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 Posted:   Feb 19, 2012 - 9:01 AM   
 By:   Senojanaidni   (Member)

No Cloverfield is a great movie a strange mix of Godzilla and Rec with the background ot the 11 sept 2001, watch it in theatre but liked it more after seen it on tv.

 
 Posted:   Feb 20, 2012 - 5:18 AM   
 By:   Hercule Platini   (Member)


[2] The Big Lie. Found footage is supposed to be real but I've yet to see a single one where I even thought it might be. We know it's fake. I wasn't aware of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST when it came out so by the time I saw that movie I knew about the controversy and the technique, and the first of the new wave of FF films was THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT around which everyone was saying "it's real..." and "...they were never seen again!!!!" Bollocks. Even I know that if this was real, lawyers and law enforcement authorities would never allow the sale of the footage to a movie company.


I have to say, I am always surprised when I see this criticism of these movies. I've never gone into one of these thinking it was real. While I think some people were tricked into thinking BLAIR WITCH was, that's understandable in those "The Internet is this cool new thing!" days, due to the promoters of the movies studying how real events are portrayed online.

I look at what you wrote above and think, "Well, okay, but it's make-believe." Your objection to the style or lack of is comparable to folks who only like 'pretty' art, or fine art, or perfectly-proportioned paintings of old English estates.

All movies are big lies. Look at TV shows and films that use handheld cameras but AREN'T claiming to be found footage--those are all accepted as just variations on the artificial reality we're being presented with.



I don't agree that all movies are big lies. Where's the deception? They're not real, certainly, but crucually they're not claiming to be. In that respect there's no difference between a low-key independent horror movie and a big splashy Brian De Palma movie - they're fiction and they don't claim to be anything else. But the FF films ARE pretending to be real and to no great end - we know the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY series are as fake as either version of THE HAUNTING. The lie is the desperate claim that it's NOT a fiction when we know damn well that's precisely what it is. The lie is in Bob Weinstein's horseshit claim about APOLLO 18 that "We didn’t shoot anything. We found it. Found baby!"



The first hour or more of EVIL THINGS is literally watching someone's unedited home movie with bad camera angles, wobbles, things out of focus, everything reduced to indistinct blobs in the darker scenes and the incomprehensible images when someone's running with the camera still on.

What I enjoy about your post is that you've clearly explained what is your personal viewpoint without the phoniness of so many who claim they are speaking for the masses.

Here, you've touched on something many folks object to, but for me, things that are suggested, half-seen, are infinitely scarier and spookier than stuff shoved right at the viewer. In the case of these films, often we see something creeping by in the corner and someone says "Holy crap, what was THAT?!" It's a great, clever way of involving the audience that is unique to the form--the audience is asking the exact same questions because we've seen the exact same thing.



That's nothing you can't do in a regular feature film. Any of these FF offerings could have been made as a "proper" film - one with lighting and camera setups and edits and music scores. But when they're being done as FF they don't look any more real, they don't look any more terrifying. They just look ugly.


[4] Negating the auteur. It's been said that if an aspiring director wants to make a low-budget horror movie to kick off his/her career, then a FF movie is a good place to start. The nature of the project turns limited resources into an asset - no complex lighting and camera setups, no recognisable (and expensive) actors, no music score. You don't even need a DP as the cast will be shooting it all for you. But how can you expect to develop a career when the basis of your calling card is that you didn't actually do anything? The whole point of a FF movie is that it hasn't been directed, it hasn't been written, it hasn't been acted, it hasn't been lit, it hasn't been edited, it hasn't been scored. A found footage director is basically devoting all his energies to denying his own existence. What a twerp.

This is the best thing about FF films. No phony stylization, but the straightforward telling of a story done using a method that (key word) SEEMINGLY cuts through all the artifice. These movies are or can be as planned out and precise as any high-tech movie, but the viewer thinks it all just happens--just like a good jazz piece.



Well, I'm not a jazz fan - I don't object to it but wouldn't normally listen to it out of choice - particularly the harder, freeform jazz where the tune is lost. What's wrong with stylisation anyway? What's wrong with a De Palma or an Argento or a Hitchcock letting loose with the directorial flourishes?


Mainstream narrative film has been dying ever since the director thought he was the star. Very, very few directors have anything to say. If your example of a filmmaker who at least flags down the viewer and declares his existene is Michael Bay is correct, that in itself is an indictment of the auteur theory. Just because a director has something to say doesn't in itself mean he is doing a good job. In the case of a horror movie, an invisible style is just as significant and real and honest as a showier one.


My mention of Michael Bay was not that he's any good - although I like the first BAD BOYS and I will admit to a certain fondness for THE ISLAND - but an acknowledgement that in his movies, things do happen whereas nothing happens in the PARANORMALs. It's not to do with the director having anything to say - do any of them? You could just as well substitute a director with an understated style as one who overstates everything as Bay does. And I don't entirely buy into auteurism anyway; saying "A ******** Film" is a useful shorthand, the director's voice probably carries more than anyone else's, but as Leslie Halliwell pointed out, it's nonsense to ascribe all aspects of a film to the director and ignore the contributions from writers, producers, actors, DPs, effects teams, composers and editors. My problem with FF films is that they DO ignore all the contibutions from these people AND the directors, they end up as dull and stupid, they're not any scarier or more effective for the alleged lack of artifice, and they look awful.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2012 - 11:36 AM   
 By:   JSWalsh   (Member)

I don't understand the Big Lie position--the FF movies are merely coming at the Big Lie of all movies from a different angle. Movies attempt to show a world the viewer buys into through certain methods, and the same is for FF movies. I've never experienced this attempt to fool anyone beyond the level of showmanship. If what you claim is the case, there'd never be a single FF produced because of the false advertising lawsuits. I actually have to think you're just kidding about your supposed outrage over that. Your final comments show you like a certain KIND of contribution. You simply live in a different world than I do if you think these movies somehow ignore the contributions of technicians and such--I mean, no one truly believes these movies are FF. Again, I have to conclude you're just putting us on, in which case, your posts are ingenious 'found footage' artifacts on their own, and I have to applaud your cleverness.

Seeing how Ernest Hemingway is recognized as one of the most influential writers of the last century worldwide by writing in a style that could be described accurately as seeming to remove all evidence that an auteurist would cite as proof of one's authorship, I'd argue that a director trying to eliminate all the old auteurist cliches is the true artist. Real artistry--as opposed to phony decoration meant as an eye-wink to like-minded theorists--can't be removed, as it emerges from the true artist whether he or she likes it or not. And seeing how hundreds if not thousands of people not contribute to the near-infinite decisions that go into a movie, it's time to retire that laughable, harmful lie about the director being the 'author' of a film.

The auteur theory is for those too lazy to invest time examining each specific work, which is created by many individuals, working on levels and from motives unknown not only to themselves but to the 'auteur' who is supposedly expressing himself; that the resulting friction creates a work that is then credited only to the most obvious of those many individuals would be laughable if it were not so damaging.

While found footage movies may call for yet another debate on the auteur theory, I don't care to further discuss it here, a thread meant for folks who enjoy these movies. If you feel like discussing auteurism further, maybe that's a subject for another thread--"Found Footage and The Auteur Theory" or something--but I started this thread to see what others's favorites were, and that's where my focus will be here after this post. You and others will of course do as you like.

Currently on the to-watch shelf are THE FOURTH KIND, which someone has informed me here that it's not a FF type, but...I thought it was when I bought it. Also, a cheapie that looks bad but good, PRISON OF THE PSYCHOTOC DAMNED, and a documentary that supposedly has the tone these fictional films try to capture, CROPSEY.

 
 Posted:   Feb 21, 2012 - 12:02 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

The Fourth Kind almost goes a step farther in trying to blur the line between reality and film...I don't think it succeeds all that well, if I'm honest, but its still worth the price of admission...should have worked better...but still worth a watch

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 24, 2012 - 1:05 AM   
 By:   JSWalsh   (Member)

Man, I've created this tower of DVDs since starting this thread, and haven't had the opportunity to watch a single one of em! Better get to it this weekend before there's a cave-in. FOURTH KIND is first--he said again...

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2012 - 6:41 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Adding a couple of new ones into the mix....

The Dinosaur Project - enjoyed this quite a bit....it didn't really need to be "found footage" but it does at least have a framing device that allows (for once) the footage to be found reasonably convinvingly! Excellent effects for a Direct-to-DVD film...apart from one hysterical hand-puppet moment....there is just one scene towards the end when I wanted to shout at the screen "Who is supposed to be holding the bloody camera???" - but other than that faux-pas it's not bad....not bad at all.

Supernatural Activity - a kind-of "comedic" take on "Paranormal Activity", but...well....it's just shit. I've had funnier paper-cuts.

Looking forward to Paranormal Activity 4...

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2012 - 10:53 AM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

I liked George Romero's "you-are-there" approach in DIARY OF THE DEAD (2007). The vibe I got from it is similar to the vibe I got from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD when I first saw that in 1970. A kind of urgency and spontaneity. A realness.

DIARY OF THE DEAD is only five years old but I see it's influence on other films.

Richard

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2012 - 12:06 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Troll Hunter - finally gave this a spin...thoroughly enjoyed it...UK DVD includes (genuine!) English language track (which isn't bad) and the original Norwegian track with English subs (which I prefer)....lots of atmosphere, things unfold humourously to start with then - finally - become terrifying...was surprised to be quite so enthralled if I'm honest...beware the US remake which is on it's way.

 
 Posted:   Sep 28, 2012 - 1:30 PM   
 By:   Buscemi   (Member)

Not a horror film but I believe Trash Humpers to be the best of the found footage movies. Shot on VHS, it's a film that is so bizarre that it must be seen to be believed.

 
 Posted:   Oct 3, 2012 - 9:12 AM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

The Loast Coast Tapes - OK-ish found-footage yarn about skeptic going off to see a man who claims to have found a Bigfoot corpse...a decent first 10 minutes, followed by scene after scene of the usual...we never really get to see a bigfoot which is really a bonus since I think on this budget it would just look stupid....the movie picks up in the final 10 minutes to a good conclusion which comes totally out of left-field (though if you were paying attention earlier in the movie you might have seen where this one was going).

Evidence - enjoyable found-footage romp which actually - and rarely for this genre (for me at least) - gives you a chance to know and sympathise for some of the charatcers. The last 20 minutes is absolutely barmy!! Stick with this one - it's worth it (and stay tuned and attentive through the credits!).

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 3, 2012 - 11:52 AM   
 By:   Spence   (Member)

I recently saw Trollhunter and found it be comparable to Cloverfield. I liked Cloverfield, but liked Trollhunter even more so. The humor in TH was a good balance, and there were enough scares.

 
 Posted:   Oct 4, 2012 - 11:39 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

There is a new flick on the block receiving rave reviews - goes by the name of "VHS" (or "V/H/S" depending on what you read....onew to watch out for, apparently.

 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2012 - 12:17 AM   
 By:   Buscemi   (Member)

One of the directors of V/H/S also directed You're Next, which Lionsgate paid $6 million for last year (they've scheduled it for a release in August). It's not found footage but it was shot on handhelds. It was also shot a few hours from where I live (the director's first film was as well).

Another found footage movie that is forthcoming is Sinister. A mix of found footage and traditional horror (those scenes star Ethan Hawke and have Vincent D'Onofrio in support), early reviews have been strong.

 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2012 - 12:28 AM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Another found footage movie that is forthcoming is Sinister. A mix of found footage and traditional horror (those scenes star Ethan Hawke and have Vincent D'Onofrio in support), early reviews have been strong.

Yeeaaah...that one opens here today and has had a lot of publicity - more than usual for a film like this...looking forward to seeing that one!

 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2012 - 6:47 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

OK - so - Sinister....I still haven't made my mind up I guess!! Full of atmospehere, some genuinely scary moments, good performances, cracking denoument...but....I just couldn't get over the ridiculously conceited premise. And no matter how much I think "It's only a movie" etc etc....I still can't buy in to it. I will certainly buy it on DVD, and enjoy watching it again...and it will be one to relish on halloween...but....it's....just daft!

V/H/S...a fun set of found-footage and handheld-shot shorts with an unpleasant but adequate wraparound "morality tale"...certainly at it's best in the individual segements though I think....and when it is good, it is astonishingly good ("I like you...."....!!). There are not bad segements - just one or two mediocre...but never less than watchable.

 
 Posted:   Nov 14, 2012 - 7:20 PM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

The Kim Kardashian sex tape.

 
 Posted:   Jan 8, 2013 - 8:29 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Grave Encounters - TV crew on a "Most Haunted" type TV show film overnight in a derilict psychiatric hospital. And you pretty-much know where it's going right from there. An unexpected and knowing sense of style for the "Filming" segments helps to disarm the viewer for the fun stuff to come. And even though she was counting off the genre cliches (and there are many) the future Mrs 1138 jumped out of her bleeding skin at one point. Found this in the Bargain Bin at my local Asda (sorry, Wal-Mart) for £3 - worth every penny. Sequel is shit though, apparently. Will give it a go though...

Interestingly, Grave Encounters shares more than a passing resemblance to the somewhat tiresome Paranormal Incident - including several identical plot points. They were released within a few weeks of each other...I wonder which was filmed first....


Apparently The Bay is also worth a view - and is directed by no less than Barry Levinson! Looking forward to that one...

 
 Posted:   Feb 10, 2013 - 12:00 AM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

I hope no-one minds me carrying on posting my occasional thoughts on new ones I've come across? I don't want to turn this into yet another one-man thread!!

Hollow - a micro-budget British effort (set in the Suffolk village of "Dunwich" - I lol'd), that manages to muster some atmosphere, and is helped along by a serviceable script, but just never really makes it off the launchpad - possibly due to what I think are quite an unlikeable bunch of characters, and a lot of forcing-down-the-throat of the Camera POV...use it, but don't abuse it! To be fair though, I have seen a lot worse.

 
 Posted:   Feb 10, 2013 - 4:29 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Paranormal Activity 4 - finally caught up with this one....big fan of this series....but..oh, I don't know...maybe I'm missing something....part 3 was of course a prequel so 4 continues the timeline established by the first two movies. Nothing here to complicate things more....but - there's - just nothing at all....is there? Does this add anything to the story, really? Is there any furtherence of the story? Is there any innovation? Actually the answer to the last question is yes - there is innovation here - using the X-Box as a story-telling device is a bit of a stroke of genius I think...including one excellent blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment very early on. But there is little else here. It seems like filler (I know part 5 is on it's way). Part 5 needs to offer something different - some revelations, some plot-points answered, something new.

 
 Posted:   Feb 10, 2013 - 4:53 PM   
 By:   Buscemi   (Member)

There are two more Paranormal Activity movies in the works (the one hinted in the fourth film will not carry the Paranormal Activity name and will be called The Oxnard Tapes instead, because apparently Paramount thinks a Hispanic-themed installment will not fly with middle America). While Paranormal Activity 5 will probably be the same thing again, The Oxnard Tapes could be the shot in the arm that the franchise needs. Too bad the studio is using racism to prevent that from happening.

 
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