BARE BONES: THE FOUND FOOTAGE PHENOMENON (2021)

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THE FOUND FOOTAGE PHENOMENON (2021)

The Found Footage Phenomenon is a fun and informative documentary about one of horror’s newest sub-genres…or is it? Flick from Sarah Appleton and Phillip Escott traces the start of the sub-genre back to moments and films from the 60s and 70s, such as the opening moments of the classic slasher Peeping Tom to Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust, where the seeds of this sub-genre first were sown. We then cover films like The Last Broadcast and The Blair Witch Project where found footage really started to take form, to some of the newer entries like the Paranormal Activity series, [REC] series, Cloverfield and Megan is Missing. Along the way we get interviews from found footage filmmakers like Jaume Balagueró, Oren Peli, Eduardo Sánchez, André Øvredal, Ruggero Deodato himself and many more. We learn about how some of these films were made and of some of the titles we haven’t seen, or that missed the spotlight and credit they deserve. It’s a lot of fun! All in all, a very entertaining and interesting documentary for found footage and horror fans alike. Now available to stream on Shudder! 
 

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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BARE BONES: MEGAN IS MISSING (2011)

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MEGAN IS MISSING (2011)

Extremely unpleasant found footage thriller tells the story of Megan Stewart (Rachel Quinn), a promiscuous 14-year-old party girl who is friends with good girl Amy Herman (Amber Perkins). Megan meets a guy named Josh (Dean Waite) online and begins to chat with him. She leaves her home to go meet Josh one night and disappears without a trace. Amy tries to help authorities find her friend, while documenting her own feelings about the disappearance. Unfortunately, this earns the sweet natured girl the wrong kind of attention.
 
Flick written and directed by Michael Goi was originally made in 2011 and based on some real disappearances. The decade old found footage feature has become a bit of an internet sensation recently when it was featured on Tik Tok. The film in itself is very effective in a few unsettling ways. While like most found footage movies there are some slow parts, it’s the first and last act that are the most disturbing. The first act has some very shocking portrayals of underage drinking and sexual activity amongst kids barely in their teens that is chilling in itself. Then we watch the mystery unfold for the second act as Amy tries to figure out what happened and speaks online to the increasing hostile Josh, who denies he met Megan on that fateful night. It’s the final act that really gets stomach churning as Amy gruesomely finds out what really happened to Megan and it’s not pleasant. There is some shocking imagery and just the thought about what happened and happens beyond what we see onscreen is even more chilling. It’s not only a very unsettling and cautionary tale of online predators, but unchecked teenage behavior as well. BE WARNED…the last act is extremely graphic, brutal and disturbing, especially as the subject is an underage teen girl. Goi maintains the illusion we are watching actual footage and his young leads add to the realism with good and natural performances. Megan is Missing made barely a ripple in 2011, but now has attained cult status due to online exposure and a recent wider release on streaming networks. Megan is Missing can be found on Amazon Prime and Google Play, if you dare. It’s not a pleasant watch and the rating here is for effectiveness alone as, this is not an enjoyable or entertaining film in any way.

-MonsterZero NJ

3 star rating

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