Found Footage Horror Movies (Happy Friday the 13th!)
Today is Friday the 13th! Also, since February has 28 days and started on a Sunday, in a month, it’ll be Friday the 13th again! Triskaidekaphobics everywhere are in for a rough patch, it seems.
We love the idea of back-to-back Fridays the 13th, though. And, even though the newest Paranormal Activity movie, The Ghost Dimension, was recently rescheduled to a more Halloween-friendly October 2015 release date (after having already been pushed back from October 2013 to October 2014 to March 2015 – come on guys, get it together), Friday the 13th is still the perfect excuse to talk about scary movies. So, in no particular order, here are our favorite found-footage horror movies of all time.
We already mentioned REC (and talked about why it’s so good) in our list of favorite zombie movies. Click that link if you’re interested in reading the whole thing. To reiterate though, the atmosphere in REC is just incredibly immersive, and the horror is shockingly believable. There’s no over-the-top gore or particularly excessive violence, which is somewhat rare for a modern zombie/infected movie, but that just helps to make the entire experience seem so much more real.
This Norwegian movie has more in common with the comedy, fantasy, and adventure genres than horror, honestly, but any movie about hunting massive, monstrous creatures throughout the wilderness is really close enough. The mockumentary presents itself as investigative journalism focusing on a suspected poacher, but takes a turn for the supernatural when the poacher is revealed to be a troll hunter, responsible for slaying the huge creatures. It’s mostly lighthearted, but there are some legitimately scary and adrenaline-pumping moments scattered throughout, making it a great movie for fans and non-fans of horror.
The original Paranormal got so much attention when it came out because it was the rare indie film that made it big at the box office. Generating nearly $200 million from just a $15,000 budget, it has the distinction of being possibly the most profitable movie ever made – that’s more than 1.2 million percent return on investment.
Because of that huge success, it’s not unfair to say that Paranormal has become a genre classic. However, it’s also not unfair to say that the franchise has gone pretty off the rails in terms of sequels. Not only are there four main sequels with more planned, but there’s a spin-off, an unofficial sequel, and an Asylum mockbuster (that’s how you know you’ve made it in Hollywood), a second Asylum mockbuster, and an indirect sequel to the Asylum mockbuster.
Well, obviously this one was going to be on here.
We rattled off the profitability stats about Paranormal Activity above, and even though it does beat out Blair Witch’s ratio of $248 million box office over $22,500 budget, nothing even comes close to Blair Witch’s iconic status. Everything from the “I’m so scared” line to the vomit-inducing cinematography has been referenced elsewhere countless times. As for the actual story, a lot of reviewers have tended to find this one pretty hit or miss, but we still love it.
Bad Robot Productions
The statute of limitations on spoilers has probably passed, given that Cloverfield came out in 2008 and had one of its biggest plot points widely spoiled in the media at the time, but we’ll shut our mouths here, just in case.
One of the big clichés about found footage movies is, of course, the shaky camera. The Blair Witch Project had it bad, but Cloverfield actually necessitated warning signs posted outside movie theaters. The endlessly twitching and flashing frames were also alleged to have caused migraine headaches in moviegoers, too.
White noise stock image used in header by Falln-Stock.