Director: Gregory Plotkin
Starring: Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw, Ivy George, Dan Gill, Olivia Taylor Dudley
You can’t save them. All you can do is watch.
Director: Doron Paz, Yoav Paz
Starring: Yael Groblas, Yon Tumarkin, Danielle Jadelyn, Dibi Ben-Yosef, Ido Di Capula
On judgement day, hell shall inherit the earth
Sarah has been through some rough times after the death of her brother. To get away from the grief, she and her friend Rachel goes on a summer vacation to Tel Aviv in Israel. On the plane to Israel, they become friendly with a handsome anthropologist and they decide to skip Tel Aviv and rather head out to Jerusalem.
They are having the time of their life until weird stuff starts to happen around the city. They could not have chosen a worse time to visit the city as the apocalypse itself unfolds right in the center of the city. The end of the world is starting and the only way to have a chance of survival is to get out of the city before it is locked for good or destroyed from the inside.
Directors: Justin Benson, Gregg Bishop, Aaron Moorhead, Marcel Sarmiento, Nacho Vigalondo
Starring: Emilia Ares Zoryan, Justin Welborn, Gustavo Salmeron, Nick Blanco, Jayden Robinson
Mayhem goes viral
V/H/S: Viral is the third (and perhaps final?) entry to the found footage anthology saga. A franchise about found tapes (well, most are actually shot digitally and not on good old tapes) that have disturbing effects on those who watch them.
The wrap-around story this time around is about Kevin who is obsessed with filming his girlfriend Iris all the time on his digital camera. When they see a news report about a police chase that are coming close to their neighborhood, Kevin quickly decides to run out to film the events. The police are chasing an Ice Cream truck and when it goes past Kevin’s house Iris suddenly disappears. Kevin tries to hunt down the truck to find out what is going on and what’s happened to his girlfriend.
Director: Adam Robitel
Starring: Jill Larson, Anne Ramsay, Michelle Ang, Ryan Cultrona, Anne Bedlan
Evil lives within you
A documentary team is assembled to make a documentary about Deborah Logan, an elderly woman who is suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease and only has her daughter Sarah to help her in her daily life.
Deborah slowly starts to show very aggressive behavior that can’t only be attributed to her disease, and when there even starts to be some supernatural activities surrounding her and the camera crew, they know for sure that there is something more at work within Deborah, and it is surely something very evil.
The Taking of Deborah Logan is another found footage possession film, a subgenre in itself that I have grown to be tired of by now. But due to the positive feedback this film has gotten and the interesting premise of using the Alzheimer disease I decided that perhaps there is something unique in this film that can set it apart from all the others.
Director: Christopher Landon
Starring: Katie Featherston, Molly Ephraim, Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz, Catherine Toribio
Jesse Arista is a young teenager living in a mexican neighborhood in California. He gets a digital video camera as a graduation gift and quickly becomes fascinated by it and documents practically everything he does in his life with it.
Together with his sister Marisol and his best friend Hector, he starts to investigate a strange death in an apartment on the ground floor that might be blamed on a bruja, a latin name for a witch. They come in contact with a spirit that will start to affect Jesse badly, and his friends and family is worried that he might be the next victim.
The Marked Ones is the fifth entry, sixth if you also count the unofficial japanese sequel, into the very popular Paranormal Activity franchise. It’s not called Paranormal Activity 5 since it is presented more as a latin based spinoff, even though after seeing it I can’t really see any reason why they couldn’t just slap the number five tag on it since it does play in the same world as the main story from the previous four films.
aka: Paranormal Investigations 3
Director: Shane Van Dyke
Starring: Shane Van Dyke, Erin Marie Hogan, Fia Perera, Normal Saleet
The Finley “Murder” Tapes
Thomas Finley has been convicted of murdering a psychic named Dr. Edgar Lauren. And even worse than that, he is also convicted of raping and murdering his big sister Samantha. Not long after the conviction, Thomas decides to give up on life and commits suicide in prison.
Some tapes are found at their house where Thomas has been filming strange happenings around in his house, especially something tormenting his sister. Their mother Ellen believes at first that all of these happenings can be blamed on the ghost of her late husband David, but after a while these attacks start to get very violent…
When Paranormal Activity became a huge success in cinemas all around the world, it was only a matter of a few weeks before a bunch of independent filmmakers decides to copy the formula and create their own found footage ghost movie. The concept of filming a haunted house movie with a handheld camera makes it look easy and it is a very cheap way to create a film.
original title: C’est Arrivè Près de Chez Vous
aka: It Happened in Your Neighborhood
Director: Remy Belvaux, Andre Bonzel, Benoit Poelvoorde
Starring: Benoit Poelvoorde, Malou Madou, Remy Belvaux, Andre Bonzel, Jean-Marc Chenut
A killer comedy
A group of amateur filmmakers has decided to create a documentary where they follow the daily life of a serial killer. They get in touch with Ben (short for Benoit), a charming poetic man in his thirties who enjoy the finer things in life, a good film, a great meal and also to murder off random people to create a decent income for himself.
During the production the crew and Ben becomes close and developes a great friendship. It even goes so far that the crew gets involved in the illegal activities of Ben and he in return becomes an investor of their documentary. The problem now is, how can they wrap this story up?
Man Bites Dog is a small Belgium movie that has gathered some recognition over the years, especially with the excellent Criterion DVD release. It is shot in black and white and takes advantage of the handheld camera style several years ahead of The Blair Witch Project.
Director: Christopher Denham
Starring: Adrian Pasdar, Cady McClain, Amber Joy Williams, Austin Williams, Lucian Maisel
I dare you to watch until our movie is done
The Poe family consists of four members. David is the father of the family, Clare is the mother and together they have two young children, one boy named Jack and one girl named Emily. They have a normal looking life, living in a big house out by the woods of the upstate New York.
David loves to videotape and document their daily lives and the tapes show that everything isn’t as idyllic that they would have liked it to be. The strangeness of the Poe family is slowly revealed while we watch all of their home movies… they are not your usual family, but who is really the evil ones?
The found footage genre in 2013 is filled with Paranormal Activity ghost movie ripoffs. Home Movie however is an entirely different entity. It takes the found footage concept and uses it to deliver a new and original story to the viewer. It goes for a slow-paced creepiness and nearly succeed 100% in delivering something great to the audience.
Director: Joe Smalley, Tess Smalley
Starring: Josh Folan, Chris Perry, Natalie Wetta, Keithen Hergott, Eleanor Wilson
This is their final footage
The crew of Paranormal Inspectors take pride in setting themselves apart from the rest of the bunch by focusing on debunking the paranormal activities that occur in supposedly haunted places. When they get a chance to investigate the ghostly happenings in one of the most famous haunted asylums of America, they can not wait to begin working on debunking the myth.
However, when they arrive they notice that they are not alone. A rival TV crew from another show called The Academia Spirit Searcher’s Club has also been hired to check out the place. This crew is filled with true believers of the paranormal and it doesn’t take long before the two crews start to fight, but what they are not aware of is that there really is a third entity in the asylum and they are all in danger of not surviving the night.
Directors: Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans, Gregg Hale, Eduardo Sanchez, Timo Tjahjanto, Adam Wingard
Starring: Adam Wingard, Lawrence Michael Levine, Devon Brookshire, Fachry Albar, Hannah Hughes
Who’s tracking you?
V/H/S 2 is the sequel to the very popular found footage anthology film V/H/S that came out only a year ago. The producers took the feedback of the first one serious and made this one have four segments instead of five and it generally feels like a much better produced bunch of segments this time around. While they might be technically better though, it does lose a bit of the indie-feel that the first one had. These collections of tapes is actually surprisingly sharp and that does remove some of the point of it supposedly being on VHS tapes, but even the first had problems with that even though they both looked and felt more like VHS tapes than this one does.
As with the first one, the arc story isn’t very good. This one is called Tape 49, which is interesting since the wraparound in the first one was called Tape 56, hinting that this might actually be a prequel. It follows two private investigators who are trying to locate a missing young student. When they enter the home of the student, they find it to be abandoned with plenty of VHS tapes, TV sets and a laptop that are filled with several short clips.