Now I love movies. I love watching them, talking about them and I love doing movie quizzes. I like watching comedies, action or Sci-Fi. I love horror and will watch pretty much anything if someone says I'll enjoy it.
Still, there isn't a genre in film that is more divided amongst movie goers than the 'found footage' films. Some people find them cheap looking and the sudden camera movements can make some feel sick. Others find them innovative and enjoy the indie style.
With The Blair Witch Project being known as starting the genre, there are a few that came before, most famously is Hannibal Holocaust. Another one I found terrifying as a kid was Incident at Lake County. The trend picked up momentum over the last decade or so with the Paranormal Activity films. Once few and far between, now there are two or three of these types of film released every year by the big studios and loads more can be found on the VOD services. Due to the cheap and easy style, lots of young film makers have made this type of film as their first project.
How do I feel about them?
I happen to fall on the positive side of the argument. I feel although not as original as they once was. If done right they can tell stories in new and different way. It also helps Anyways I wanted to give my three top picks that might change your mind (for the better) on the genre. These aren't in no particular order, they are just three films I had to own on blu-ray after watching them.
Starting with the only indie film on the list. It's about two friends who plan a world trip because one of them is terminally ill and wants to travel more before it's too late. They also plan to film and make a vlog of their trip (Hence the cameras). Anyways something happens to the one who is ill and he starts changing, so they start to document his change. It's a horror and has a few good scares. Made on a budget of $318,000. The film is well acted and the effects are excellent. I found this while searching Netflix for decent horrors. The reason I rate it so high in the genre is because of it's originality, not in just in the found footage genre but it's new and fresh take on vampires. If you liked vampires before they took off their shirts and twinkled, if you love you vampire flicks to be horror and not teen romance then watch this.
2. Project Almanac
Now I remember seeing the trailers for this when it was being released. I like the idea of time travel (Big Back To the Future Fan) and the it looked good but then I forgot about it. That was until I was trying to think of the Ethan Hawke time travel film to watch (Predestination). I found this instead and enjoyed it very much. The main character was a given quite a deep back story so his decisions in the film were believable (for a film about time travel). Like many film goers these days, I was a bit worried when I saw 'produced by Michael Bay' but at least this film didn't mess anything from with my childhood (Transformers, TMNT).
Like some time travel films the plot can get a little tricky for some to follow. Though it's definately worth a watch, just to see kids messing about with time travel and the ramifications that comes with it.
Another genre of movies I love is comic book movies and Chronicles mixes the two very well. Having a found footage film with so much effects should've made it lose it's 'amateur-ish' look, but it doesn't. It only makes the film more unique. Starting with an outcast, who hangs around his cousin. Then three of them gain powers and they discover and expand them while becoming friends. The cast is led by Dane Dehaan and Michael B. Jordan.
Both went on to star in other comic book movies that killed their franchises. (ASM 2 and Fant4astic) I would say if you wanted to see them in a good 'superhero' movie watch this, but Michael B. Jordan was brilliant in Black Panther this year. So just watch and enjoy.
Honorable Mentions - Cloverfield, Trollhunter, Unfriended, Willow Creek and Creep.