Usually nowadays, I do double features for everything, however Found Footage 3D is special because I had helped fund it on Indiegogo a few years ago. It really amounts to the fact that over the years, I’ve grown fond of this found footage genre (especially the changes its chosen to take while usually falling short of its potential all too frequently) and the concept sounded really unique. I honestly can’t even remember what it was all about since it was a little while ago which is great because I’m going in blind (which I’ve learned over the years are the best ways to go into indie horror films frequently). I did watch this in the 2D version on Shudder.
Found Footage 3D (2016)
Director (and writer): Steven DeGennaro
Cast: Carter Roy, Alena Von Stroheim, Chris O’Brien, Tom Saporito, Scott Allen Perry, Jessica Perrin, Scott Weinberg
A group of filmmakers sets out to make the first 3D found footage horror movie, but find themselves IN a found footage horror movie when the evil entity from their film escapes into their behind-the-scenes footage. – IMDB
Looking at the plot, you probably can already tell that Found Footage 3D is incredibly meta. The idea of using behind the scenes footage on a found footage film and then realizing they are part of one is actually (probably not new but) unique. Through the filming, you get to see these characters that we learn about their relationship and who they are through just how they act. The concept and potential of this movie definitely is there and as I look back at the Indiegogo page and why it attracted me (back in 2014!), it was because it talks about trying to make a film for what Scream did for the slasher genre. Found Footage 3D absolutely hits those self-aware parts where it knows the downfalls and cliches of the found footage genres and as they mock it while making some nonsensical decisions which leads to this whole 3D movie, it also adds on to the movie. At the same time, it reinforces why its almost impossible for found footage films to not appear “too Hollywood” because there are some incredible budgets and equipment behind it whereas throughout this film, what I loved the most about it was the fact that it felt like it was shot in actual found footage as in some random guy with his camera shooting an experience and since I watched the 2D version, I forgot about the 3D aspects of it all. It excelled at what it wanted to achieve for this film.
What works best in Found Footage 3D is that even in its title it feels like a work in progress for some random amateur title especially since the funny part is the film they are filming in the this movie has a title. It lives up to that as there are dramatic moments between the cast which has some conflict and then there are some dialogue which make it fun to watch and the horror parts are quite subtle and the absolute highlight of the film. Perhaps it is the balance that they found between the petty disagreements and fruitless discussions about using a house that has its own shady history making the location its own cliche that makes those horror moments really take a moment to be realized. The genius part is that the spirit in question haunts the film and its those moments as it shifts from the footage to reality that makes for the best moments as its done both in a subtle and creepy way.
Honestly, I don’t want to talk about Found Footage 3D too much because its a really fun experience and one that the more I think about it, the more I love it. Overall, it is a pretty awesome idea that is also executed incredibly effectively. It wanted to do what Scream did for the slasher genre but for the found footage genre and it achieved that. Its packed with creepy moments as well as funny moments. The idea of using a behind the scenes footage for a found footage film while plunging themselves into a situation making them fall into their own little tropes of the genre they try desperately to avoid while embracing the fact that a lot of their movie wasn’t that well thought out which pokes fun at the current downfall of the genre makes it satisfying to watch.