Ten Days Of Horror Films – Day #2: Found Footage
Please note: Ten Days Of Horror Films is compiled into ten separate lists which identify individual genres of horror with each day in the list containing three movies: my favourite movie from that specific genre, an honourable mention, and a big ol’ loser.
Today I’ll be talking about my favourite genre of horror films: found footage. There are oodles of found footage horror movies that have come out in the last seven years because they’re relatively inexpensive to make and they’re all trying to piggy-back on the surprise success of Paranormal Activity. There are enough of them that it kind of cheeses me how gimmicky the whole genre has become, but at the same time, they’re my ultra guilty pleasure. There’s just something about not being able to see the surroundings at all times that makes me feel on edge throughout the entire movie. I’ve watched a lot of really terrible horror movies that I otherwise would have skipped over, but because they’re found footage, I have to give them a chance. Now let’s help me get a mini fix by discussing some movies I can recommend you watch and one you can skip.
Don’t hate me, please.
Like I said, I’ve seen a lot of found footage movies, and though this is the one most people know about and I feel like a sell-out for liking something so mainstream, I think this movie is the best in this genre. Though my personal feelings would land this movie at about a 1 out of 10 in my scary barometer, if I believed in ghosts or demons, this movie would scare the crap out of me. For that reason, I’m listing it as my favourite because for me who doesn’t believe in paranormal beings, it’s still a fun watch. And for those who do believe in the paranormal, this’ll give you a massive fright.
The Blair Witch Project
I know, I know. I’d scoff at me, too, if I were an outsider reading this list because so far I’ve named two of the most popular movies from this genre. But Blair Witch is totally deserving of an honourable mention. This movie was the first of its kind. Everyone thought this stuff had actually happened – that some kids got lost in the woods and we were watching a real-life descent into madness unfold on the screen. To understand why so many people were fooled, you have to know that in 1999, only 4.6% of us on Earth had an internet connection where today over 40% of the world is online*. Because information couldn’t be shared lightning fast, people were left to wonder if this movie was make believe or a documentary. Even if you don’t believe in evil witches, the atmosphere built through the tension of being lost and possibly hunted in a dense, dark forest is definitely worthy of a late night watch.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
For as good as the first Paranormal Activity was, each sequel got worse and worse. I got roped into watching the second movie because I was told it was pretty good from a friend whose taste in movies I trust. After telling that friend that I was deeply disappointed in that movie, the same friend advised I give the third movie a shot because it had some good ’80s references. OK, it did, but it still ended in such a crap way that I was convinced I had come to the end of the PA saga. But then PA4 was on Netflix and I had nothing to do on a Saturday morning, so one thing led to another, and then next thing you know I’m left angry again at a horrible ending and rating yet another movie as a “hated it”. So why’d I see the fifth installment? Because I’m an idiot. And also because Netflix. The entire series introduced a rather weak plotline to explain all of the hauntings and every movie kept ending in the same basic way. SPOILER: A cluster of old ladies and then someone dies. Don’t be a fool like me and give into “completing the circle” and watching all of these movies. This one in particular is not at all scary and will only serve to leave you confused or infuriated.
So what’ll it be tomorrow? There are plenty more genres to talk about and I hope you keep coming back for some more discussion. Let me know in the comments if you have a particularly favourite found footage movie and if you even enjoy the genre at all or wish they’d die a quick death.