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MOVIE REVIEW: Found Footage 3D (2016)

By Dixielord

I don't make a secret that I'm not a fan of the found footage subgenre. In fact lately I have pretty much came to hate it. There aren't many found footage films I enjoy, among those few, the spectacular *Rec (and it's first sequel), the original Blair Witch Project, and, to lesser degrees Cloverfield and Quarantine (the American remake of *Rec). However most of the films, especially lately are just gimmicks, and found footage is a cheap way for "filmmakers" to churn out a quickie horror film. Many times recently I have wished the genre would just go away.

The synopsis of Found Footage 3D is that a group of friends and associates set out to make the world's first 3-D found footage film. It is of course a horror movie, and the old farm they choose to shoot at is, naturally, reported to be haunted. While personal demons threaten to tear the crew apart, they are also stalked by something more sinister, something supernatural.

So I feel kind of strange writing a positive review for a found footage film, but that's what I'm in the process of doing. The movie is Found Footage 3D. Which makes it a double whopper since I'm not really into the 3-D craze and its inflated prices. Another gimmick. So I sat down to watch this not really expecting much. Even though the found footage concept started to annoy me early on, I found myself laughing at the jokes, and getting into the story. Seeing it on a small screen at a festival I really can't comment on the 3-D other than, once again, I started laughing at the comedic references to them.

Found Footage 3D takes the Scream approach of exploring the rules of horror. Fittingly enough it's the rules of Found Footage horror. Hearing the characters explain and complain about the same points in found footage that I hate and find annoying drew me in. I found myself laughing (at the right times) over and over.

Fans are screaming for Found Footage 3D

Now with all this laughing someone is surely saying "Wasn't this supposed to be a horror film?" Well it is, it's just a horror punctuated with some well placed humor. The first half of the movie is pretty bare on horror elements, but the last 15-20 minutes is a hyper bloodbath of slaughter. I was lured into the slow, relaxed pace and when it went bad it took me by surprise. It happens fast folks, and it's pretty bloody. At least three people in the row behind me screamed at the final scene. I deny screaming, but I did jump even though I knew what was coming. Mini spoiler it's similar to the ending of Paranormal Activity but more effective.

But it's not a perfect film (here he goes). It's still a found footage film, and the same things that annoy me in found footage films, annoyed me in Found Footage 3D. The shaky cam, the always on camera, and basically knowing the outcome the moment you realize it's found footage. Still the fact the crew was self aware, to some extent alleviated these issues. I also had hard time following the plot of the film they were shooting and exactly how it related to the film I was watching. And the ending, as mentioned, I saw it was coming, it was telegraphed pretty well in advance, but hey it still worked for me.

The acting was better than in most found footage movies, special shout out to Scott Allen Perry who seemed at times to be channeling Zack Gallafanakis, but in comedic timing and beardness. Also shout out to Alena Von Stroheim who was drop dead gorgeous and portrayed a sympathetic and likeable victim and possible antagonist. And, lastly, one of the funniest scenes of the film involved John Daws and Doran Ingram as the "old timers".

So while I don't like found footage films, and the subgenre still annoys me, I cant deny that I really enjoyed this film. The laughs (and jumps) speak for themselves. It's not your typical low budget excuse to for a real movie by picking a cheap subgenre. It's an attempt to make a good movie with a much maligned (rightfully so IMO) subgenre, and it's a successful attempt.

These guys....Found Footage 3D

I'm going to give it a 7 out of 10 for rising above the found footage subgenre, but still keeping some of its annoying peculiarities. Found Footage 3D was directed and written by Steven DeGennaro. It stars Alena Von Stroheim and Carter Roy.

Posted by Allen Alberson

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