CHEST – found footage review

Well hello, intrepid found footage fans, it’s time for another found footage movie. 

Hooray!

This time around we have another movie about folks making a potentially paranormal documentary. 

Man, who knew there were so many amateur documentarians out there?

Crazy!

Just crazy. 

Done well, the whole faux-umentary angle is super effective. It can sneaky creep you out as it presents things as if they are reality and, in some cases, can blur that line and make you wonder if what you are seeing couldn’t possibly be more real than first believed. 

There are some great examples out there but perhaps one of the best is LAKE MUNGO, which never strays from being a document of a family’s grief and search for answers and the scares come from your buying into what they are offering you and in not expecting what you are seeing. They don’t try to scare you so much as just let the creepy moments play out and make you realize that things weren’t exactly as we first thought. 

With CHEST we join a small group of friends as they head into the mountains of the south to search for information about a bit of folklore that tells about a mysterious chest that was found in a cave but no one knows what was inside it. The group manages to find someone who claims to know something about the chest and they go to interview him and discover that they may have found the area where the chest is. The ‘director’ of the documentary decide to engage the man to lead them to where he has heard the chest is, since it’s deep in the woodlands. What they later find out though is that this man may not be who he says he is, his past may not be what he says it is, and they may be trusting a liar to take them in search of this chest. As they enter the woods, in search of a mountain folktale, what they will find is that there is far more about this chest than they can imagine. 

Reasonably well shot and well acted with moments that rise above the rest, this is a rote found footage woods movie in almost every way. The camaraderie with the friends is very good and very well done. It’s only when we get into the woods that things fall apart with long, silly monologues, characters that do nothing to move the plot along and a climax and twist that mean nothing. The had some ideas as to what they wanted to do with the story but what we have isn’t earned, and makes no sense. We even have the dragged away sort of horror scenes we have seen so many times before. 

At its core, it’s an interesting idea. 

The notion of using folklore for the basis of these films is great and gives a sense of the ‘almost’ real. 

We have all heard folktales of the areas where we live and they came from somewhere so who knows what the original truth was?

Unfortunately what we have here is a movie that loses its way and gets lost in its own cave. Atop that the old trope of the dangerous southerners, uneducated and secretive, has been done and done again. 

Seeing these people fall for any manner of anything so easily seems very far-fetched and stretches belief a bit too far. 

That they introduced a character that isn’t what he appears, just to take him out of the story without any answer is a perfect example of how disjointed this film is. 

They had a solid foundation but built the rest of sand and it collapsed under the weight of the whole. 

Another bummer of a found footage film. Nothing of note and while hey, great job making a movie and putting it out, it just doesn’t work. That they added music into it, and a secondary camera that isn’t related to the main crew just shows how far off the path they wandered in trying to create a found footage film. 

½ out of 5  

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