Monday, March 12, 2012

Found Footage Films Need To Stay Hidden

Sorry 'Blair Witch,' found footage films need to stay hidden
February 16, 2012 at 4:22 PM
By John Couture

Sometimes I really hate the Blair Witch. I know it's completely irrational to hate a fictional character that never even makes a single screen appearance in the 1999 movie that shares its name, but I don't care.

I hate the Blair Witch.

What I really hate about her is the overflowing abundance of found footage films that she has left in her wake. You know, those films, usually in the horror genre, that are presented in a way to make you think that the film was shot by the actors and simply found one day, blurring the lines between film and reality.

Cloverfield, the Paranormal Activity movies and this month's Chronicle are just some examples of over 50 films that you could classify in this "genre." And I get it. For horror films, it elevates the tension and suspense by thinking that anything can happen and it could be real.

But, it worked the first time. I would think that the feeling would dissipate as the proliferation of found footage films continues. I wouldn't know because I tend to stay away from found footage films as a general rule.

Next month, the dude who brought us The Hangover is taking the found footage idea to a whole new level when Project X hits theaters. For the first time, a comedy will be told through the lens of "found film." And if you've seen the trailer, you know that this is one party that definitely got out of hand.

Who knows? Maybe, this concept will actually work for comedy. Personally, I think it's just an excuse for shoddy camerawork. Or perhaps it's all a big ruse to keep Dramamine in business. All I know for sure is that it has to stop.

By many accounts, Chronicle was a pretty neat little take on the superhero myth grounded in reality. But did it have to told as found footage? Did that aspect of the movie make it more enjoyable?

I don't know, you'll have to tell me, because as I said, I try and avoid as much found footage films as possible.

June 26, 2012
I finally saw Chronicle yesterday and it further reaffirms that found footage films need to stay hidden.

Very impressive VFX (visual effects), but the story is kind of weak. I too am tired of found footage, but I saw a found footage film at the 2012 Maryland Film Festival that was pretty good called V/H/S. Read my review of V/H/S here

April 22, 2013
I finally saw Project X last weekend and it was really good! I enjoyed it and I enjoyed the camera work too! Read my full Mini Review here