A documentary crew travels to a remote religious community to conduct an interview. Its found-footage approach to its riff on the Jim Jones/Jamestown cult mass suicide works, but the film doesn’t convince in the storyline logic of its sudden dark turn. A shame, as there’s talent involved, and Gene Jones is great as the messianic Father.
The story of an online sensation: a clown you can pay to scare your children. Solid documentary (which flirts with the extent to which it might be fictional, an art project, or something else) that explores memes, contemporary media folk devils, coulrophobia, parenting, “behavioural services”, and more.
A secondhand laptop brings danger to a group of friends. An OK sequel which adopts the same all-on-one-computer-screen real-time thriller approach as the 2014 original, though is otherwise separate. A more complicated story this time around, and effective enough, fully exploring the limitations of its premise.
Teen friends are terrorised by someone assuming the online identity of a dead classmate. Effective real-time horror-thriller, told via a single laptop screen. Plays straight with its material. Some sly subversion of teenage neuroses, but there’s some commentary here about cyberbullying, and about revenge fantasies in the digital age.
A father searches his missing daughter’s online life for clues about her disappearance. Smart, precise, and well-sustained evolution of the found-footage movie, with its storytelling conceit backed up by a solid mystery and a good lead performance. Recommended.
An internet start-up keen for shocking content is sent a series of intriguing scare videos. Found-footage jumpscare horror that works pretty well for its first hour despite unlikeable characters, but which fails to deliver with a workable resolution.
A teenager escapes an alien invasion. More developed sequel to Hungerford, this time riffing on 28 Days Later and Heart of Darkness as much as Heinlein’s The Puppetmasters. Still some rough edges, but an improvement over the first instalment.
A group of teens witness an alien invasion. Ambitious zero-budget semi-professional found-footage zombie/alien invasion mash-up with good moments but an inability to sustain coherence through iffy script and acting. Followed by The Darkest Dawn.
A documentary team investigate a supposedly-haunted asylum, the site of a reality show gone wrong five years before. Straightforward jumpscare found-footage horror sequel (to Seven Nights of Darkness), effective for an hour before collapsing in on itself, storywise.
A documentary account of 1970s ESP tests revealing a case of demonic possession. Well-handled for the first two acts, though loses its way in the third. Well-acted throughout, though, and provides a few good jumps and arresting images.