M.L. Miller here! As I go into my tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Seven of my year-long Retro-Best in Horror I’m recapping the Countdown beginning officially on October 1, 2017 and going through September 30, 2018. I have posted Best of lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t! Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on October 12, 2017. Available on Blu-ray/DVD, On Demand, and digital download! Also streaming on SHUDDER!
FOUND FOOTAGE 3D (2016)
Directed by Steven DeGennaro
Written by Steven DeGennaro
Starring Carter Roy, Alena von Stroheim, Chris O’Brien, Tom Saporito, Scott Allen Perry, Jessica Perrin, Scott Weinberg, Doran Ingram, John Daws, Carlton Caudle
Find out more about this film here
I have a love/hate relationship with found footage films. If done well and made with the care to make things feel authentic, I can still be pulled right into the film. But ignore some key details or get sloppy and the film simply falls apart for me. FOUND FOOTAGE 3D seems to have gone the extra mile to make the viewer feel as if it is an actual documentary (which I’ll get into later) and also has a sense of humor to wink at the viewer who, like the filmmaker themselves, seem to have watched an unhealthy amount of found footage films.
A group of filmmakers set out to make the ultimate found footage film and just to make sure it goes the extra mile, the producer has purchased a 3D camera to make the strange happenings all come at ya’ from three dimensions. But once they make their way to a supposedly haunted locale and begin to set up their props to make their film, they realize that the place may actually be haunted!
FOUND FOOTAGE 3D sets out to accomplish something a film like BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLEY VERNON tried to do and make a meta film centering on the tropes of the found footage genre. All of the “rules” of found footage are both addressed and then shattered or exemplified throughout the film as if the film is going by a rulebook and then following up on those tropes with their own winking spin on it. For example, the filmmakers muse about how audiences crave authenticity, so no additional music or multiple angled cuts are taken to suggest the film has been processed and produced by an outside party. Sure, the footage is spliced together, but as far as making sure the film seems like untouched footage, it does feel accurate. Not only are tropes from found footage films addressed, but old tropes like the pariah warning the crew not to go to the locale to shoot offer up some of the biggest laughs in the film.
What amplifies this film’s potency for entertainment is the phenomenally talented cast. All around the film crew has fantastic comic timing, both in the way the story is written (and takes the genre seriously while at the same time lampooning it) and the comfortable and non-scripted way they interact with one another. The producer’s misguided interference with the director’s vision is something ripped straight from INCIDENT AT LOCH NESS where director Werner Herzog and producer Zak Penn battle it out over their distinctly different versions of what the film should be. Here, the director Andrew (Tom Saporito) is driven to the point of insanity by the vapid producer Derek (Carter Roy), with the rest of the cast picking sides along the way. This is a comedy of errors set in a world of horror and entrenched deeply into the genre it loves. It both pulls back the curtain to show the turbulent happenings with the makings of film and entertains as a film excellently.
FOUND FOOTAGE 3D is a film definitely made by horror fans for horror fans. The more you know about horror, the more you’re going to love it. As a found footage film, it works AND it offers up the same sort of statement SCREAM did for the slasher trend. That said, while SCREAM seemed to have an air of superiority towards those slasher films it mocked, FOUND FOOTAGE 3D applauds the genre and enthusiastically gives the subgenre a well-needed adrenaline shot in the arm. Yes, it takes the found footage technique into a ridiculous level by introducing 3D, but that’s what makes it so much fun. If there’s a complaint, I have to say skip the trailer below because I feel it reveals way too much of the best moments of the film. By far, this is the best-found footage film of the year and one of the best ever.
THE 2017-2018 COUNTDOWN!
#16 – FOUND FOOTAGE 3D
#17 – DOWNRANGE
#18 – BLACK HOLLOW CAGE
#19 – HAPPY DEATH DAY
#20 – MOM & DAD
#21 – THE LANDING
#22 – TONIGHT SHE COMES
#23 – THE RITUAL
#24 – THE BABYSITTER
#25 – MARROWBONE
#26 – BETTER WATCH OUT
#27 – THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD
#28 – BE MY CAT: A FILM FOR ANNE
#29 – PYEWACKET
#30 – TERRIFIER
#31 – MAYHEM
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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