Grave

Grave Encounters 2 (2012)

Grave Encounters 2 first published by VODzilla.co Found footage is one of the few subgenres whose name refers not (like, say action or comedy) to content, nor (like horror) to an ideal viewer response, but rather to the films’ (fictive) material framing and form – which is to say that, for all its claims to…

Grave

Grave Encounters (2011)

Grave Encounters first published by VODzilla.co The lessons of the ultra-low-budget, extremely profitable The Blair Witch Project (1999) and Paranormal Activity (2007) were clear: by revitalising the ‘found footage’ format, with its uncannily self-authenticating ‘reality effects’, in this new age of light digital cameras, budding genre filmmakers could craft horror for very little money, and with…

Creep

Creep 2 (2017)

Creep 2 first published by SciFiNow “I am what is commonly known as a serial killer. I don’t love that nomenclature. I sort of consider myself a murderer, but my numbers are such that I’m classified as a serial killer… I’ve killed 39 people.” So says Aaron (Mark Duplass) within minutes of meeting Sara (Desiree Akhavan),…

KAOS

The KAOS Brief (2016)

The KAOS Brief first published by SciFiNow In writer/director JP Marandino’s The KAOS Brief, vain 17-year-old Skylar (Drew Lipson) films his life for his vlog Skylar TV – so a camping trip with his twin sister Dakota (Charlie Morgan Patton) and their respective boyfriends Corey (Marco DelVecchio) and Tren (Akanimo Eyo) seems the perfect opportunity to…

Paranormal

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Synopsis: Oren Peli’s low-budget debut Paranormal Activity is a terrifying ménage-à-trois involving a young couple, a demonic presence, and the camera that mediates between them. Review: The opening text of Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity informs us that Paramount would like to thank the families of Micah and Katie, as well as the San Diego Police Department, for their…

Cat

Be My Cat: A Film For Anne (2015)

Be My Cat: A Film For Anne first published by Little White Lies, as the 23rd part of my Cinema Psychotronicum column “Hello, Anne. My name is Adrian, I am from Romania and I want to make a movie with you.” The protagonist of Be My Cat: A Film For Anne is played by his namesake…

Wekufe

Wekufe (2016)

Wekufe opens first with a bearded interviewee discussing the corporate exploitation and cultural pauperisation of Chile’s indigenous population. This is followed by text (cited from Alonso de Ovelle, a 17th century Jesuit chronicler of Chile) about ‘wekufe’, or ‘evil’, as a concept introduced to the Mapuche by Spanish Christians. All of which is to say…

Blair

Blair Witch (2016)

First published by Little White Lies It has been a long time since Heather Donahue and her two-man crew ventured into the woods of Burkittsville to become a part of the local legend that they were there to document. Back in 1999, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s ultra-low-budget The Blair Witch Project would revolutionise genre…

Footage

Found Footage 3D (2016)

“It’s a little cliched, don’t you think?”, says director Andrew (Tom Saporito), after reading, along with us, the ominous text – about a couple’s disappearance while ‘vacatoining’ [sic] – with which the film begins. For us that film is Steven DeGennaro’s feature debut Found Footage 3D – but for Andrew, his co-director, writer and star Derek…

unfolding

The Unfolding (2015)

First published by TwitchFilm Against a backdrop of impending global nuclear war, graduate paranormal investigator Tam (Lachlan Nieboer) and his girlfriend Rose (Lisa Kerr) head to an isolated fourteenth-century property in Dartmoor. Their aim is to stay one night and detect any unusual activity with a panoply of cameras and other devices, but as things…

Inside

The Inside (2012)

First published by Little White Lies It is not difficult to see why the wilfully amateurish first-person mode of The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity seems such an attractive option for the budding, cashless moviemaker – after all, such films can be shot on home digicams, any cinematographic infelicities and dodgy performances can easily…