I have been a huge fan of Found Footage Flicks since the beginning. That feeling of “could this be real” or second guessing yourself about what is real and what isn’t. Here are my Top 5 favourites of the genre.
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
The first found footage film is an Italian Cannibal Film that created such an uproar around the world that the director was questioned about the whereabouts of the actors in the film and had to produce them to prove that he had not, in fact, murdered them. There is actual animal cruelty in this film, so it is still banned in most countries around the world. It has been recreated by the master Eli Roth, and will be released later this year as “The Green Inferno”.
Blair Witch Project (1999)
The very first found footage horror I watched and it chilled me to my core (as an impressionable 12 yr old). The film opens with introductory text stating that in October 1994 three filmmaking students disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland, while shooting a documentary. A year later, their footage was found in undisturbed soil below the foundation of a 200 year old stone wall by an anthropology class from the same university as the film makers during a study in the field. The footage was then handed over to the police as evidence. The police, believing the footage to be a joke or prank, released the films for public viewing.
It, of course, is actually just a movie, and no police station would ever do that. This is one of the films that I believe to be done very well, to make the viewer feel complete and utter terror, without actually ever showing anything out of the ordinary. This film works on dread, and envokes great sympathy for the characters involved. This movie is basically the starter kit for anyone interested in the found footage genre.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
We all know this one. Similar to the Saw Franchise, this movie series is attempting to squeeze every penny out of the audience. The best part about the original film was that it was new and the found footage genre hadn’t seen something so close to home before.
It cost only $15,000 to make, but grossed over $193 Million for Paramount Pictures. The simple, effective creep factor, coupled with a new ‘found footage’ type of cinema. The scariest part for me was those footprints in the flour. Yeesh!
Long Pigs (2006)
This mockumentary/dark comedy is one of the only films to make me queasy. And I don’t get queasy often by films. Two documentary makers follow Anthony, a 33 year old cannibal living a regular life and follow his antics. This one is best to go in not knowing what to expect, and to appreciate it for what it is. It does make you question the big questions of “why do we eat a certain type of animal, and not another?” Certainly thought provoking, and it makes you feel uncomfortable to think about it!
Also, as a side note, Anthony happens to be a bit of a gourmand. He enjoys his cooking.
The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)
I’ve spoken about my love for The Poughkeepsie Tapes before. It is one of my favourite movies (even outside of the found footage genre) and you can check out my review here. It even has the link to watch online at YouTube. Enjoy!
What’s your favourite found footage?