Tag Archives: Found Footage

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)

Advertisements

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)

Last Nights Movies 02-08-2017

Quiet Earth (1985) – I love lone man movies, I think we’ve all dreamt of being the only person around, but only for a little while. The fantasy often turns into a horror situation, either there is a threat like Omega Man or something goes terribly wrong as with an episode of  The Twilight Zone where Burgess Meredith gets his dream future of a world alone with his books, only for it to be suddenly taken away by a tragic and simple accident. But in this New Zealand 80’s Sci fi film a scientist finds himself seemingly the last person alive on this planet, searching for survivors and finding nothing he nearly turns to suicide until he stumbles on two more survivors, a ravishing woman and a Maori called Api, the trio team up and roam New Zealand trying to make sense of their situation. It’s one of those post-apocalyptic films that doesn’t fit neatly into the genre, maybe because it’s based on a 1950’s novel and a close contender with The world, the Flesh and the Devil (so close it’s almost a remake).  Rightfully it has cult status as it intelligently probed the drama involved in the situation, it helps having a scientist as the main character rather than a average tough guy, there’s no brute force and ignorance here, it’s all about the science and brilliant ideas, the ending is breath-taking and opens up so many more ideas, not something we see much these days it’s either zombies or zombies 9/10 Continue reading Last Nights Movies 02-08-2017

La Weekend July 2017 – 3

Oh dear it was a bit of a crappy movie weekend, I had a lot of new stuff to see but I panned most it all for crappy stuff as I spent most of the weekend painting and being a general douchbag. So after watching hours of rubbish on YouTube I eventually got around to some TV movies.. yeah I know I say I don’t watch it and I don’t, unless there is a movie on..

Passenger 57 (1992) – I used adore this movie when I was a teen, mostly due to the hot 90’s hair action going on, but it was one of the more talked about action films (on the playground)..  John Cutter (Westley Snipes) is a former police officer and now has the pleasure of escorting a terrorist Charles Rane (Bruce Payne) on his flight to the FBI, somehow, he takes over the plane and the two men have to physically and mentally psych each other out. It’s a bit laughable now but I think it will always hold a special place in my heart, but it’s nowhere near as awesome as New Jack City.. It was possibly one of the last films Rane did while he was still semi hot. and Tom Sizemore was on his verge of slipping into a drug coma. All said and done I think I found Con Air more re watchable and that’s saying a lot… 5/10 Continue reading La Weekend July 2017 – 3

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.

Based on the true events of serial killer Jesse Winters.

Despite having a pretty appealing story the film is executed so badly, the idea a mother trying to prove her son’s innocence by attempting to become possessed by a demon, is fairly new (let me know if there are any other films that run along such ideas). But after the introduction the project is very mundane and offers nothing else new to the found footage or possession genre. You can literally tick off everything you’d expect to see, so don’t look out for anything new or interesting, the acting is pretty mediocre and the award to to the worst actor goes to Kristen Merritt who is the medical back up and strolls around in her scrubs speaking as is she’s on some heavy medication herself.

The mother, Kate Winters (Lisa Mackel Smith) gets herself checked by the medical team, psychiatrist and miss boring, while the film crew sets up cameras, then she starts performing a “ritual” where she sacrifices some animals and starts painting the walls with blood. This fails, so she starts to weaken herself by self harming, and then strange things start to happen, obviously this is all caught by the cameras and the team (despite filming everything) miss a lot of what’s going on until it’s too late.

It plays out like a high school project, that’s disrespectful as a lot of school projects have some imagination and creativity involved. But this film is just dull.  Writer/ Director Paul Catalanotto has a long history of documentaries and this should have worked as it plays out like a fake documentary but it seems he needs to be surprised by the unknown and can’t document but he can’t write or direct new materials.

If you are interested in found footage or possession films then it might be something to watch just to gauge the genre but for me once was enough. It’s so crap it’s on youtube and no one has removed it.

 

 

 

Rating 2/10

RThe Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), Paranormal Activity (2007) The Veil I (2016)
L – Possession Films

Alien Abduction (2014)

hero_alienabduction

 

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)

388 Arletta Avenue (2011)

388-arletta-way-i

Director : Randall Cole
Starring :Nick Stahl, Mia Kirshner, Devon Sawa  . Canada. 1h 26m.

The found footage Canadian thriller stars Nick Stahl and Mia Kirshner as an unhappily married couple whose lives are turned upside down after they are tracked and eventually infiltrated by an unknown stalker. The film has a low key release and is fairly average in most aspects. Continue reading 388 Arletta Avenue (2011)

Apocalyptic (2014)

apocalypticii

Director:Glenn Triggs
Starring. Jane Elizabeth Barry, David Macrae, Geoff Pinfield. Australia.1h 24m

A majorly flawed found footage movie that has a few cult style frights and thrills to offer but some mistakes just can’t be overlooked.

Starting unassumingly with a small crew making a documentary at an AA/Drugs Rehab meeting, they chance upon a striking individual who claimed that he escaped from a doomsday cult isolated on a remote farm, realising that this story would be more exciting the team embark to the rural cult’s home to investigate the bizarre group and their end of days prophecies. The strangeness of the cult is soon put aside when the team attempt to save one of the members and themselves, as it’s clear that the world isn’t going to end or is it?

I had to try and spice up the plot after damming the movie in the first line. I did really enjoy the film but the ending was such a let down for myself, but that’s just me, it wouldn’t stop me from watching it again just due to the bat shit crazy events and fucked up social experiment that is exposed in the movie. Continue reading Apocalyptic (2014)

The Possession of David O’Reilly (2010)

possession-of-david-oreilly

Director: Andrew Cull, Steve Isles.
Starring: Giles Alderson, Francesca Fowler, Paul McGuinness  . UK. 1h 27m.

In the wee hours of the morning a London couple receive a visit from their distraught friend David, telling them that his girlfriend has been unfaithful and he needs somewhere to stay for the night. After consoling their friend and making him comfortable, they depart to their own bed and David starts noticing things out the corner of his eye or something nightmarish in the reflections of the mirror. This isn’t’ the first time these horrors have presented himself to David and now he’s brought them with him to his friends apartment.

You could make lots of comparisons that can be made with this and any modern found footage movies, it’s dark and the freaky little monsters often pop out of sight from a person point of view, usually in a dark room being searched by a flashlight. Personally I see the film as being closer connected to Digging up the Marrow (2014) than Paranormal Activity (2007). It strives to suggest that the monsters are real and like Konami’s Silent Hill (1999), there are bold steps to make the dark a scary place to be again. Continue reading The Possession of David O’Reilly (2010)

My Favourite Found Footage To Date…

I’ve been asked many times to pen this and while I’m not one to shy away from a movie list no matter what the subject, I do find it hard to justify one of my favourite genres as it’s so wildly hated. So time for me to gleefully skip into the world of Found Footage.

My Favourite Found Footage To Date…

There are only a few found footage films that I dislike, for me the genre is exciting and really does get my adrenaline flowing, so much attention has to be incorporated into the making of the film which often leads to some really interesting shots and ideas that creep in, but on the flip side too much over thinking and determination to be sensational can lead to some terrible mistakes and often destroys a film.

There are a few things that really make a Found Footage work

  • Realistic use of cameras
  • Realistic camera expectations, cracked screen poor sound
  • Unknown actors, plausible for real life missing persons etc
  • Incorporating real events and places
  • Thrilling mystery

Some things that really ruin a found footage movie include.

  • Invincible cameras
  • Known actors
  • the footage is not cut it doesn’t appear to be found
  • Plays out like a normal movie
  • Too perfect and no mistakes
  • Anyway back to the list.

cannibal holocaust01.Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Following the disappearance of a group of filmmakers in the Amazon, a Doctor embarks on a rescue mission. His trip does eventually lead him on the path of the remains of the crew after experiencing his own personal taste in cannibalism. The film is gory and rightfully maintains a stance as a golden oldie of the video nasty era and one of the pioneering found footage movies. It’s brave and not without mistakes but does depict real animal killings and is still rumored to be a genuine snuff film. I do adore it’s brutality amidst the 70’s hedonistic values that crept into the early 80’s.7/10

noroi-the-curse02.Noroi the Curse (2005)

A bizarre Japanese film that follows a paranormal film maker documenting some very bizarre events, the documentary switches between several stories and clips but if you stick with it then it can be quite rewarding. As with a lot of Japanese films it’s incredibly jumpy going from one thing to another but the scares are great and imagery pretty disturbing, there’s more than the typical ghosts with long hair, check out some intense psychic, flocks of dead animals and lots of unexplained mysteries, a terrifying twist and a brilliant ending to top it all off, it really is marvelous. I really loved the freaky guy with the tin foil hat and was impressed by the effects, they weren’t expensive but executed well.7/10

afflicited03.Afflicted (2013)

After getting “Afflicted” by a vampiric virus while on holiday in “Europe” one unlucky backpacker tries his best to deal with his new unwanted lifestyle. The sickness is apparent at first but around the time that he and his best friend starts working out that he might be a bloodsucker he ends up killing his friend who was doing his best to care for his friend not matter how creepy he was acting. So alone he tries to deal with being a sucker and find the source of his virus, what he finds isn’t quite the cure he was looking for. The film seems low budget but is quite imaginative and actually interesting to watch, there is a lead into part 2 which I think could be really exciting if this could get some more backing.6/10

edtidad04.Entidad (2015)

Spain have a lot to do to if they ever want to live up to the nightmares that REC (2007) created. But the Entity (English translation) does offer some really awesome scares. A group of students start their own ameture investigations into supposed haunted videos from the internet, unfortunately one of them turns out to be true and they end up unleashing some kind of demonic force which stalks them. It’s actually really creepy, and one of the few found footage movies that utilises those creepy moments in the corner of the room, or off screen rather than missing the big events, it builds up terror but then DOES deliver. Some scenes reminded me a lot of Silent Hill 4 but that was a scary pill to swallow so well done.6/10

rec spanish horror movie05.REC/2 (2007) (2009)

I know I preach about top 10 lists then then have millions of honourable mentions and how they suck but I am incorporating a few sequels in this list, if you don’t like it “go fuck a duck”. So REC, one of the more recent films that caused the bedroom light to be left on, and a sequel that I had to watch during the day and rightly so because it brought all the fear back, sadly 3 was shit and 4 was OK but not as scary as it could have been. The whole narrative of combining “zombies” and demons isn’t new but it was a brilliantly executed in these two dark as fuck movies. A film crew are following a group of firefighters for their TV show, but one call gets them into something that is just pure nightmarish. After attempting a rescue mission they become imprisoned in an old tenant building where a zombie like virus is spreading through the remaining residents, after some investigations while fighting tooth and nail through the ever increasing numbers of infected they discover that there was a secret vatican experiment in the attic involving a priest and a young girl (not as kinky as you think). The storytelling is sound and the action scenes are literally to die for, a great cast and use of practical effects even for the most bizarre monster manageable, acted by the insanely elongated Javier Botet (check out his youtube channel). On the return we have a similar cast and more religious connotations as a new priest has to get a sample of the infected blood from the original test subject, but things go wildly wrong. Both films are dark and scary, and have a brilliant comedy zombie death scene (I know I’ve used both zombie and infected but just to clarity these are infected).9/10 – 9/10

trollhunter06.Trollhunter (2010)

Norways slick answer to the found footage monster crisis. A group of film students making a movie about bear poaching stumble on a shady character who after some stalking takes them under his wing and reveals that he is a lone Troll Hunter keeping Norway safe from REAL trolls. The film utilises a host of impressive computer generated effects, usually something I argue against but they are so detailed and executed right in this comedic horror. A sterling cast and a fierce and brilliant approach to something dynamic in the found footage pantheon.10/10


vhsthai07.
VHS/2 (2012)/(2013)

Another double whammy here, and really this entry speaks for a lot of interesting hard work. These are certainly some of the more inventive and freakily fun found footage movies of the decade. Each film has a different director but the shocking brutality of each is strong. There are different flavours and styles, along with ABC’s of Death (2012) it feels like the directors were trying to out do each other on the surreal scale, and it’s a brilliant opportunity to be outlandish and creative that really gives this shorts some zing, but there is a deeply dark under current, with a lot of mystery surrounding some of the stories, that vary from strange harpy dates, a zombie “go pro” mountain biking trip to alien abductions and my all time favourite, a satanic strange general alternative reality.. something for everyone I’m sure.8/10

poughkeepsie-tapes08.Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)


This film blew me away and continues to do whenever I watch it. in a similar vein to the banned August Underground films this mock snuff film is a little bit more approachable. This film details a documentary of a serial killer who recorded most of his exploits, it shows various law officials and psychology tutors details parts of his psyche and actions in order to gauge what insane nightmare of a person the killer must be to exact this level of degrading torture. From clips of prostitutes popping balloons for him to the bludgeoning of a little girl and the systematic re programming of his longest lived “slave” the film picks apart the most gruesome scenes from thousands of hours of home video. What’s special about this graphic content is that it does look like old 80s/90’s home camcorder tapes and it has been suggested that it is real found footage for that reason. Brilliant shocking stuff!9/10

manbitesdog09.Man Bites Dog (1992)

Whenever anyone suggest found footage to me I always totally forget this film! If you’ve seen it, you’ll wonder how anyone could possibly forget it. A deeply dark graphic insight into a serial killer, laced with tons of black comedy and gratuitous violence. The killer is a racist sociopath whose poetic and totally unpredictable. The film crew that follow him about and up getting pulled into his killing frenzies, unwillingly of course, but there is little holding anyone back in this movie, but the magic happens by how calm and “inviting” the killer is, as he brutally kills and maims people while often explaining to the filming crew and director his methods and his victims gasp for breath and plead for help, he remains joyous and doesn’t often break a sweat. 8/10

apollo1810.Apollo 18 (2011)

Just around the time when all Found Footage films were starting to feel the same, Apollo 18 came out, somehow freaking out a lot of people who inundated NASA with questions on the mission!? I thought all that hysteria died out with Blair Witch (1999) So this regular space mission goes awry when the US astronauts find remnants of a Soviet crew that look like they have been attacked but by what? Searching the barren moon landscape they find nothing… all that obvious but strange occurrences start to play on their minds but the fear is much more real. I really enjoyed the film, but I’m partial to a slower paced film, I really enjoyed the threat as it looked so unassuming but there are flaws with this film and so many questions but overall I really appreciated the old film/radio approach to the look and feel of the film.Admittedly it could have done more to bring in the crowds, been a bit flashier but I admire it’s reluctance to do that and how it remains a slow burning horror. 6/10

borderlands11.Borderlands (2013)

Ever since it’s showing at the Abattoir film festival this has been an absolute favorite of mine, a passionate priest is sent to a remote church with a film and sound specialist to investigate a proposed act of god that was caught on film, but before the Vatican are willing to accept it, they need to make sure it’s not a hoax. After arriving and setting up cameras and attempting to capture everything the two are joined by one other official but after the death of a local priest and unexplained happenings more Vatican backup is required after they realised what they have stumbled upon. It’s a brilliant display of great story writing, superb acting and a fairly unique story that the like of Ben Wheatley would be proud of and topped off with sterling performances from Gordon Kennedy and Robin Hill. The only thing that lets the film down is the final scene,it’s brutal which is a great kick at the end of a harrowing plot but i’ll let you work out why it doesn’t work. 8/10

august-undergound12.August Underground (2011)

Found footage is often the “cheap”option when it comes to making a movie, something that M Night SHalayalaylayam was accused of when he attempted a comeback with The Visit (2015), but this has to be the cheapest and most thrilling on the list. Much like Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007) the look and feel is incredibly  degraded home videos follow a couple of guys as they kill, humiliate and mame anyone who is unfortunate paths. As an example of the creativity of Fred Vogel in one scene they have a girl tied up in the basement who they beat and rape, her decaying boyfriends body is in the bathtub next to her, they abuse her, cutting off a nipple and later smear her with feces and urine, then force her to eat her beau’s toe… then things get more disturbing. It’s kinda brilliant if you like things on the disgusting side, and if you’re like me you’ll love the trilogy. 8/10

banshee chapter13.Banshee Chapter (2013)

Bejsus!! This film really got me good, and for that I adore it. I’m one of those horror fans who watches horror to be scared, I’m always looking for the next fright and this delivered it and has had long lasting effects on me. The beginning starts out simple enough, a college kid wanting to try a version of DMT that was pioneered in the MKUltra experiments, moments later his buddy films something wearing his skin.. a journalist gets involved and begins her investigations into this drug and the film gets deeper, probing into the government experiments and linking “Numbers Stations” this H P Lovecraft story had a new modern remake that makes it all terrifying once again.9/10