*31 Nights of Horror (#15) | 2017*
On this episode of The Nightly Chill:
Cinematico Magnifico continues his search for late-night scares beyond the walls of the Video Store With No Name, aka The Last Video Store on Earth. Tonight, we look at the found-footage horror flick about the making of a found-footage horror flick, Found Footage 3D!
Carter Roy and Alena von Storheim are Derek and Amy, a married couple on the outs producing a found-footage horror movie about a married couple on the outs producing a found-footage horror movie.
What we see, however, is all told from the perspective of Chris O’Brien’s Mark, who also happens to be Derek’s brother in charge of documenting the making of the movie-within-a-movie…and who also happens to be very much in love with his brother’s would-be ex-wife.
And what plays out is exactly what you might expect in the umpteenth Blair Witch Project knockoff that is Found Footage 3D.
The debut feature film by writer-director Steven DeGennaro, Found Footage 3D is incredibly impressive for someone with far more experience on the audio side of productions. And it’s a much better movie than one with such an uncreative premise and name has any right to be.
Aside from some solid audio work, the visuals are spot on, the film is well paced, and the characters are fairly layered if not all equally interesting.
In fact, a few questionable moments not withstanding, the performances are all spot-on. Scott Allen Perry in particular, as audio-guy Carl, steals the show with both his performance and a number of great lines.
(The audio-guy writing the movie gives the audio-guy all the best lines and small scenes. Isn’t that neat?)
Now, that having been said…
Found Footage 3D suffers greatly from being utterly predictable in regards to its story and plot. Because if you’ve seen the Blair Witch or any of its many other blatant knock-offs, you’ll know exactly how this all plays out, from start to finish.
DeGennaro presents some great characters, pulls out great performances from his actors, and has written some solid dialog for them. But the movie they’re in isn’t as smart or clever as it thinks it is. And it’s almost cynical levels of self-awareness–as funny as some of the jokes are–can’t compensate for or mask just how boring and predictable everything else is. The characters and humor are the best aspect of the material, and it all deserves to be in a much more inspired, original movie.
Now, that having been said…
Found Footage 3D is still a surprisingly fun, enjoyable watch. It’s a bit predictable to the point of annoyance at times. And the meta-humor is simultaneously unnecessary and a saving grace of what could have otherwise been a very well produced but otherwise insipid found-footage horror movie. But it’s not hard to sit through and enjoy on some level, even if you are going to figure out how everything plays out far ahead of schedule.
The movie is boring only because it’s so unoriginal. But the overall quality of everything else–the directing, the acting–really does make up for a lot. Not everything, but just enough.
If you’re a fan of found-footage horror movies or if something more fun than it is fresh is fine with you, then Found Footage 3D is certainly worth CHILLING with.