Monday, June 3, 2013

My Top 12 Fave Found Footage Movies

Lately, I found out V/H/S/2 will be released theatrically after two more months, which is really excited for my part considering what I just read about it: Zombies, Demon Cults, Murderous Ghosts, Alien Abductions, why wouldn't I watch it?

So before I go giggity over seeing this sequel, let me share to you all my top 12 fave Found Footage movies that really make a stand above the rest of the, uh, cheap imitators. Though, Admittedly, it was kinda easy to point them apart. (We have too many Found Footage movies that's basically a copy of the other...) So without further delay, these here are my Top 12 Fave Found Footage Films!

12. Man Bites Dog

The notorious Belgium mockumentary about a xenophobic yet charming serial killer and his camera crew takes our 12th place. It's a satirical look into our fascination with serial killers and violence, putting us into a disturbing position as we become an audience of a demented's killer and his crew's handiwork, as they kill one innocent victim to the next. Would have been a little higher, but it's the lack of variation on the murders that turned me off, but the ending was satisfying enough for me to include this in the list!

11. Cannibal Holocaust

I wasn't planning to add this since I see this more as a Cannibal Movie, despite the found footage-esque last half, but yeah, a grainy footage is a grainy footage! A team of rescuers ventures into the deep Amazon in hopes of finding a small team of student anthropologists. What they found instead, however, is a camera footage of what really happened deep in the jungle, questioning which side is the real savage. The social commentary of this movie, plus the realistic gore effects (mistaken to be authentic, which had director Ruggero Deodato jailed for supposedly murdering his cast), was proof enough for me to why this movie's considered one of the best and deserving sought for horror movie.

10. Trollhunter

A team of young teens out to create a documentary on bear poaching had been following a suspected bear hunter, only to find out he's really a hired man by the government, who's task is to kill off trolls that had gone too aggressive to contain. A little slow at first, but once the trolls come out, it became a fun and crazy creature feature featuring some awesome looking trolls and an interesting mythology.

9. The Last Exorcism

I have a thing for exorcism movies, and since there's very few good ones, I found The Last Exorcism to be one of the more engaging and visually haunting entry to the sub-genre. A pastor decided to show how an Exorcism can be hoaxed by hiring a camera crew to document every tool in the trade. But when one case began to go beyond what they could handle, the line between faked and real blurs, and only faith can save them.

8. Diary of the Dead

George A. Romero's Re-imagining of his Night of the Living Dead, Diary documents a modernized version of a zombie uprising similar to that of his classic zombie film, through a group of college filmmakers who tries to escape and live through the unexplainable epidemic. It has some of Romero's signature themes played around in it, and some pretty cool zombie action, but by doing it in a documentary style format, it has that voyeuristic chill once you realize that, in a meta point of view, we're a part of the film's apocalyptic world.

7. Home Movie

This one's a little surprise for me; a year worth of documented home movies from a family of four with two evil kids. Each holiday, we watch their parents try to understand their children, and too cure them, but it soon leads to a rather offbeat and haunting climax. Very simple movie, no blood, no nudity, but loads of scares and atmosphere, thanks to these evil little tykes.

6. Meadowoods

This one's rarely talked about, but I really insist people should look for this. Meadowoods is an amateur mockumentary made by three teenagers who's planning to commit murder. The whole movie revolves around this plot, but unlike most found footage movies, the film works it way through the plot by developing the characters first, making them more deep than plain meat. The last act of the film is probably one of the most disturbing things I've seen in my whole life, too. So disturbing, that I didn't watch a horror movie for a week after.

5. The Last Horror Movie

Pretty much Man Bites Dog except with a more charming looking man with a bit more morale, The Last Horror Movie explores the same talk regarding our endless love for violence and killers, though the film had more creative murders and a more effective creep factor. Perhaps it's the film's gimmick that won me over, although I still believe that it would had worked a lot better if it had a more convincing looking box cover.

4. The Blair Witch Project

A group of college kids doing a research on an local legend known as The Blair Witch finds themselves haunted and lost at the very woods where the fabled myth is said to reside. I saw this as a ten year old, and I had a great uneasy feel while watching film. It's a very simple movie all through out, but it's the lack of visuals of what's happening that makes the creep factor in this movie really effective. A little tedious but I love it!

3. Paranormal Activity (Part 1 and 3 only)

The Paranormal Activity series had its up and downs, but among the four films (soon to be five), I find the first and the third films to be the best in the series. The films are Found Footage takes on the traditional ghost haunting-type of movies, and though this isn't usually my style, I find most of the build and effects to be effective enough to be at least scary.
2. Chronicle

Though strictly not a horror film, Chronicle is still an enjoyable scifi/drama with a plot in vein of movies like Evilspeak or even Carrie, where in it shows the lives of its character and how they cope with an unexplained power, before going into a really dark territory. A trio of teenage boys acquires amazing powers after venturing into a mysterious hole in the ground with an alien crystal pulsating inside it. Through a series of cameras, we watch as these friends learn to harness their powers, but soon leading for them to choose whether to use it for good, or Evil?

And finally, on our number one spot, we have

1. Cloverfield and the REC series

Yes, I tie these two as my number one faved Found Footage horror for many good reasons; Cloverfield is perhaps America's most original take on a giant monster movie, featuring equally memorable creatures and one engaging plot, despite it's simplicity.

Same goes to the REC series; the first film is more of 28 Days Later done in one location and as a Found Footage, the film's quick pace, claustrophobic atmosphere, fun jump scares and really awesome looking zombies really made it one of the best zombie movies I've seen in years! And then the sequels came, and it became more awesome! Yeah, I know we had zombie-demons before (unless you hadn't seen Demons (1986) and Demons 2), but they don't have the same gutso and mysticism as the ones from REC! BRING ON THE SEQUELS!

And there you have it! My current top 12 fave Found Footage films! I'm planning to catch some others out there (Hate Crime (2012) and Undocumented (2010) are on top of my list) so til then, Have a great day and watch the skies~!


  1. I lost almost all interest in found footage films when the market got flooded by Paranormal Activity rip-offs, and thus only rarely check any out.

    I sometimes get crap for saying that I think August Underground (just the first one, the sequels were a bit too over the top) is one of the best serial killer and found footage films out there.

    "Undocumented (2010)"

    I hear this is like The Last Broadcast, in that it switches between found footage and regular filming.

    1. For the record, i hadn't seen August Underground or its sequels. I might try it actually, I keep reading spoilers about it and I would like to see a real shocker.

  2. Interesting choices! I saw Home Movie a while ago and remember really liking its subtlety... and creepy kids always make for an equally creepy atmosphere. Trollhunter would definitely be ranked much higher on my list as I flat-out LOVED that thing! Agree about Cloverfield and REC. V/H/S not good enough for your list? I liked the concept of that one, but I only really liked two of the stories so it's hard for me to rank that one myself.

    1. V/H/S is a hit and miss. I loved the slasher and alien baby segment the most. I'm sortah starting to enjoy the cheesy Halloween tape, but I really dislike the rest. Especially Ti's segment.

  3. I haven't seen a couple of these, Kaijinu. I am still waiting on THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES to hit DVD. I was really shaken up by that one, and I am shocked it still hasn't surfaced. If you haven't seen it, it might still be up on youtube.

    1. If you hadn't seen Meadowoods, i would suggest you should. It's really fucked-up.

      I think Poughkeepsie Tapes are still up in youtube. i might try it if it's really shocking.

  4. I would obviously include a few other highlights (Tunnel, Poughkeepsie), but overall, this is a really nice list. Yay for stuff like REC, Chronicle & PA.

    Biggest surprise: Diary of the Dead. Most people thought its meh, but I thought it was a superb found footage flick, waaaaay better than its reputation. If I would make such a list, I'd probably include it too.

  5. This is actually a very good recommendation list because I really like found footage movies. I watched 3 of the lesser known ones back to back: Last horror film/Meadowoods/Home Movie. 'Home movie' was really messed up :-D
    perhaps add the Spanish "Atrocious", "Grave Encounters" and "Entity" (2012)