Tag Archives: social media

Possession Experiment (2016)

Director: Scott B Hansen
Starring: Scott B Hansen, Bill Moseley, Chris Minor, Nicky Jasper, Jake Brinn. USA. 1h 24m

Considering how popular Found Footage movies are, I’m surprised that this hasn’t been done by a bigger studio. Our fascination with watching online train wrecks, drama and spooky videos are all satisfied with this somewhat inventive horror that starts well but sadly falls into too many horror clichés before burning out.

The budget seems to have been spent on Bill Moseley 5 minute intro where he plays a priest performing a fairly clumsy exorcism on a young girl in the basement of a house, the lords prayer is used instead of Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, and a few lines are missing, the scene is shot well but doesn’t make sense, at one point the girl with all the stereotypical garb, long dark hair, spewing Latin and a long white nightgown, levitates and attacks, everyone just watching her or running away and she’s only challenged after dispatching the unfortunate man not before. Personally I’d have believed the scene more if Mosley was the possessed and not a priest, could you imagine letting him rip in a role like this!!?? Either way the exorcism is an utter failure and the filming of it leaks out and sparks some interest from a young man who desires something meaty for his theology homework assignment, after investigating the original site and getting spooked by a potential haunting, he devises a kick starter to return to the site and actively offering himself up to be possessed on a live web cast. Continue reading Possession Experiment (2016)

Possession Diaries (2019)

Director: Juan Frausto
Starring: Katherine Munroe, Johnny Ortiz .USA. 1h 33m

For a majority of my armchair criticism I am always asking for directors to try and bring something new to the genres that their film straddles, however in the case of the Possession Diaries, and similar uncreative movies, I see no problems with people trying their hand at the tried and tested tropes, but at least try to make your copy as solid as possible. For all the planning and effort going into this project, it just doesn’t come across as being as polished as it could and ends up being a tad boring. Continue reading Possession Diaries (2019)

Host (2020)

Director: Rob Savage
Starring: Haley Bishop, Jemma Moore, Emma Louise Webb, Radina Drandova, Caroline Ward, Teddy Linard, Seylan Baxter. UK. 58m

There’s been a long hate trail behind the found footage genre and each new title had to content with being compared with The Blair Witch (1999) and while I defend the experimental movies there are a few which are really hard to defend *cough* Moth *cough* but what i absolutely love about this short exhilarating horror is just how it gets about it’s job and doesn’t care what you think.

Continue reading Host (2020)

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. Continue reading Death of a Vlogger (2019)

Wounds (2019)

Director: Babak Anvari .
Starring. Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson, Zazie Beetz. USA. 1h 34m.

This strange and dutifully tragic movie owes a lot to Cronenberg and H.P Lovecraft despite opening with a quote from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, that ends with “it echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core”. It’s hard to recognise the significance at this early stage of the movie but recalling back to the character it’s now easy to see how the main characters overall weakness as a human being made him so vulnerable for the nightmare that is about to unfold before his eyes. Continue reading Wounds (2019)

Friend Request (2016)

Director: Simon Verhoeven.
Starring. Alycia Debnam-Carey, William Moseley, Connor Paolo, Brit Morgan, Brooke Markham, Sean Marquette, Liesl Ahlers. Germany/South Africa. 1h 22m.

Not remembering where this came during the more recent spate of social media horrors, it seem that the idea of the supernatural being broadcast and manipulating people through the internet isn’t something new but something that works better on paper or maybe by being narrated on YouTube on the Creepypasta channels. But this English language German horror does offer some brilliant jump scares but lacks the substance in between.

Laura (Debnam-Carey) is one of the more popular kids at college, who lives a privileged and beautiful life, one day she accepts an online request from a loner called Marina (Ahlers) the two strike up a friendship, albeit it at arms length when Laura notices the dark and disturbing imagery on Marina facebook page. Laura starts to notice how possessive Marina is getting and lies to her about an upcoming birthday party claiming it’s going to be a quiet one but the photos of her enjoying a lavish dinner date with her friends and family get uploaded and Marina confronts her in the dinner hall, as the argument gets heated Marina hood falls down revealing a bloody scalp from her habitual hair pulling. Continue reading Friend Request (2016)

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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