Found Footage Review (well, technically a pseudo-doc).
As I said in an earlier review, when done well, a pseudo-doc can be really impactful and powerful. The air of legitimacy it can bring in creating a small semblance of believability is fantastic. It can’t be easy to pull off but, when it is, it’s great. POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES is a great example of this, where the ‘found footage’ is married to talking heads and it’s great.
Let’s see what BLACKWATER EVIL has to show us.
BLACKWATER EVIL presents us with footage that was sent anonymously to a television station and which was lost for many years and is now discovered and presented to us. The footage shows a news reporter as she tries to put together a package (That’s all the stuff that goes into a news story, friends) about a haunted area in Texas. We are shown the interviews, the awkward interactions with the locals, and the very contentious back and forth with the owner of the property the reporter wants to do her story on. What we also see is that the stories about this property and this area may not be as much of a legend as some believe, and that something very dark may yet remain there.
Being an older found footage film – back in the days of BWP! – this is a VERY dark movie. It is shot on video and you can tell. They use that to their advantage though because a lot of what they portray isn’t clear, meaning that you THINK you see more than you do. The acting is pretty good and people keep in character, though the bickering between the reporter and the man that owns the house they are investigating gets really old and pushes to the point of ridiculousness. They do a great job at setting the stage for the movie, taking a page from BWP and really building the mythology. They build the mythology about the land and put a lot of ideas in your head. The problem here though is that there is so much build up that it’d be hard to pay off such a great set-up.
As with most of these types of movies the film falls apart at the end. The story goes off the rails as they tr yto push – too hard – the idea of demons while staying within their budget. A LOT happens, conveniently, behind closed doors. It works the first time but when you keep going to that well it gets a bit forced. There were ways to cheat what they wanted to do without resorting to what they did but it is what it is. It really is a shame because the film is really fun and compelling until the last fifteen minutes, where things just crh in on themselves. They double down on it with a PREPOSTEROUS wrap up scene that was just ridiculous and made no sense.
Flaws aside, it’s an engaging watch that really does a good job of presenting itself as a news story. You’re left asking yourself who edited it together – since it was one tape that was dropped off at a television station – but you’re really nitpicking at that point. If you want some old school found footage and are looking for something along the faux-doc lines this is a decent watch, just know that it’s gonna leave you a flaming bag of poo on your doorstep for an ending.
2 out of 5
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