Ooooh, a pseudo-documentary. I love those. It’s such a great, efficient way to marry POV footage with an examination into that footage to give it context and framing. Doing the pseudo-doc thing though adds pressure to the film because it’s a lot harder to create that sort of believability as opposed to just putting a camera in the hands of ‘kids’ who wander a forest or haunted house and disappear. This is also a great way to make found footage work, if done right, and it gives the film more impact.
Let’s see what we have.
THE BLACKWATER VAMPIRE presents the footage being shot by four young people who are making a documentary about a series of killings done over the course of many years in Washington. The suspect in the killings is awaiting execution but the director of the project insists he isn’t the murderer. Through a series of interviews we start to learn more about the murders and suspected murderer but it is when the group heads into the woods to document where the bodies of the victims were found that we start to realize how dangerous their project is and how little is truly known about the real killer behind the murders.
Let me offer this bit of advice – if you are heading out into the wilderness and are going to be gone for a while maybe spend the money on renting or buying a satellite phone. OK? Seriously. How many people have to disappear, and how many movies have to pop up about people disappearing for folks to learn to get sat phones and to take some manner of weapon or flare gun or something to alert the world that they are missing?
Heavy, heavy BLAIR WITCH PROJECT vibes here with the film focusing on young people making a doc and heading into the woods where ‘THINGS HAPPEN’! There is even camping and creepy sounds at night. Aping BWP is not a bad idea as it was a successful film but bickering people in the woods is not easy to pull off and not have it wear thin. This is a well done film, with good acting, some good shooting, and a creepy premise, but it’s really hard to not just look at it as a wannbe and move on. The thing is, that YEAH, it is a wannabe, but it works. It could have used more mythmaking like BWP utilized, and boy, the characters are just brats, but things still work. I have a FEW slight gripes like – who finished the doc they were making as there are insert shots put in that make you think that someone finished the documentary and put the footage together, so who was it? THAT is why you have a title card to tell you those things, man! Things do get creepy though and that end is done pretty well. If you don’t like ‘lost in teh woods movies’ then you will hate this, but it’s not a bad movie and with all the found footage movies I have seen lately this is a little different, so I give it that.
If you are fiending for something different – yet familar – in the found footage realm then give this one a look. It’s not too long, and has some creeps to share so it’s worth a look.
2.75 out of 5
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