Recommended Found Footage Horror MoviesBy RodneyHatfieldJr for Movies
Out of all the subgenre of horror, found footage gets a bad rap. After the sleeper success of The Blair Witch Project, which proved just how profitable a micro-budgeted horror film shot in this style could be, the genre became flooded with found footage films. That influx caused universal burnout among fans. However more importantly, it demonstrated that creating a good found footage film isn’t as easy as it looks. Avoiding the pitfalls of predictability while justifying the camera’s constant use is a tricky tightrope walk. By creating an unsettling atmosphere and effective scares can go a long way in showing there’s still plenty of horrors left to be mined from the subgenre.
With that said, there are still plenty of terrifying and innovative films in the subgenre worth seeking out. This time we are looking at some of the best goosebumps-inducing entries in found footage. These five movies test the boundaries of their format and deliver nail-biting tension and creative scares.
Best friends Derek and Clif, played by writers/directors Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, embark on an epic trip around the world. They intend to document their journey every step of the way and upload their footage to an ongoing blog. Derek’s health tempers their excitement; he has a brain aneurysm that could rupture at any moment. The adventure is thrown another curveball when a one-night stand in Paris leaves Derek unconscious and bloodied. When he wakes, Derek’s body undergoes horrifying new changes that see Clif desperate to save his friend. While much of the subgenre is dedicated to demonic possession and ghosts, Afflicted gives a refreshing update to the foundational movie monster. Moreover, it does it with suspense and action-horror style.
Lake Mungo 2008
Using a faux-documentary setup, Lake Mungo follows a family still reeling over the unexpected drowning of the eldest daughter. Soon after, strange things start happening around the home that prompts the surviving family members to investigate the details that led up to her death. The scares come subtle, often lurking in the background for only the most observant to notice. Who Alice Palmer was before her passing makes for the most fascinating aspect of this unique horror movie, a slow-burn mystery full of twists and one seriously unnerving jump scare for the ages.
Final Prayer 2013
Also known as The Borderlands, Final Prayer follows a paranormal team sent by the Vatican to investigate strange phenomena plaguing a Catholic church in the remote countryside. That setup sounds overly familiar, and it is, which works in the film’s favor. Hostile villagers, blasphemous Pagan rituals, haunted activity, and even a suspicious religious lead character all make for the typical trademarks of a found footage horror movie. Including that it appears that it’s building its way toward an exorcism. Where it goes from there is far beyond the realm of predictability, with one of the boldest, most disturbing final acts.
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum 2018
Amateur ghosthunters in over their heads is a plot description that could be applied to any number of found footage movies, let alone horror in general. If you’re going this route, you’d better find an innovative way to set it apart from the rest, or at least ensure the scares are plenty. Gonjiam nails it. In this Korean film, the crew of a horror web show plans a live stream event in one of the country’s most infamous abandoned hospitals. The host has rigged fake scares to spook his crew for the sake of ratings, but they prove unnecessary thanks to the sinister forces haunting the place. While this movie doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it makes up for that with unrelenting terror.
Few horror sequels manage to live up to the success of their predecessors, and even fewer surpass them. [Rec] 1&2 maintaining the breathless energy and chills other movies have look easy. 2 overlapping with the events of the first film. All the movies involves a quarantined apartment building/infected people. The scares are almost nonstop, and the tension leaves you on the edge of your seat.
The Blair Witch Project
The film that started the flood of found films. Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind. It hits all the right buttons to be a good movie.
Personally this is the weakest film on the list. The ending was a letdown for me. But I listed to appease the masses. It was a solid horror movie til the last 30 seconds. Then nothing. Give me a cackle or a helm of a dress; something. Nope. I would have taken a cat walking in front of the camera. This is one of those films that is good, has atmosphere, mood, story, suspense, but fails at the end.
A group of friends venture deep into the streets of New York on a rescue mission during a rampaging monster attack.
I was surprised how good it was compared to the hype leading into its release. And in my opinion surpassed my expectations. Great acting, special effects with some great memorable moments, specifically the statue of liberty head scene. I always wondered what a Godzilla film would be like from the perspective of the average person trying to stay alive. This movie filled that need beautifully. Now lets get some Kaiju and have a giant monster fight.
Paranormal Activity 2007
After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.
The Blair Witch Project got the Found Footage genre into the spotlight, Paranormal Activity reinvigorated it 10 years later.
The BBC gives over a whole evening to an 'investigation into the supernatural'. Four respected presenters and a camera crew attempt to discover the truth behind 'The most haunted house in Britain'.
I am on the fence for listing this one. Considering this was originally a UK TV movie, its actually quite impressive and ahead of its time. Whats is more impressive on how this was originally broadcasted back in Oct 31 1992 as a "live" show investigating(instead of Found Footage) and presenting an haunting, creating a huge controversy in the aftermath where people believed that it was actually happening, or were just very disturbed on what they were seeing. It is like a modern Orson Welles War of the Worlds, and it fooled the public just like he did. It should get props for that. Even though Dave Lister is running around interviewing people, and people didn't put 2 and 2 together. But I give it a pass, because really what is Red Dwarf?