Found-footage horror has been one of the most creative and provocative subgenres of horror since Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez released The Blair Witch Project in 1999. For your Halloween viewing, our guest writer Brooke Bennett has created a calendar of the best found-footage horror for you to watch in October. You can download the calendar as a pdf document (just in case you don’t get through them all in October). We hope you enjoy them–and feel free to jump onto the comments section and post your thoughts about our choices, along with any films we omitted. What found-footage horror films do you think should be on every horror fan’s list?
I have a confession. I love found footage horror and have an undying need to protect the often-maligned subgenre from criticism. I’m not trying to excuse the absolute tripe that sometimes passes for found footage horror, but hand on my heart, one example I feel that was dismissed a little too quickly and energetically by the horror community, is Unfriended (Levan Gabriadze, 2014).
In Unfriended, the internet is a place haunted by characters’ mistakes as much as the supernatural and the insidious potential of social media is at the heart of the film’s construction of fear. A large majority of critics received the film negatively on its release, suggesting that Unfriended was an example of found footage horror trying desperately to stay relevant by co-opting the aesthetics of social media into its repertoire after riding the surveillance-cam wave of Paranormal Activity for the past decade.