Reportage November (2022) Review
Reportage November opens with new reports about the disappearance of a woman and her infant daughter. The mother is eventually found in a horrifying state, but there’s no trace of the child despite a widespread search.
A reporter, Ola (Jonas Lundström), is approached by media company WP, who are convinced the police aren’t telling everything they know. They want him to take a crew into the woods and find out what they’re covering up. He then recruits Linn (Signe Elvin-Nowak, Dawning of the Dead, Who Owns an Idea), Yasmin (Isabel Camacho, Atrophy), and Joakim (Cristian Åsvik, Door Unlocked, Leave Package Inside, A Short Film About Squaid) and they head to Nothern Sweden looking for answers.
After an interview with Michael (Johannes Yachouh, The Unthinkable, Kärleksbitter), the dead woman’s fiancé, raises more questions than it answers, their driver mysteriously bails on them. The distraught Michael, however, offers to drive them to the location where she was found. It’s an offer they’re going to wish they declined.
Director Carl Sundström (Safe Haven, Finally Alone) has said that Cannibal Holocaust was an influence on him so it’s not a surprise that his first feature, Documenting the Witch Path as well as Reportage November are mockumentaries. He and co-writer Nathaniel P. Erlandsson up the ante on the previous film, however. The first half is the kind of slow burn you expect from a found footage film or faux documentary. They find odd symbols on rocks, hear a strange noise in the woods, the usual Blair Witch style ambiguity.
“Many years ago when I got my first glance of the second act of Cannibal Holocaust, I felt that faux documentaries was the best ways of touching the audience deep inside. A way to create a genuine feeling through a documentary format and bring the horror out from the screen into the real world.”Carl Sundström
But once it hits the halfway mark, Reportage November becomes more like a traditional monster movie as we find out that there is definitely something out there. And what’s out there is not only creepy looking but very hungry. There’s a subplot concerning its origin as well that’s a bit clichéd however and intentionally left unresolved, possibly as an opening for a sequel.
Cinematographer Mikaela Stenström (Isolering) makes the most of the dark forest and the interiors of the abandoned building much of the last act takes place in. We don’t see the creature (Erik Sundström, Finally Alone) that often, and she helps create the feeling that it’s always somewhere nearby. One thing I didn’t like about it, however, is since much of the crew’s footage is shot with a handheld DSLR, there’s a lot of shaky footage.
I also wish they had done more with the mockumentary angle. Reportage November comes off as more of a found footage film with a couple of interviews spliced in than a documentary. A few minutes of shaky walking through the woods’ footage could easily have been sacrificed for another interview like the one with the nurse.
But these are minor issues, and for some of the more devoted found footage fans might actually be more of a plus. For a film that looks to have been shot on a shoestring and with several of the cast working behind the camera as well, Reportage November is a solid film that fans of monster movies and conspiracy films as well as found footage aficionados can enjoy.
Terror Films will release Reportage November to VOD and Digital platforms on October 14th. It will be available on Terror Films’ YouTube channel starting October 20th at 6 PM PST with a live chat. You can check their Facebook page or the film’s page for more information. And you can check FilmTagger for more found footage films.