Two Found Footage Films That You Should Watch
Found Footage, two words that alone are very innocent but put together can lead to diabolically bad film making decisions. I think that (almost) all of us are in agreement that The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity were good ideas, but unfortunately they have inspired some awful, awful films. Several factors led to the surplus of bad Found footage films ; the first most obvious reason is that they are cheap to make, almost anyone with some sort of backing can now pick up a digital camera and start shooting in their house, the audience is supposed to believe that this footage was shot by an amateur so forget lighting and blocking . The second reason is that there is an understanding that casting unknown actors in your film will lead to believability, so forget paying for A list actors or even people who can actually act. So that leaves a film made with no cinematic skills and actors that no one else would hire..oh dear. Due to these reasons there are more terrible Found Footage films then I could ever list here. So let us clear our minds of that bile for a moment and give some attention to two Found Footage films that have actually done something interesting and frightening with the genre. It is unfortunately a very short list. In fact I don’t even think two films counts as a list…
Alone with Her (2006)
It has long broken my heart that this little masterpiece of horror indie film making never reached the stratospheric heights that Paranormal Activity did, as it truly deserved to. Writer/Director Eric Nichols creates a terrifying scenario, where a mentally unbalanced man named Doug begins to stalk a young woman. The viewer watches the footage that Doug collects of his victim Amy, he places secret cameras in her apartment and follows her and films her secretly. But Doug doesn’t just watch, he works his way into Amy’s life and begins to sabotage it from the inside. The film uses the idea first put forward in the iconic film Peeping Tom that sometimes watching a story as the voyeur can be even more terrifying than being the victim.
The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)
Thousands of tapes have been found by murder investigators in a house in Poughkeepsie, the tapes document the acts of a demented killer. The film is flawlessly presented as a documentary where investigators, survivors and experts are interviewed. Extracts from the tapes are shown, as the viewer is given background information on each crime. The film is so convincing and so brilliantly acted and presented that by about half an hour in, you truly believe that you are watching a documentary. The finished product is a terrifying and deeply disturbing film. There is only one awful catch, there is a reason why you may not have heard of it before, it was never released. Very unfortunately something went wrong when it came to distribution, what that was no one knows but the film entered only a few cinemas in America and never left the states, it also never got a DVD release. You can guess how I watched it and I suggest you do the same.