In 2018, I received an unmarked envelope containing a Blu-ray and a short note. The film on that disc was The Fear Footage and it was fucking awesome. If you’re into found-footage and haven’t seen that one yet, you are severely fucking up. So, when I heard about the upcoming sequel titled The Fear Footage 2: Curse of the Tape I was excited to see a continuation of the story. So, I didn’t even think twice about the bloody VHS tape that I found under my pillow a couple of days ago. I just hit it with a baby wipe one good time and tossed it in my VCR.
Where Did It Go?
I’m glad I did, too. The story follows a couple of guys who discovered The Fear Footage and saw themselves on it. Neither of them remembers recording the footage. They come together and search for answers.
A lot is going on in this movie. Not only is it a continuation of the story of the infamous tape, but there is also some world-building going on. Both films take place in a town called Dark Bluff, Maryland. In The Fear Footage 2, we get to see a little more of the town, meet some of its residents, and learn some of the town history. At the same time, there is a fair amount of character development. After about the fifteen-minute mark it’s pretty much a 2-man show. Those guys work well off of one another the whole time; the relationship that they have seems natural and believable.
What I Liked
One of the things that I loved so much about The Fear Footage was that the jump scares really worked; I can’t remember the last movie that made me jump so many times as an adult. The Fear Footage 2: Curse of the Tape has just as many jumps and jolts as its predecessor and they are just as effective. I know that a lot of people tend to think of jump scares as lazy or cheap but this series proves that there is an art to making them work. The way this film builds tension has as much to do with the effectiveness of the scares as the editing and makeup effects.
These films are immersive as all hell. I love that. There are no credits and even on IMDb, no cast is listed. You get the bumpers in the beginning and end telling you about the circumstances under which the tape was found and a call to action to report the information about the missing people. Even in online interactions, the social media presence for these films remains in character and adds to the overall experience of the films. I love the fact that writer/director Ricky Umberger is so dedicated to building the world and lore for these two films. His passion for the project shows in every single frame.
A Litter Deeper…
There’s more to this film than ghosts and ghouls, though. The Fear Footage 2 is one of the most thought-provoking found footage movies ever. Both films hint at some deep lore just below the surface and this film really begins to expand on it. The movie doesn’t present questions that have no answers; it presents a mystery and gives you just enough clues to pull you into the story. I personally think that it’s some sort of interdimensional crossover phenomenon or something, but I’ll get more into that when I record an episode of Rancid Rants and Reviews about this one (which is happening soon).
Honestly, I am looking forward to the day when this series is used as an example of found footage films instead of The Blair Witch Project. This film takes things that I don’t like about other similar films and makes them work. Jump scares and glitch effects usually make me roll my eyes but in this film, they’re handled correctly. The Fear Footage 2 takes the classic found footage formula and makes it feel fresh again.
All In All…
All in all, would I recommend this film? You’re goddamned right I would. Out of all the found footage movies I’ve seen this is one of my favorites; it’s right up there with the first in the series. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to wait to check this one out. The official release date for The Fear Footage 2 is March 13th which just so happens to be the first Friday the 13th of the year. That’s a perfect day to become cursed.