of explorers opening up NEW pyramids, they have all been raided and documented but in Levasseur’s dusty thriller a group finds a longer Lobster pyramid and begins to investigate its potential treaties.
Director: Kevin Gates, Michael Bartlett Starring: Kevin Gates, Michael Bartlett, Criselda Cabitac UK. 1h 28m
There’s been a big trend in making found footage movies, where the cast head out to investigate something unusual and paranormal, only to find themselves running around in the darkness screaming with terror, and if done well this chilling concept can really get under the skin of a lot of audience participants, however if done with the wrong pace and little care, then the unsettling can become uninteresting.
Director: Dom Rotheroe Starring: Bradley Cole, Brittany Ashwood, Angela Forrest, Oliver Lee. UK. 1h 25m
The allure behind Exhibit A is getting an insight in the raw details behind the case of a brutal family annihilation case. While Dom Rotheroe and curated a really authentic feeling found footage movie on an independant budget I feel that story is lacking a genuine USP. I personally felt cheated, thought I’d missed some fine detail, but after re watching the movie, I had to step back and look at it with fresh eyes, so often found footage relies on adding a touch of creepy paranormal or something sly and devious into the mix to make the voyeuristic audience shudder with fear and delight. Exhibit A doesn’t bend to those rules, and doesn’t really go anywhere into the deep waters of the typical Found Footage Horror, however if the systematic psychological breakdown of a middle england family is your thing then step in.
Director: David Amito, Michael Laicini Starring: Nicole Tompkins, Rowan Smyth. Canada. 1h 35m
I have to admit that before seeing Antrim I had no idea what the word actually meant so I did have to Google it. Turns out that it means, “A nearly closed cavity or chamber…” Well ok, How does one make a movie about a nearly closed cavity? Somehow directors, David Amito and Michael Laicini managed to turn this notion into a retro cursed movie project and argue that the film is (loosely) based on a movie by David B. Earle titled Dining Room or There is Nothing. Believe it or not if you have ever seen any of the creepy movie compilations on YouTube then you probably have seen this short but were unaware of its title, and here is the movie in all of its esoteric glory.
Director: Ali Djarar Starring: Danny Webb, John Game, Neal Ward, Monty Burgess. UK. 1h 1m
This Indie ghost sleuthing found footage horror plays out like a version of Most Haunted, with some hints of Grave Encounters (2013) and Devils Familiar (2020) running through, just sadly not the good bits! All the amazing ideas of a mysterious house being a portal to a Lovecraftian void created by a cult, is washed away with too much banter and not enough on screen action. but it’s a tangible tale and I’m sure if you like any Ghost Hunting TV show then you’ll get a kick out of it.
Do you like Found Footage movies as much as me? well check out this bingo sheet and see which movie will get you a full house, info below is for geeks only.. click on the image for a large version and to download.
Director: Stephen Cognetti Starring:Vasile Flutur, Jillian Geurts, Joy Shatz .USA. 1h 29m
When a team insists on making a trilogy the second movie often fails to hold up it’s own narrative and becomes a filler, this is exactly what happened to Hell House II. After the massive success with the original movie in 2014/5 which broke all the rules, the sequel lacked in energy and passion but just managed to keep the dream alive for the next installment… but first you have to get through this unbalanced, squiffy movie.