PLOT: A movie crew sets out to make the first found-footage movie ever filmed in 3D, but the production is plagued by infighting and their haunted filming location.
For me, self-aware movies are tough to pull off well. A movie like Chillerama, which we reviewed earlier this month, was tongue-in-cheek, and sort of failed at every level at it. This one, on the other hand, takes a more subtle approach, and manages to deliver a pretty decent horror flick, while also being a worthwhile send-up as well.
The film focuses on the crew behind the upcoming found footage film titled Spectre of Death, a movie based on real events that occurred on the exact filming location. Along for the ride is a behind-the-scenes photographer, that captures the craziness that happens between takes, whether it’s the hostility between the two lead actors (and former husband and wife) or the mysterious shadowy figure that seems to pop up in the dailies.
One of the main things that work in this movie is the drama among the crew. There’s the innate animosity between an ex-couple, the struggle for dominance between the director and the lead, and the audio guy that 100% believes in ghosts and is terrified about being at a haunted locale to shoot a low-budget film. The performances here are what sell the non-horror film aspect of it, and it almost moves the horror stuff to the backseat. There are some legitimately excellent performances in this movie and allowed me to look past the otherwise underwhelming CG effects.
I had a good time with Found Footage 3D, which I watched in 2D. A lot of reviews liken it to Scream and what it meant to the slasher genre of the 1980s, but I think this movie is closer to Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. It has a similar feel to it, perhaps because they were both independent productions, and it’s tongue-in-cheek satire hits most of the same notes. The finale uses the found footage aesthetic well, and while the effects leave a lot to be desired, there was a lot to like here.
OVERALL RATING: 7 out of 10