The 5 Best “Found Footage” Movies

Excited for Apollo 18? I certainly am. I think it looks to be the scariest movie of the fall. Taking the recent “found footage” horror sub-genre to the moon may seem gimmicky but the trailers are definitely creepy enough to warrant the in-theater experience (I hope to get to see it this weekend but I am moving back into college so that may prove difficult). I am a big fan of “found footage” movies but the genre has produced some terrible movies. If you are new to this way of filmmaking here are my picks for the five best within this unique sub-genre.


5. Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)-

This movie had no right to be good. It was a horror sequel with a new cast and new director banking on the same premise as the original to bring in audiences. But almost everything about all those new things worked. Also, its ties to the original were genius. This movie raised the stakes and at points was even scarier than the first one, even if the idea was far less original.



4. Home Movie (2008)-

This movie takes several cliches, like the family that films everything and the same creepy children we’ve seen in every horror movie since The Omen, and somehow makes them scary again. Probably because the kids are so damn scary. The movie opens with a long shot from the hand-held camera of a dead squirrel. It only gets worse from there as the children torment their parents as much as possible before the film’s gut wrenching climax.


3. Cloverfield (2008)-

When a monster terrorizes New York City a group of twenty-somethings document their quest across the city to save the main character’s girlfriend. The reason this movie works so well is because it focuses on four people who know as much as we do for the whole movie. It’s about them, not the monster. However the movie is also pretty terrifying. The sequence in the subway with those creepy parasite things is pulse pounding.


2. The Blair Witch Project (1999)-

The one that started it all. The whole movie is very scary because it feels so real. You feel like you are with them traveling aimlessly in the woods. The slow build up to the terrifying events that conclude the movie is so impressively well done. As the audience we jump at every sound of a twig snapping. We watch the characters lose their sanity and patience with each other at a perfect rate. To top it off, we never even see any kind of witch or anything.


1. Paranormal Activity (2007)-

There is not another movie out there that did to me what this one did. Huddled in a ball during its entire runtime. Nightmares for days afterwards. Absolutely terrifying. This is the quintessential “found footage” movie as it perfects the formula with legitimate scares at the slightest movement of a door. It is a horror classic, one that people will show their children and describe their own personal theater experience. Mine included people running out of the theater and screaming at the projector to stop. Top that.



What chance does Apollo 18 have of being better than these great films? Do you plan to see it? Do you disagree with how scary I found the original Paranormal Activity? Please post your thoughts in the comments section.


photo credit:

~ by mattsmoviethoughts on August 31, 2011.

One Response to “The 5 Best “Found Footage” Movies”

  1. Home Movie is a great indie horror film and really feels like you are watching first hand footage and not a movie. I have high hopes for Apollo 18 but I feel it could be a bit of a let down much in the same way that Cloverfield disappointed viewers. Seeing the trailer for Apollo 18 reminds a bit of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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