FOUND FOOTAGE – found footage review

A Found Footage film review.

Oh, goody, a slashy-slashy found footage film to review. We’ve seen a few of these since the release of MAN BITES DOG and while they are all pretty disturbing in their way – how are they not disturbing when it’s a POV movie about someone torturing and killing people, eh? – very, very few are genuinely memorable. POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES is another notable film of this kind but, again, it takes more than the presented horror of the human monster to be worth remembering. And let’s face it, most of these films are beyond a little creepy in that they almost always feature the creepy incel guy stalking and terrorizing women with no real repercussions for the perpetrator.

Not the sort of thing you want to really dip into for a laugh, ya know?

Oof.

FOUND FOOTAGE is purported to be the documentation of a man named Darius who steals a videocamera from a store (I always marvel when people steal this stuff but never take the charger, or the accessories, like, it’s gonna be a short film, eh?) and then starts filming everything around him. The man starts to ‘live’ through the camera and begins acting without thought or fear of consequence. We come to realize, through his filming, that something is clearly not right with Darius and the camera gives him that small bit of distance he needs to act out his fantasies and urges. What follows is a strange mix of random moments from Darius’ life mixed with his stalking and murdering women that he has targeted and obsessed about. The question then becomes, can anyone stop him before even more women are brutally murded.

I will give the film this, the acting is really well done. It’s naturalistic and these people feel as if they know one another and are connected. Darius is a well portrayed though there’s not much depth to the nihilistic view on life – it’s a view that we have come to expect from murderers and spree killers, to be honest. The filming is VERY shaky-cam style so, if that bothers you – as if the subject matter wouldn’t – then friends, you may want to skip this one. The film is clear though and the shooting style matches well with the story. The conceit of this being footage that was ‘discovered’ by the producers is a creepy and well done addition that, when paired with the film, could give your stomach a turn or two if you fall under the spell they are weaving.

There really aren’t any surprises here, as solid as things are. We have seen this sort of story done over and over again and without any real pathos or surprises we are left as willing accomplices to all that we witness. We have chosen to go on this journey with Darius and in doing so become just as culpable in his depravity – you know, as far as it comes to watching a ‘murder movie’. What we have is a creepy, melancholic look at someone that seems just shy of an incel as he sees, covets, then stalks women in order to murder them. Sadly this is exactly what it seems and pretty much what I expected, though I kinda wondered if it’d go further with the violence than it does – which is not to say I was hoping for that but that I thought it might with how the film is ‘sold’.

This is definitely not a ‘bad’ film in any way, but for something similar but not something many would have seen, check out VIDEO-X, which follows a couple as they go on a crime spree. Similar ideas but much more meat on that bone. This is a one way trip straight into darkness with little to say about the journey.

2 out of 5

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