An Opinion Piece On Found Footage Horror (Pt. 1)

You know how it goes. Someone finds a camera in the middle of nowhere, and they play the footage to reveal the previous owner and their friends exploring a seemingly innocent location, only to find great danger lurking underneath...

That's not really hyperbole. That's the plot to a lot of these found footage movies, and while the execution can be great, often I feel boredom watching the same plot with different variables.

So what is found footage? While it's defined as a film technique, it's become so tied to horror that it could be considered a subgenre. Employing a psuedo-documentary style, often using a first-person perspective and relying on diegetic sound to create a realistic effect, found footage horror wants you to feel like you're not watching a movie, but a recording.

The 1980 Italian film Cannibal Holocaust is widely considered to be the first found footage horror movie. With a heavy reliance on graphic violence, to say 'it was controversial' would be a massive understatement. The director was arrested under the belief that he had made a snuff film, and had to demonstrate the effects in court to prove he wasn't guilty.

However, that film wasn't the film that popularized found footage. Sure, it wasn't the only found footage film in the 80s and early 90s, but...well, the second found footage film was released nine years after Cannibal Holocaust, so it wasn't exactly a subgenre that broke into the mainstream and made every other studio say, "Hey, we should do that."

That is, until 1999.

Next time I'll ramble on about film budget and then loosely tie it to one of the most popular found footage films of all time.

Comments

Nicely done. - Therandom

Good start - Martinglez

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