“i found a camera. i believe it belongs to a girl named leah sullivan. this is all the footage that was on the sd card unedited. i think she might be dead.” This is the text that opens The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan. And right out of the box it commits one of the flaws that bias me against found footage films. It gives away the ending. Its sins against the English language are another matter.
Leah Sullivan (Anna Stromberg, The 27 Club) is a journalism student living in a small town in Massachusetts. A small and boring town. The only thing of note that’s ever happened there was The Mulcahy Murders, the brutal killings of a family of four in their own home. And for her school project, she intends to solve the case.
She reconnects with Officer Patrick Rooke (Burt Grinstead, The Car: Road to Revenge, Death Race 2050) who had the hots for her in high school. He helps her with her investigation, using his position on the force to get her access to documents, etc. The results are a lot more disturbing than she could imagine.
The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan was written by Grinstead and Stromberg and directed by Grinstead. They also fill several other behind the scenes roles. It feels like they decided to make a film to showcase themselves after appearing in several less than stellar productions. They’re both fairly talented and the kind of generically attractive blondes the industry loves so it should help them in that regard.
As a film, The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan is fairly standard found footage fare. There’s a very small cast and most of the plot development comes from the interviews Leah does. This sets everything up for the last half hour when Leah and Patrick head back to the house.
I’m no expert, but I have my doubts that bloodstained carpets and bedding would have been left at a crime scene for thirty years. Or that they would be in such relatively good condition after all those years. But there they are and they’re not the only strange thing in the house. It takes right up until the last few minutes for The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan to fill us in on what is going on. I won’t spoil it but it was about the last thing I was expecting.
If you’re not a fan of found footage films this probably won’t do much to change that. The lack of extreme shaky cam and out of focus footage should make it easier to watch. If you are a fan of the genre, however, The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan should be right up your alley.
The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan will have its world theatrical premiere December 11th in L.A. The screening, which will be attended by cast and crew, is open to the public. Further theatrical screenings will be announced shortly. You can check the film’s website and Facebook page for more details.