I’ve briefly mentioned Found Footage before, specifically found footage flicks that either flew under the radar, didn’t get much love, or deserved to be completely ignored. I thought today I’d focus on a few in that final category, so here’s my list of Top 10 Found Footage Failures.
#10 Man Vs.
To be fair, this is the least offensive and most enjoyable of the movies on this list. That doesn’t mean it was good. Obviously it banks heavily on Bear Grylls, but adds aliens into the mix as if the subgenre isn’t already chock fulla alien invasion footage.
Ah killer dolls. In this case the cursed, homicidal doll is named Heidi. I’ll give the movie this much–I haven’t seen any found footage/murder doll movies. To my knowledge, this very well may be the only one. It’s for sure the only one I’ve come across so far. It coulda been way more effective, but I give it props for at least being pretty weird and having a decently freaky ending.
#8 She Walks The Woods
Give a group of people an RV. Put them in the woods. Have something stalk them. Make it vaguely supernatural. Rue Morgue called this “an open love letter to both the genre and the Blair Witch.” If someone I care about sent me a love letter of this caliber, we’d have to break up. It’s a tough call between #8 and #9 as to which should be where. Somehow I find this just a little bit worse, partly because of its supposed Blair Witch homage (cuz we all know how much I hated that one).
#7 Hell House LLC III: Lake Of Fire
I love Hell House LLC and its sequel, Hell House LLC II: The Abbadon Hotel. But this third one was exponentially the worst of the three. How I wish they would have stopped after the first sequel. The bad CGI and an infuriatingly upbeat ending are dreadful enough, but those are the absolute least of this movie’s problems.
#6 The Ouija Experiment
Oh goodie, a ouija board movie. Still, I’ll say this–before Unfriended and Host, this movie made use of the whole online video chat idea. Ultimately, however, that idea falls flat in terms of acting, story arc, and predictable scares.
#5 The Quarry
Wow was this bad. One of the biggest, almost insurmountable downfalls of the subgenre is the answer to the question “Why are these people still recording???” Incidentally, one of the most clever solutions to this problem occurs in Jeruzalem. Anyway, three friends go camping. Bad shit happens. And despite happening onscreen, it happens boringly.
#4 Blackwood Evil
Uuhhmmm…I don’t know quite what to say about this. It was, I presume, an attempt of some kind. Lotsa talking goes on. Lotsa screaming. Lotsa doors shutting by themselves (not lotsa practical effects beyond that really). Female lead is annoying and shrill. There’s a big hateable landowner dude in a dress shirt. People get killed. It’s on a tape that is delivered to a TV station. Etcetera.
#3 Shallow Creek Cult
More camping–two brothers planning to disperse their grandfather’s ashes. Oh, there’s a cult. Just for shits & giggles, let’s make it a cannibalistic cult. Trust me. This is way less interesting than it sounds, shockingly so. Doesn’t help that the cultists look like zero-budget versions of the little hooded things from Phantasm.
#2 The Investigation: A Haunting In Sherwood
Right. First off, the title is long which rarely bodes well. This was originally #1 and is arguably the worst found footage movie I remember seeing. Why is it #2? Well as you’ll soon discover, that word remember is vital. Tangerine was made with 3 iPhone 5S smartphones. To say I could take a couple phones and do better than this is not bragging. You could give a rabid mandrill a smartphone, and the video would be more compelling than this movie.
And the #1 worst found footage movie I’ve ever seen (?) Dark Flower
I had to head over to The Googles to see what this movie was even about because I don’t remember a single god damn thing about it. Not. One. Reading the synopsis reminded me of zero. But I must have seen it because I gave it half a star on Letterboxd. It does involve another staple of found footage horror–paranormal investigators. Woo.
There you have it. As ever, the Comments await your responses and especially your least favorite found footage horrors.