TEN THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU: FOUND FOOTAGE FILMS
**CONTAINS SWEARING AND SPOILERS AND OVER-USE OF CAPITALS**
Usually I’m very positive on this page but on occasions I feel the need to let rip at things that irk me. Loss of the Voice-Over Guy in film trailers pisses me off as does the generally poor expositional style of many trailers which TELL the whole story or give key plot points away IN THE TRAILER!!! E.g. Terminator: Genocide (2015). But there is one sub-genre of movie-making which has me tearing my nuts off with rage and that is the continued proliferation of FOUND FOOTAGE style films. And here are TEN reasons why!!!
1) THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999)
I hate this fucking film! Because of its ridiculous success it undoubtedly gave birth to an army of other bastards that have been stinking up the cinema and TV screens for the past few decades. Firstly, this film sucks! As both a story AND a horror story. If this film scares you then you are a moron! It’s an okay short film padded out to an overlong bore-fest which was only topped for boringness when Paranormal Activity (2007) came out.
I’m happy for the filmmakers for garnering such success but given they have not released anything of note since shows this was a fluke success. I mean the characters were awful and dumb; notably when one moron threw away the map and got them LOST! The ending isn’t bad but I was just so relieved when they all died! Verbal Kint once said, “The greatest trick the Devil pulled was convincing you he doesn’t exist.” I disagree: it was making this film so phenomenally successful.
Found footage is unnecessary to tell a story. I can see some benefit in perhaps framing your story like that if it’s Cannibal Holocaust (1980) and it’s documentary film crew blah-blah-blah! But in my opinion it ADDS NOTHING to the story as a stylistic device. Use flash-backs, montage, flash-forwards, voiceover, non-linear structures etc. but found footage is like one of those Chihuahua dogs: irritating, totally lacking in charm and completely pointless.
Like Hitler, Gangnam Style, Miley Cyrus, Adam Sandler, Ugg Boots etc. found footage films are inexplicably successful yet also poison humanity!! I admire low-budget/independent filmmakers and DO NOT begrudge any success these people have had BUT THE FILMS ARE RUBBISH!! The cinematic epitome of the Emperor’s New Clothes.
It’s just SO clunky!! Even the best ever found footage film Chronicle (2012) which uses the device imaginatively suffered because they had to make up some reason for one of the characters to be filming. Oh, it’s my sister’s mum’s birthday and funeral and we need to film it for future posterity. Oh, I accidentally left my phone camera on while in the woods and am now being hunted down by my own shadow! No! STOP IT!!
5) THE FILMS LOOK SHIT!
Need I say more?!? Low budget does not mean the film needs to be shot through CCTV or infra-red or in low-grade digital footage grainier than hamster shit. Ten minutes or so is bearable but a whole film like that is just too much to handle!
Oh, we’re gonna make a horror film shall but we don’t have much money: shall we use our imagination like say Sam Raimi or James Wan and construct a proper story with nasty monsters, witty dialogue, funny and horrific set-pieces OR shall we set up a fake camera and have doors move slightly or faces suddenly appear on screen or it’s quiet and then a shadow moves! Yeah, don’t bother with characters you may connect with or creating suspense through something called a story let’s make a found footage film because WE ARE LAZY!!
Occasionally, found footage is used well such as in Creep (2014) with Mark Duplass or REC (2007), but overall the films are an insult to the horror genre. I love horror films and there have been some really good ones recently such as: Insidious (2010), Saw (2004), The Conjuring (2013), The Babadook (2014), It Follows (2014), You’re Next (2011), Let The Right One In (2008), The Descent (2005), Cabin in the Woods (2012), Shaun of the Dead (2004) to name a few. And were any of them found footage films: HELL NO!!!
It’s an invite for every talentless, breathing moron with a camera who think they can become a filmmaker. Don’t bother writing a script or creating decent characters or storyboarding imaginative cinematic moments – just don’t bother because you can just tripod a camera and PRETEND its close-circuit TV or a cameraman or videographer! Even horror legend George Romero got sucked into the talent vortex with the atrocious Diary of the Dead (2007) and Oscar winner Barry Levinson too with The Bay (2012). Stop the world I’m getting off!!
Like rats in London you’re never too far away from a found footage film. There’s too many of them – they are a plague upon the culture and humanity overall. Please STOP watching them because as they are cheap to make they spawn rubbish sequels! They are like the appendix; utterly pointless but when they burst on the cinema screen they are poisonous, painful and one must immediately seek medical help.
10) FOUND FOOTAGE FILMS ARE NOT SCARY!
Perhaps in the darkened cinema you could be tricked into THINKING they are scary when a shadow, door or tree moves but they’re not. Overall they are as scary as a Panda in a bib!