Tag Archives: found footage

The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007) Movie Review

Over the past decade, The Poughkeepsie Tapes has become an artifact of horror fandom lore. Initially set for a 2007 release, John Erick Dowdle’s mockumentary profiling of a serial killer was pulled from the release slate and faded away.  In 2014, the film received a light VOD release and vanished again.

On October 10, 2017, The Poughkeepsie Tapes was given, for the first time, a proper release. It is currently available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

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In retrospect, the film feels like the found footage love child of The Blair Witch Project and V/H/S. Talking head interviews frame the story of a serial killer who Continue reading The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007) Movie Review

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The Houses October Built (2014) Movie Review

The found footage horror film The Houses October Built begins with documentary archival footage and inter-titles that describe how dangerous haunted house attractions can be.

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This intro is appropriate, given that the film is a restructuring of a 2011 documentary film by the same filmmakers. It is seemingly impossible to find a copy of this documentary, so one can only assume that Continue reading The Houses October Built (2014) Movie Review

Phoenix Forgotten (2017) Movie Review

Phoenix Forgotten opens on Sophie’s (Florence Hartigan) 6th birthday party. Family members give testimonials to camera about Sophie; advice for her as she grows up. Then, a voiceover from Sophie begins the narrative. Her brother Josh (Luke Spencer Roberts) and two of his friends went missing in the desert in 1997. Now, Sophie is returning home to make a documentary about his disappearance.

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The film plays with framing through this setup. In 1997, Josh, obsessed with seeing lights in the Phoenix sky that may or may not be a UFO, starts Continue reading Phoenix Forgotten (2017) Movie Review

The Dark Tapes (2017) Movie Review

The Dark Tapes is an independent found footage horror anthology. It is a film in the same family as the V/H/S films, The ABCs of Death, and the recent XX. The difference between those films and this is that, while other anthology films split its work among multiple directors who each take on a self-contained short, The Dark Tapes is a film written by one screenwriter (Michael McQuown, who also shares directorial credit with Vincent Guastini).

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As such, the frame narrative should share some cohesion across the film. The immediate impression, thus, is that the various “chapters” bleed together. Glitches transition between the shorts on the “tape.”

What this does at first is cause Continue reading The Dark Tapes (2017) Movie Review

Creep (2015) Movie Review

 

Creep is an independent horror film starring Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass. Brice also doubles as the director and triples as co-writer with Duplass. In it, Duplass plays Josef, a man suffering from inoperable brain cancer who has hired freelance videographer Aaron (Brice) to film what could be his final days for the sake of his unborn child.

 

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The film begins with heartfelt scenes of Josef optimistically narrating fun activities that he would like his son to experience once he is gone. These scenes are also accompanied by innocent jump scares. In one, Continue reading Creep (2015) Movie Review

As Above, So Below (2014) Movie Review

 

And now, a dramatic interpretation of a how a hypothetical pitch meeting for the As Above, So Below script might have started:

 

“It’s The Descent meets [REC] meets Grave Encounters meets Buried meets National Treasure.”

“Love it. I bet we can get that guy from Cloverfield for the male lead.”

“But we can still terrorize the sole black character by putting him in the most danger early on, right?”

“Of course! What else are horror movies for!?”

“Huzzah! Let’s make movies!”

 

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All right, so I have no idea how pitch meetings actually work. Nonetheless, that’s a fairly accurate description of As Above, So Below. The movie wraps a plot largely reminiscent of Continue reading As Above, So Below (2014) Movie Review