UNKNOWN VISITOR – found footage review

Found Footage movie review

Oh, man, security cameras are a boon for found footage films. As well as helping protect our homes from invaders and bigfeets they also provide a great vehicle for found footage movies. So many times we scream out why are you still filming during movies when any sane or normal person would have stopped filming whatever craziness they are dealing with. Security cameras allow the filmmakers to shoot and keep shooting without the questions, it’s just a matter of WHERE these cameras are.

UNKNOWN VISITOR tells its story through a doorbell security camera and keeps us there as the films plays out. A woman who has faced past trauma moves into a new home and is hearing things so she has a security doorbell camera to catch if anyone comes around. What we find is the mundane, the sad, and the horrifying as salesmen come by, a woman claiming to have been abducted, and something perhaps more sinister. Whatever happens, we are witness to it, and can do nothing to stop it.

This is a really good set up for a movie, I have to say. I like the idea of things playing out this way and think, especially since it’s only a 51 minute movie that you could have played things out in real time and a very creepy movie. As it stands this is a nice way to do this and keeps things simple. the problem is that the sound doesn’t jibe well with it being a door camera system but, heck, we have forgiven bigger sins. The bigger issue is that we’re not given enough to really sink our teeth into. The past trauma isn’t explored. The current horror is only hinted at. When things go off the rails initially it takes the movie from 0 to 100 in moments and doesn’t really earn that. We needed more build-up and tension for that. The acting in the film isn’t great but works for what we have. They do a really good job of keeping the moments of horror at the edges of view and in the shadows so we are left wanting to know and see more.

This is a very slight little film. It doesn’t overstay its welcome, to be sure, but it also doesn’t keep our attention completely. There’s a bit of ludicrous logic on hand as things spin out of control and to say it strains credulity is a huge under-sell of what they are doing. I love that they stuck to the conceit they start with, and that they kept it. I think the film would really have benefitted from a little more breathing room to let the story play out and to build the tension up but what we have is what we have. It’s a serviceable film and it has some creepy moments if you can get by the really dodgy logic. Unfortunately the longer the film plays out the more the story frays and logic crumbles. There’s a neat idea here, they just didn’t know what to do with it. (PS, if this footage is saved somewhere, saved so that WE saw it, why the hell didn’t these boneheads watch it somehow? Even if the app for it was weird).

If you are dying for some found footage and don’t have a lot of time it will certainly fill the bill and try your patience.

1 out of 5

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