POPULATION ZERO – found footage review

OK, OK, OK. It’s a fake documentary, as FAUXumentary, if you will. And it’s not a horror film. Not to ruin any sort of mystery for you but it’s better if you know going in or you will spend the entire film wondering what will happen to spookify it all. 

It’s not there. 

This isn’t that sort of a movie. 

This is a mystery, a very dark crime mystery and even as such, there are chills to be had. 

POPULATION ZERO is another ‘mockumentary’, this one about a triple murder committed in a national park. This time though the perpetrator turned themselves in and confessed and still wound up free because of a loophole in the law regarding national parks. The filmmakers here are tipped to this case by an unknown person so they start investigating things to see what happened, how it happened, and how the killer ‘got away with it’. What they discover is that while the end result is what it is, WHY it happened is the real question and as they slowly start to uncover that they also realize that this is a much darker case than they first thought and involves more than just three deaths. 

This is another really well crafted fake doc. While the story seems simple, the mystery it is holding is darker the more you think about it and far too real. The acting is decent with some performances outshining others. The filming is well done and doesn’t ‘break character’, which was refreshing. The film truly is handled as if it is a real documentary and any revelations and surprises are handled as if they are part of the natural discovery. And this works as a good mystery with reveals happening all the way to the end. 

The biggest thing I can take issue with is that it isn’t as captivating as it might have been. It works, and it works well, but the weird antagonistic relationship between the filmmakers works against the movie. Fans of crime docs though should really like this one as there’s a lot of meat on this bone and well worth looking out for. 

Sure, it’s not what you expect from a found footage, fake doc but man, it’s pretty solid, to be sure. 

3 out of 5


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