The Fear Footage is a found footage anthology that follows Deputy Leo Cole of the Darkbluff, Maryland Sheriff’s Department as he investigates a mysterious house. Turns out, this house had been demolished one year before and residents started calling the police when they noticed that the previously empty plot was once again occupied by the no-longer-demolished house. Deputy Cole’s night goes all to hell when he finds a VHS tape in a VCR in the seemingly empty house. He was never seen again and his body was never found, only his cruiser, weapon, and body camera.
My short list of favorite types of horror movies includes both anthologies and good found footage films. I feel like the distinction there is important because found footage is, in my experience, either a great time or a great big pile of dog shit. This one happens to be a good found footage anthology. Not only is it good, it’s damn good. The Fear Footage is an example of how to make a low budget found footage film work.
One of my favorite things about found footage is when you can feel the dread coming from behind the camera. You can hear the fear in their breathing and see it in their movements. There’s something about experiencing things from that first person point of view that, when done right, really does it for me. The Fear Footage delivers the dread in spades. From the overarching story to the shorts that Deputy Cole watches, you can feel the fear. With every new segment, the tension builds a little more and the payoffs are excellent.
Let’s take a minute and talk about what this movie doesn’t have. The two things that are absent from The Fear Footage are pointless shaky-cam and cheap jump scares. There’s some shaky-cam but that’s all part of building the atmosphere and it is used as a valuable tool not a crutch to help boring scenes limp along. The same is true with the jump scares. Of course there are some jump scares in this movie but they hit the mark damn near every time. I can’t remember the last time a movie made me jump like The Fear Footage.
Overall, The Fear Footage is one hell of a ride. The acting is solid, the stories are interesting, and the atmosphere is so thick you could cut it with a rusty knife, it’s found footage done right. You can own this gem on Blu-ray this summer and I highly recommend it.
You can check out the trailer here.