With the release of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones recently behind us, and with upcoming found footage movies like Devil’s Due and Paranormal Activity 5 on the horizon, there seems to be no end for this subgenre in sight. From a studio standpoint, why should there be? Found footage movies are often cheaper to make, they can be tremendous financial successes, and the gamble factor is much lower – but for ever properly executed first-person POV film cranked out The Blair Witch style, there’s ten other films made by a group of ill-advised get-rich-quick filmmakers who brought a handheld camera into the woods. Hollywood – if you’re going to keep making found footage movies, can you at least do it right?
As cinema fans, all we want is to be entertained. Is that too much to ask? So many found footage films trick us into watching a boring, uneventful affair that could double as some family’s vacation footage if someone randomly died at the end, yet there are other found footage films taking groundbreaking steps towards keeping the subgenre fresh, inviting, and exciting. While I wish every film was of the latter nature, it’s just too easy to create low-budget versions of the better movies and watch the money roll in – no matter how bad the product.
Thinking about this ongoing trend, WGTC staff members Isaac Feldberg and Matt Donato decided to take a look at the best and worst found footage films from recent memory, outlining why each one either sinks or swims. First join Isaac as he runs down some of the best examples of found footage material, while Matt will lead you down the devastating path of no return – those found footage movies who got the better of us. Why do some work? Why do some fail so mightily? Read on to find out!