11 Reasons Why Found Footage Horror Films Suck

Hey everyone, Steven here from TalkHorror.com. Today, I’m going to bring you a horror list that was inspired while I was watching a found footage film.

Now, I don’t want everyone to think that I hate found footage films or anything like that. I actually like found footage films. When done right, found footage films can be very effective and very scary. Unfortunately, a lot of found footage films are coming out now, as they’re the current horror trend, and most of them aren’t so good. Below, I’m going to go over some of the reasons why found footage films suck.

#1. Learning the Camera

Why does it seem like every found footage film starts off with the camera owner staring directly into the lens with a confused look all over their face? I mean, shouldn’t you already be familiar with the camera before you start filming? I’ve shot a lot of footage and I’ve never once had a shot of me looking into the lens, seemingly asking myself in my head: “Is this thing on?”

It’s a really silly shot that does not add to the realism, even though the writer/director thinks it’d be a clever shot.

#2. Acting is Key

Found footage films can be very effective, as they add a sense of realism to the film. However, if the acting is anything less than spectacular, it can have the exact opposite effect. The sense of realism goes out the window and it can — and often does — single-handedly ruin the film right from the beginning.

#3. There’s Usually No Good Reason to Continue Filming

Are we supposed to believe that people would still continue filming even after all hell breaks loose? I don’t know about you, but if it’s a life and death situation, I’m going to toss that camera and haul ass.

#4. The Annoying Camera Guy

The camera operator is always up in everyone’s business — always. There’s also always that one scene where people get frustrated and snap out on the cameraman.

#5. They’re Often a Cheap Way to Get Around a Bad Story

I feel like a lot of these filmmakers know they have a shitty story, so they decide to make a found footage film in hopes that it will make up for a lacking script.

#6. They Can Actually Take Away from a Film

What do I mean by take away? Well, have you ever watched a found footage film that you thought may have actually been better had they not went the found footage route?

#7. Cinematography Goes Out the Window

Now, don’t get me wrong, most films have nothing better than average cinematography to begin with, but going the found footage route basically tosses all opportunities for amazing cinematography out the window.

#8. Audio Goes Out the Window

John Carpenter was known as a genius for using audio to effectively scare the shit out of audiences back in 1978 with Halloween. In found footage films, there’s no music or anything like that to build tension or set the tone. Sometimes this can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing.

#9. The Typical “Something is Dragging Me Away” Shot

How many found footage horror films can you think of that have this shot in them? I can think of quite a few. Hell, some even use this shot as their ending scene. *cough* [REC] *cough*

#10. They Take Too Long to Develop

Found footage films typically take way too long to develop. It’s horrible when you sit through a movie for 45 minutes before anything substantial happens, and then when it does, it’s lackluster. This has happened to me countless times, especially when watching “Willow Creek,” a few nights ago, as part of my 31 Days of Halloween.

#11. They Can Cause Motion Sickness

I have never personally gotten motion sickness from watching found footage horror films, but I know some people that do and they just simply can’t watch them, which is, I’m sure, a major bummer for them.

What do you think about found footage horror films?

I want you to let me know what you think about found footage horror films. Do you like them? Do you hate them? Leave a comment below and let me know. Also, what are some other reasons you would have added to this list?

As I stated above, I like found footage horror films when they’re done right. Unfortunately, they’re usually not.

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