Browsing Tag

found footage

Posted on June 4, 2016

Sickhouse: Snapchat Meets Found-Footage

Dawn

NR   |   68 min   |   Hannah Macpherson  |   (USA)   |   2016

Sometimes I forget that Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez’s The Blair Witch Project (1999) is coming up on its twentieth anniversary. I shouldn’t, though, because I regularly teach the film in my Introduction to Horror class and I’ve increasingly found students are just bored by it.

There have been films that have attempted to “update” The Blair Witch Project (I thought Bob Goldthwait’s 2013 film Willow Creek was particularly good), but, in many ways, and with all its flaws, Hannah Macpherson’s Sickhouse may be the real heir to The Blair Witch Project. It’s Blair Witch for millennials, for those born not too long before the turn into the twenty-first century and who have lived intimately with social media for their entire lives.

You should watch this film, I think, for the stark generational differences it points out between teens today and those of us who saw Blair Witch in the theater. Also, for its moments of genuine raw power, as well as the undeniable innovation of telling its story entirely through Snapchat. And, lastly, if you haven’t yet heard of Sickhouse’s director, Hannah Macpherson, well, you need to. Read more

Posted on May 26, 2016

The Break-In (2016) Review

Dawn

NR   |   72 min   |  Justin Doescher  |   (USA)   |   2016

I watch a lot of horror films, including as many independent productions as I can. I forget many of them shortly after finishing them. I never make it through many others. But sometimes I find one that really surprises me—and those are the ones I tend to write about.

The Break-In, written and directed by Justin Doescher (who also stars), was such a surprising film: it pulled me in, made me want to keep watching—and then came at me with an ending I did not see coming and that I’ve been thinking about ever since. The Break-In is definitely low-budget, but if you’re mulling over whether or not to watch this film or spend the big bucks for the latest high-profile theatrical release, The Darkness, stay home and rent The Break-In.

As a testament to how interesting I think this film is, there are two parts to this review. Read the first part before you watch the film, and hopefully it’ll make you want to watch. The second half, below the big “Spoiler Alert,” are my thoughts on the film in light of its ending. You should come back and read that part after you’ve watched the film. Read more

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