Archive for the ‘Found Footage’ Category

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Did you see the trailer for this film? Did you guys see it?  Didn’t it look so fricken badass and scary? Yeah………… That’s about as good as this movie gets, sorry guys.  I’m sorry to burst your “little bit of excitement” bubble the trailer just helped form in your head, but this movie is complete and utter, found footage bullshit. The trailer itself was much scarier than the film, and what a shame that 90 minutes was………

My initial reaction to the trailer was, “Wow, the old lady is so creepy, plus the twist with found footage and sleep walking? This movie is gonna be scary as hell!”.  20 minutes later, I manage to find a copy of the film online and delve straight into it, as the trailer had me convinced I would finally find an actual scare in a horror.  I have to admit, the director (Zachary Donohue) did think of some brilliant concepts.  Preying on an actual human degenerative disorder, Donohue attempted to make dementia look absolutely terrifying.  He failed. Literally, on every level. Some of the bits here and there were creepy.  But overall, the film was  typical, predictable, and similar to all the other found footage paranormal films, just with a new twist that didn’t play out as planned.

The storyline is actually quite typical. A student in university, studying something or other (didn’t really care to pay attention), decides to film a documentary on the degeneration of Deborah Logan as dementia sets in and slowly envelopes her into madness, and the strain it puts on the relationship between her and her caregiver daughter.  At first, I liked this idea.  Old people are creepy enough as it is (sorry Grandma), but featuring them mentally decaying through a found footage film just seemed scary on another level.  It definitely helps that Deborah, played by Jill Larson, is extremely frail and decrepit and quite frightening in appearance.  Anyways, she manages to completely submit to dementia and the results are not as scary as I expected from the trailers.  To be honest, I thought most of the scenes were just completely ridiculous and stupid.  I actually found more humor in the the stupidity of the “scary scenes” than I did actual scares.  The taping of the “found footage” wouldn’t be complete without an incompetent camera crew that couldn’t seem to stay out of trouble’s way.  This movie contained every paranormal found footage cliche in the book, which is mainly why I couldn’t take the film seriously. I thought the storyline was dumb as well and overall disappointing.  I barely was able to give this one 2.5/5 stars.  I think its safe for me to say, you can skip this film and take those extra 90 minutes to do something useful with your time (another horror movie, perhaps?).  This movie is not getting a recommendation from me. Anybody beg to differ? Leave your comments below, would love to hear what some of you have to say about this film. Cheers! x

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The Houses October Built

Posted: November 13, 2014 in Found Footage

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I was referred to this movie by a friend; a very reliable friend who’s horror movie opinion I trust and value.  After peeping the trailer, I was convinced that this was going to be the next greatest scare I had experienced after years of disappointing horror movies.  To make a long story short, said friend and I are no longer friends.  Just kidding, I’m being a bit dramatic.  However, I now know I cannot trust his taste in movies, as this film was a rather huge disappointment. The film looked promising.  Even though its found footage, which is a bit overplayed these days, the plot was something I’d never heard before: 4 horror enthusiasts embarking on a Halloween cross-country road trip in search of the the scariest and most frightening haunted house.  I myself have spent hours in transit to various locations, seeking out the best possible scare.  This film though, spent the majority of time in transit and only a small amount of time showing actual scares.  To add insult to injury, the movie stopped playing halfway in between and I was too tired to wait for it to load again, so I did what I do with movies I don’t give a shit about: I slept and decided to resume the film the next day.  To anybody that knows good horror, you know that you will stay up to ridiculous hours of the night just to finish a good film.  The fact that I chose sleep over finishing this movie was a red flag for me.  Although the film had maybe about 2 or 3 good scares, it was mostly pretty bland and the action was non-existent.  The characters were about as typical as they come when you have a found footage horror with a camera crew as its main characters.  You have the 3 camera guys and the 1 hot girl that doesn’t seem to add much to the film and you find yourself asking why her, or any of them for that matter, are even there.  I do have to give the film credit, in that it does toy with a truly terrifying idea about what can really make us shake in our boots when entering haunted houses.  In the film we meet a variety of weird and crazy characters who make themselves the main attractions of the haunted house.  Now if the main characters of this film would have been these people instead of the camera crew, I think the film would have been 100% better.  Many creepy and bizarre things happen in the film when they show some of the haunted houses they explore and people they meet, which may have been its only redeeming quality.  All the scares that you expect in a found footage are there, which makes this film almost difficult to watch because its just so predictable.  This film truly had so much potential.  If only the story had been told from the angle of the villains, not the camera crew, if only…….. Anyways that’s a thought for me to entertain another time.  I’m going to have to go ahead and NOT recommend this movie.  I was sucked in by the trailer and thought that it was an absolute must-see.  Turns out, the trailer is actually better than the movie; it took me an hour and a half to figure that one out.  However, if you feel that you absolutely must watch this film, I will say that the displays they put on in the haunted houses are pretty badass and bizarre, only 5 minutes of the film worth watching, hands down.  Otherwise I would recommend redirecting the hour and half that the film takes and instead spending that time to visit an actual haunted house. Who knows, maybe it will be the scare of your life……… Comment below with your thoughts if you have seen this film. What is the scariest haunted house you’ve ever been to?

VHS 2

Posted: March 9, 2014 in Found Footage

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Found footage horror flicks are getting old. Found footage horror flicks are getting very VERY old.  Found footage horror flicks are getting so old that I want to drop it off at a nursing home and never see it again except on birthdays and the holidays and possibly Friday nights when I am home alone with a bottle of wine.  However, I decided to give the found footage genre another shot because I loved the original VHS so much.  Its sequel definitely lived up to the hype and I’m glad to say that I liked it even as much as I liked the first.  Although none of the shorts in the film seemed the least bit believable to me, the ideas were so interesting and fresh that I couldn’t help but appreciate the work that had gone into it.  Even the film as a whole had a bit of a plot (barely).  I’m not saying the plot of the movie was really decent at all, but at least the filmmakers attempted a plot and it ended up with a great creep-out scene at the end.  Its cliche and almost a bit ridiculous to think the these directors decided to do a found footage film about found footage films, but hey, in some aspects it works.  The story moved along nicely and I especially like the twist at the end.  If you have followed my work in the past, you can probably guess that my favorite short was “Safe Haven”; what a creepy and uncomfortable hell of a violent bloodbath.  I would definitely recommend VHS 2 just as much as I’d recommend the first one, 4/5 stars for sure.  This flick is great to watch alone in the dark.  Each story line was completely bizarre and the acting was surprisingly good.  All the characters were convincing and that contributed to the overall creepy factor of the movie.  Although I highly doubt this will be the film to make you want to sleep with the lights on, I definitely felt jumpy when it was over.  The whole jump factor of things that creep up on you and only being able to watch the film from one angle is what makes found footage horror so great and genuinely scary.  Love it or hate it, found footage is the type of horror that has truly consistently made an impact on me and has freaked me out moreso than other types of horror.  Now go get yourself a bowl of popcorn, turn off all the lights, lock all the doors, get under the covers, and dare to watch this film all by yourself.

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As a severe horror addict, I have learned through years of horror addiction that sequels are almost never a good idea.  I even went as far as to make a vlog explaining how and why horror movie sequels are seriously one of the worst things ever.  Yet, when I see a sequel for a horror movie I love suddenly becoming available on Netflix, the last thing I’m able to do is resist.  All the signs telling me that “Grave Encounters 2” was going to suck were right in my face, but my farfetched faith in this sequel is what led me to ignore those signs.  I’m telling you now, this is an extremely bad choice.  Not only is “Grave Encounters 2” one of the worst movies I have seen, it definitely wins an award for one of the worst sequels in horror.  I loved the first one, but I had to give the second movie a 0 out of 5 stars because, yes, it was seriously THAT bad.

The corniness factor of the movie at least made it a bit enjoyable at parts.  And when I say “at parts” I mean only about 2 minutes of the movie.  The rest is overplayed garbage that they already did in the first movie.  It would have been one thing if they would have made a real sequel, AKA a movie with a new plot that starts where the first movie left off.  Instead, the sequel copied pretty much scene for scene, everything from the first movie.  Remember when the cast of Grave Encounters decided to take their camera crew into an abandoned mental hospital to find out if it was haunted, and then it turned out it actually was?  For merely two hours of your life you can “enjoy” the same exact scenes with a different set of idiots freaking out at each other because they didn’t expect the everything in the first movie to happen in the second movie as well.  To me, this just shows laziness and a complete lack of creativity from the directors.  I can’t even stress how much the sequel is just a remake of the first movie with different yet still equally annoying characters and the same spooky jump factors they used in the first film.  If it was seriously that hard to come up with a new concept for a sequel, why bother even making one?

In a way, this movie reminded me of the second Human Centipede, in that some weird infatuated nerd decided it was his destiny to live out the first “Grave Encounters” and find out if everything he saw in the first movie was true.  Part of me thinks that the director’s intention was to humor the audience and the other part of me thinks that the director seriously had nothing better to do with his time than remake the original and then label it as a sequel.  There are no redeeming qualities in this movie whatsoever, no memorable gore scenes, no scary moments that made me jump, no characters that possessed qualities that could make the audience care.  Overall this movie is a waste of time, energy, and money.  Not only would I never pay to see this movie, I don’t understand what possessed the director to even put a penny into it’s budget.  However, if you really don’t believe me and you still want to tune into the movie, ensure that your eyes are closed for the duration of the film, that will most likely enhance your movie watching experience.

As much as I want to proclaim Grave Encounters as an excellent movie, I only gave it 4 out of 5 stars.  The film’s concept is original yet overplayed.  A camera crew investigates an abandoned insane asylum in order to find out if there really are ghosts and spirits that lurk and wander around at night.  The camera crew interviews various “randoms” in order to build a backstory and begin to spook the audience.  However, for the first 45 minutes, I was kind of bored during the film.  The actors are corny and pretty typical if you ask me.  Throughout the film, I even found myself not liking the characters at all.  Alas, at the half-way point, shit starts to get real.  The plot takes a major mind-fucking twist and the viewer is filled with both question and confusion as the plot gets weirder and everything gets creepier.  As the ghosts of former patients begin to appear and scare the living shit out of the camera crew (not to mention the audience), the movie really begins turning into a masterpiece.  The characters still continue to be annoying as ever, constantly yelling at each other and never shutting the fuck up when the audience just wants a couple moments of silence.  The originality of the ghosts and the scare factor is pretty amazing though.  The plot continues to thicken and takes many twists and turns that I definitely did not see coming.  What makes the movie even creepier is that everything is filmed on hand-held cameras and the characterization begins kicking into gear.  As the characters slowly begin to lose their sanity, I feel like they are finally bearable to watch and more realistic.  Towards the end of the movie, there are some pretty good scares.  In fact, I about shit myself each time one of those ghosts just popped out from nowhere.  The ending is definitely the icing on top of the cake.  Not only is it a mind-fuck, but it is a cliff-hanger.  The absolute twist at the end is what makes the viewer fall in love with this movie and realize, “Hey, I just sat through 45 minutes of useless crap, but the ending of this movie just made everything worth it. I’m gonna go ahead and recommend this to my friends”.  So yeah, I’m going to go ahead and recommend this one.  It is worth the watch and its good enough to watch more than once (which I find rare).