If you are headed to the movie theater to catch the latest flick, chances are you’re going to see any number of found footage horror movies. Compared to top dollar horror productions, many directors find the found footage genre to be the perfect opportunity to create a successful, bone-chilling horror films without a million dollar budget. Not only are these types of films budget conscious, but they provide a fresh take on how to terrify an audience.
However, due to monetary constraints that often coincide with the sub-genre, directors and producers must create a film that provides a unique take on the shaky cam style—and that is not always an easy feat. Many found footage horror films have flopped due to lackluster effects, poor cinematography, and the natural constraints that come with the style of filming. On the opposite end, there are a few found footage movies that have put this style on the horror map.
Here are nine of those ground breaking – and terrifying – films.
Table of Contents
1) Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
For those who grew weary of the Paranormal Activity series by the ending of the third film, have no fear…the fifth installment breaths fresh life into this shudder-inducing franchise. This movie centers around eighteen year old Jesse who discovers he is part of a larger, diabolical plot where an evil entity has targeted him. He, along with a group of friends, must race to save his soul from the malevolent spirit.
2) Lovely Molly
Lovely Molly was filmed in 2012 and follows a young couple who have just been married. Molly and her husband, Tim, move into Molly’s childhood home. Recovering from an addiction to heroin, Molly soon begins to exhibit strange behavior.
Her husband and Molly’s sister are helpless as they watch Molly’s descent into madness and violence. Who will survive Molly’s wrath? You’ll have to see it to find out.
Many people who are fond of the found footage sub-genre have seen the 2008 film Quarantine, without realizing it is an adaptation from the Spanish film Rec which came out a year prior. This film follows reporter Angela, who along with her camera man, is following a group of firefighters as part of a televised series. Angela follows the firefighter when they answer a call about a distressed woman who is locked in her apartment.
When they finally enter the apartment, the woman bites one of the crew members. Chaos and terror ensues as one by one residents of the complex become infected by a inexplicably violent disease.
4) As Above So Below
This film centers around a young woman named Scarlett who wishes to pursue her father’s lifelong dream of finding the Sorcerer’s Stone. Her academic quest lands her and a group of her peers deep within the catacombs beneath the streets of Paris. When a tunnel collapses, the group must venture on a dangerous and unknown course through the catacombs where they encounter a group of cultists and a series of evil spirits that pick the team off one member at a time.
Unlike most found footage films, this movie, filmed in 2012 is six short films rolled into one. From a harpy who seduces and kills men to a woman who is unknowingly incubating an alien fetus in her womb, this grisly movie is full of shocking twists and innovative storylines that will leave you glued to your seat in horror.
6) Devil’s Pass
Devil’s Pass is loosely based on the Dyatlov Pass Incident, and an equal parts creative and horrific look at what might have happened to the group of explorers who lost their lives while exploring the now famous pass. The film follows five college students who are creating a documentary about the mysterious incident. Following the path of the original explorers, the film crew come across an ominous underground bunker where horrors beyond their wildest dreams begin to occur.
Devil’s Pass is considered one of the best found footage horror movies thanks to an intricate plot that will have you talking long after the film reaches its terrorizing end.
Compared to many other found footage horror movies, the 2014 film Creep is definitely one of the most cringe-worthy. The movie centers around a naïve man named Aaron who agrees to film a cancer-ridden man named Joseph who desires to have footage of his life made for his unborn son before he dies. Joseph quickly reveals himself to be an intense and unusual person who has no concept of personal boundaries.
As their relationship intensifies, Aaron realizes his employer is severely deranged and must flee the man’s house in order to remain alive.
8) The Last Exorcism
This chilling found footage film centers around a reverend who goes around performing fake exorcisms for mentally unstable individuals. He gets a call by a man named Louis who insists that his daughter is possessed. The reverend performs an exorcism and believes he has cured Nell of her delusions about being possessed until the girl appears in his hotel room that night.
A series of horrific events occur, and the film concludes with a spine-tingling shock of an ending.
9) The Blair Witch Project
Often credited as the film that made the found footage genre become a mainstream style in the horror industry, the Blair Witch has now become a cult classic. Filmed in 1999, the movie centers around three college students who take a camping trip in the woods, intent on creating a documentary about the legend of the notorious Blair Witch. Not long into their journey, the trio begin to hear strange noises and movements outside of their tent.
When one of the group disappears, the two students attempt to find him, and flee the scream-inducing presence of the deadly Blair Witch.