Phoenix Film Festival 2017: Found Footage 3D

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Found footage movies are hit or miss for me. When they’re good, they’re good, but when they’re bad, oh boy. It seems more like a gimmick most of the time as opposed to something that serves the story. One of my least favorite camera techniques is the shaky cam, for the same reasons as stated above, although the shaky cam actually serves a purpose. Found footage actually incorporates the shaky cam into that, because it’s a hand-held camera (duh). My chief complaint is that I don’t know why the hell people continue to hang on to the camera when shit starts to go down. Chronicle does a good job of answering that, as does End of Watch. If you run in the same Twitter circles as I do, then you’ve probably heard of Found Footage 3D. When people rave about a movie, of course I have to see it. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see it in 3D, but more on that later.

Found Footage 3D is the Scream of found footage movies. It’s completely aware of itself. It’s also a found footage movie about making a found footage movie. At the beginning of the movie the fictional filmmakers set out to make a found footage movie that will set itself apart from others in the genre, so they decide to shoot the first 3D found footage movie. They set out to film this haunted house style movie in a cabin in the woods that also happens to be haunted. Of course it is. And then the hijinks ensue.

While the movie rises to the top in relation to others in the genre, with its self-aware humor, it does still fall into the same pitfalls as other found footage movies. When dealing with horror movies of this sort I find that the scares are kind of lacking, as the style prohibits any branching out. This entry is no different. At the beginning it’s funny, and the chemistry of the characters drives the movie along until the actual scares arrive. But when it’s scary time, it is scary.

I was not able to see this in 3D, which is a blessing and a curse. Along with the found footage genre, I find 3D to be a gimmick. The type of 3D I want to see is where shit jumps off the screen at you, I don’t really care for the “added dimension.” Every once in a while something comes along that needs to be seen in 3D. I’ll see movies in 3D if that’s how the filmmakers intended, like Avatar or Found Footage 3D. In this case it was a bummer that I wasn’t able to view it as intended.

The areas in which the movie tries to satirize, for lack of a better term, it really excels. Unfortunately, with the limitations of the genre it can’t escape every trope, but its expert craftsmanship helps it transcend those pitfalls.

 

Synopsis: Six filmmakers set out to make “the first 3D found-footage horror movie”, but find themselves *in* a found-footage horror movie when the evil entity from their film escapes into their behind-the-scenes footage.

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Jim Lincoln (The Film Department)

A man of mystery and power, whose power is exceeded only by his mystery. Writer of things. Watcher of stuff. Quoter of movies. Master of puppets.

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