“On April 19th, 2016, Deputy Leo Cole of the Darkbluff, Maryland Sheriff’s Department vanished after being dispatched to 11628 Hangmanor Rd. The next morning, his body camera was found.”
These words show up on the screen at the beginning of The Fear Footage, a film I was approached about reviewing on Instagram of all places. I agreed and a white-labeled Blu Ray in a case with minimal art and no credits arrived a few days later.
In those days I noticed there was nothing online about the film except the Instagram account and a trailer on YouTube. No website or Facebook page, not even an IMDB listing. Odd and kind of ominous in these days of social media and viral marketing.
The film has no credits either. We begin with Deputy Cole being called to investigated reports that a recently demolished house has mysteriously reappeared. Distinctly skeptical he enters the building and finds it apparently empty. He also finds a VCR set up with a tape labeled The Fear Footage which, of course, he decides to watch. The three segments on it, along with his experiences in the house between the segments make up the film.
Birthday Party – On the night before his 11th birthday, a boy gets an early present of a video camera. He also gets an early start on the celebrations in the form of a sinister clown outside the house. And eventually inside as well.
Storm Chasers – A group of storm chasers heads out to cover a rare weather event. They find themselves in greater danger than they expected from a murderous cult and the entity it worships.
Speak No Evil – A recovering addict sets a camera to record odd events outside his home to prove to his ex that he’s not using again. But what is the connection between the children’s voices he hears, a mass killing in a church? And with his own past?
The film ends as the lawman goes to leave and finds the house isn’t as empty as he thought.
It’s no secret I’m not a huge fan of found footage films. Especially when I know going in that I’m watching dead people walking. I may have to re-evaluate that position after watching The Fear Footage. I jumped more times during this film than I care to admit. Even when I knew what was
It’s not all jump scares though. There’s a genuine building of suspense and feeling of unease that comes with watching The Fear Footage. Maybe it’s just the result of an effective marketing noncampaign but I haven’t been this creeped out by a movie since Event Horizon. I’m half expecting my monitor to take on a life of its own once the sun goes down.
Running a little over an hour The Fear Footage is exactly what a horror film should be. Lean, fast-paced with effective visuals and excellent use of sound. The one complaint I have is some of the POV shots look grafted in from an early first-person shooter type game.