With Halloween season here, one of the most popular genres of horror filmmaking is found-footage horror films. These movies utilize the first person point of view, as they normally include someone holding a video camera and taping the events as they unfold, and all the audience sees is what the characters are filming at that time. Here is a look at some of the key found footage films in cinema history to watch for a scare this Halloween.
“Cannibal Holocaust” – While most people consider “The Blair Witch Project” to be the first found footage horror film, they have existed for years. The most popular classic film in this genre has to be the 1980 Italian horror movie, “Cannibal Holocaust.” This movie follows a documentary film crew who heads to the Amazon to capture footage of cannibal tribes, only to become their prey.
“The Blair Witch Project” – The movie that started the recent craze was “The Blair Witch Project” in 2000. This movie, shot on an extremely low budget of under $1 million, tells the story of a documentary film crew headed out to shoot a movie about the legend of the Blair Witch. The movie ended up making $248 million at the box office, one of the most successful independent films of all time.
“Cloverfield” – J.J. Abrams took the found footage genre and made it his own in his sci-fi monster movie, “Cloverfield.” In this film, a group of friends were having a going away party when suddenly alien monsters attack New York City. The kids go on the run, trying to survive, while the military tries to defeat these monsters.
A found footage monster movie from Norway came out two years later called “Troll Hunter,” mixing the best parts of “Cloverfield” and “Blair Witch Project” into one great movie.
“Paranormal Activity” – While it looked like found footage horror movies was running out of steam, the new Halloween staple “Paranormal Activity” proved there is still miles in the genre’s legs. Instead of just using handheld cameras, this movie adds in security monitors, baby monitors, and more to give the filmmakers more options when showing the events unfolding in the haunted house.
“Chronicle” – In 2012, a new found footage movie hit theaters that mixed the genre with that of the superhero movies. It also gave the genre a boost when they used special tricks to allow the filming to look more like a regular movie. In “Chronicle,” a group of teens get superpowers and head out to have fun with them. They use telekinesis to record their activities with floating cameras. It remains one of the best found footage movies to date.