DIRECTOR: Steven DeGennaro
WRITER: Steven DeGennaro
Alena Von Stroheim
Scott Allen Perry
A group of filmmakers set out to make the first 3D Found Footage film. With a small crew, they decide to head to their remote filming location and begin production. As the camera starts to roll, strange things start happening on set. The crew will soon discover that a dark entity has made its way into their movie and they will become part of their own horrific found footage film.
Word of mouth for Found Footage 3D has been around before I even started Schlock Horror back in early September of 2016. I follow Scott Weinberg on Twitter who stars as himself in the film. He's been actively promoting the movie for a good year and a half. So the movie has always been in the back of my mind. I've had it on my must-watch list for almost two years. So when I finally got given a screener for the movie by a friend, I decided to watch and review it.
I'm glad I saw the movie only just now and not last year when it was on the festival circuit doing the rounds. In 2016, I saw so many Found Footage movies that I was completely burnt out. Had I watched Found Footage 3D back then, I probably would have enjoyed the film even less than I did seeing it now. I think these days, it's hard to create a found footage movie and have it break a lot of new ground. With the sub-genre being done to death, it's hard to give us something we haven't yet seen.
What Found Footage 3D does get right is that this takes a meta-like approach to the found footage genre and tries to skewer and play on all the tropes that we've come to expect from the sub-genre. For the first hour and ten minutes, the movie plays like a comedy horror. We have a lot of the characters being self-aware during the escalating tension. I loved that they were name dropping other famous found footage movies. It was the element that set itself apart from most of the other films of this sub-genre.
The self-aware and meta element of the film may also be its downfall during the third act. The movie while setting itself apart goes and falls right back into everything that it's trying to skewer earlier on in the movie. The third act of the movie turns out to be like every other supernatural found footage movie over the last decade. Once all hell breaks loose, we get several minutes of violence, and the film ends. Just like all of the Paranormal Activities, The Final Project, They're Watching, etc. It just feels like it lost its way.
Another issue that I had with Found Footage 3D was that I couldn't connect to any of the characters in the film. The only one that I enjoyed was Scott Weinberg who turns up right before the movie descends into chaos. I loved that he played himself in the film. I thought it was very clever of the director/writer and added a real-world quality to the film. It's just a shame that the rest of the characters are all written so terribly when it came to their personalities. I found the bickering and the in-fighting to start to grate my nerves after it happens for the entire first and second act.
Found Footage 3D on a gore and violence level is kinda enjoyable towards the end of the movie. Watching someone being completely decimated by a demonic entity that looks like the smog creature from Lost wasn't half bad. We also see an entity burst through someone's chest. The movie does deliver in the third act when it comes to giving the gore hounds something bloody and violent. The Final Project from 2016, could have used this and it may have garnered a few points more from myself.
When it comes to the suspense and tension, I sadly found the film lacking. The movie played the comedic elements much better than the horror. I think where the film lacks scares is that the monster isn't all that scary. While it's all fun and games watching it obliterate a human. It's not spooky at all. It wasn't frightening on Lost, and it's really not scary here. Who knows though, someone out there may have a huge fear of smog creatures. If so, this movie is for you.
Lastly, we come to the visuals. I've watched my fair share of found footage movies. I think being found footage, you do run the risk of having a lot of scenes fall into shaky cam. While that happens in the third act, I think this still looked a lot more impressive than a lot of other found footage films that I've seen over the last year. I sadly didn't see the movie in 3D, so I can't say if the 3D makes this any better or worse. I don't know if the 3D affects the way the shaky cam plays out or not. In 2D, the movie was a pretty well-made film.
DEATH TOLL: 6
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A woman is hit in the head by a falling plank of wood.
- A man is slashed across the back.
- A woman is consumed by a demonic entity.
- A man is repeatedly hit in the head with a hammer.
- A demonic entity is seen breaking out of a man's chest.
- A man is attacked by a demonic entity.
- A woman wakes up with deep slashes across her arm.
- A kitchen is shown covered in blood and gore.
- A woman is hit and thrown by a demonic entity.
- A man's body is found dead in the woods.
- A body is picked up off the ground and dropped and exploded on impact.
Found Footage 3D sadly fell short for me. I had seen the movie being talked about for over a year on Twitter as I follow and respect Scott Weinberg. After watching the film, I think it has equal parts positives and negatives. The film adds a satirical and clever look at the found footage genre but in doing so, also falls right back into the tropes it pokes fun at. Sadly the comedic elements play a lot better than the horror stuff. One outweighs the other. Had they tried to blend both better, it may have felt less tonally uneven. Not the worst found footage movie but far from joining the ranks of The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. It won't break any new ground.