Should Found Footage Stop?

God dammit Nostalgia-ween Look out There’s bullshit about [evil laugh] Hello, I’m the Nostalgia Critic I remember it so you don’t have to Guess what I just saw a trailer for [collective boo] That’s right the next, and pray to god, last of the Paranormal Activity movies [BACKGROUND] F*ck you entertainment I don’t have to see Now, if you’re like me you probably rolled your eyes like the majority of the audience that saw this trailer which is funny because before Paranormal Activity was the movie you had to fight to see You had to call up your movie theatre to have it played there in an ingenious marketing campaign Now, we’ve seen it so damn much that we’re sick of it and for many, we’re also sick of found footage films Everyone I’ve talked to says they’re done with it There’s just nothing left It’s not a genre; it’s a gimmick and it needs to go out of style Most people can’t take the motion sickness camera in TWO dimensions but now we’re going to add THREE to it? Dude, this needs to stop. But then again, there must have been something that drew us to this for such a long period of time Were these really just cheap ways to make horror films with just a person holding a crappy camera? To answer this, we’ve gotta go back to where the whole found footage thing started …or at least when it started to get popular and that’s with ‘The Blair Witch Project’ Now chances are this kind of idea had been done before but this is the first time it became a worldwide phenomenon The hype for this movie was insane But even from day one people were split about it Some say it was one of the scariest movies ever made others say there were no scares at all Some praised it as a new form of film making others saw it as a lazy shaky cam mess Whatever your thought process, the film was a big hit inspiring dozens of other films trying something similiar and ironically the sequel being nothing like the first one You all know the setup The whole film is being told from the point of view of a person holding the camera And while it’s debatable whether or not Blair Witch holds up Depending on who you ask You can’t ignore what it inspired We went from two cameras to multiple cameras, quick edits to shots that take up the entire night, crappy quality to really high end quality So this means that the art form must have evolved, right? Well again, it depends on who you ask While the imagery looked better, Many say that the quality of the scares was getting predictable, and the limitations too frustrating There’s always shaky cam There’s always people reacting to the camera like they’ve never f**king seen one before There’s always a ton of comedy in the first half And, of course, the characters always have to unrealistically film everything Well, maybe not so unrealistically nowadays but still, this is pushing it It’s understandable why people would start to get sick of this Still, a large part of any genre is the limitations and the discipline you assign to it In film noir, you know you’re going to get heavy shadows and a dark, mysterious story In romances, you know you’re always gonna get two people who share their emotions and their feelings to grow closer So, why can’t these limitations work for the genre of found footage? Now true, this has been used in comedies and dramas so it’s probably more appropriate to call it a sub-genre but it’s still a distinct style with a distinct look that many film makers have added their own touch to On top of that, while repetitive in many areas, it has opened up a new variety of scares The Paranormal Activity movies, despite the stories and characters becoming less developed do still offer new ways of scaring people Yeah, we get those fake out jumpscares that are always awful, but then there are ideas like the camera going back and forth slowly revealing the scare or literally dangling a knife off-screen never knowing when it’s going to fall or even just moving spots, f**king MOVING SPOTS can suddenly become terrifying It’s this kind of simplicity that can get the biggest frights with the subtlest of actions One of my favourite edits is in Paranormal Activity 2, when the daughter thinks something has taken over her mother We get a scene of the mother about to confront her in her room and then we just cut to the daughter crying on the phone asking for help We have no idea what happened in between but our imagination is much more disturbing than anything it could have shown And seeing how a lot of found footage is very much less is more, it allows clever touches like that to shine the best When it has to work through the limitations by being clever It’s like shooting an entire movie in a coffin, or a whole film on a chairlift When you take away the usual distractions, it allows you to focus more on the meat of the story and it can only be done well by truly smart film makers But with that said, a lot of times the style can be the distraction The master of zombie films, George A. Romero took his stab at the found footage style and failed miserably Nothing ever looked like actual found footage It was too well shot, too nice sounding and too much acted like a Hollywood film Something like this makes you realise not only is there a right way to do found footage, but there’s a logical reason for why it can work What do horror movies, as well as most movies try to do? They try to make you feel like you’re in the films so you can identify more with the situation But where most movies need to film a main character, with found footage the main character is the one that’s filming so it’s much easier to make you feel like you’re the one in the situation When it works, it can get some of the biggest scares you can imagine But the downside is, people are much more critical and rightfully so Not believing the environment or characters in a found footage movie is ten times worse than if you don’t believe it in any other genre because the whole point is to make you feel like you’re really there and if the story, characters or acting are so far fetched that it knocks you out of that illusion the film falls apart The majority of the Paranormal Activity movies have good scares but because they had to make them so fast… (one every year) …the stories got too silly for most people and the character’s choices became unrelatable This is why the next film looks so bad because rather than convincing us that they fixed the problems they’re throwing more gimmicks and more distracting visuals that they’re just looking fake now They’re trying to go bigger in a series that thrived on minimalism But with that said, sometimes new twists can come from the most unlikely of places ‘Unfriended’ spends the whole movie on a girl’s computer screen This limitation allowed us not only to see the cost of living too much on social media, but also how unlikable most dumb teens in horror movies are At first, you think you’re supposed to like these people like in most scary movies, but by the end you realise not only are you supposed to find them all revolting, but that teens in most scary films are usually revolting It’s a good way to use satire while also moving your story forward and upping the atmosphere Again, using very little to achieve an awful lot And speaking of mixing comedy and horror, who’d have thought M. Night Shyamalan would be able to mix the two so well? ‘The Visit’ was a hit with both critics and audiences and while it still has his awkward writing all over it, it did manage to create a scenario where you’re both screaming and laughing both at the same time Well even though there’s a ton of holes in the movie, like how is that tiny camera that good quality, or how are their non-existent mics picking up everything the weird atmosphere it creates manages to be both charming and disturbing simultaneously And the found footage style helps that; there’s a scene where the grandma chases the kids under the house and it’s scary because you see literally what they see and therefore fear what they fear But when you’re further away from it like they are you see that she was just playing a game Oh yeah, I guess we’re kinda jumping to conclusions… …Right? The point of view of the camera blurs that line throughout the majority of the film, leaving the mystery tougher to figure out ‘The Last Exorcism’ was another great blend of horror and comedy as a film group follows an exorcist who claims he’s a sham, and we laugh at his clever ways of convincing mentally ill people that he’s getting demons out of them But when he comes across one that seems too real, even for him, it’s left to the viewer to decide whether the girl is actually possessed or not There’s no flashbacks, close-ups or inner monologues to give you any clues, it’s only what the camera picks up It’s another layer of limitation that actually helps the mystery of the storytelling… …that is until the bullshit ending, but let’s not go there No, really, I’m telling the film not to go there, you were so good until then! Many of these movies I’m talking about are years old but some of them are rather recent, meaning there are still possibilities that can be done with this type of film making Can it get annoying? Yes Do the limitations stump the growth at times? Certainly But clever film making is clever film making and if someone has a twist on a popular idea there’s no reason to stop them And if you can never get into them and the motion sickness is just too much for you, it’s completely understandable Everyone’s gonna have a style or genre that’s just not gonna grab them But I think for most of us it’s like watching a trailer from Wes Anderson or Quentin Tarantino You always kinda say you’re done with that style and it’s the same thing over and over but, then when you see them do something really really good with it you remember that style can help a story and you’re reminded of why you started to watch it to begin with Found footage is more than just a person holding a camera, it’s a surprisingly complicated method of film making that allows fewer mistakes than many would expect More elements have to gel together to please the audience for a found footage film than, say, the audience for a Michael Bay film Because there’s less distractions, you have to be sure what you have is convincing while still telling an engaging narrative Horror is already difficult on it’s own so throwing in these limitations makes it even tougher But when it works, it can really work and lead down new avenues that didn’t exist before it’s hard to say whether or not the new Paranormal Activity will be any good, but it’s not worth condemning a style of film that can, and has, given some memorable scares for it Is there gonna be crap with it? Sure Just like any genre has a lot of crap But for those who know how to not only work within this realm but also evolve it to a new level, the possibilities are just too intriguing to turn down I’m the Nostalgia Critic I shake the camera so you don’t have to Okay, seriously, stop that- Hey, Doug Walker here, doing the charity shout out and this week we are doing DuPagePads This is an organization that specializes in helping people who are homeless They help find shelters, they help them get resources, they are done mostly through volunteers; a lot of volunteers are younger people and teenagers They like to start them young, showing that it’s good to help people who do not have a home and it isn’t just adults, there’s many families and young children all of these people need a home and they specialize in a place where the weather can just be brutal This is in DuPage County, and the weather can either get extremely hot or it can get extremely cold as many of you know, we have really bad storms here and it can just get so tough so this is an organization that tries it’s best to help give people a home just a shelter, just something away from the harsh conditions that there can be out there and they try everything they can to try and get these people get back on their feet and try to find good resources and good people that can help them out and they do everything that they can and they have all sorts of fund raisers and events they do something where they have a run; a run for home as they call it They also have an action called Taste of Hope where all sorts of wonderful restaurants come in and donate their time and food and I’ve been to a lot of these restaurants; they’re good stuff So this isn’t just the bare minimum, they try everything they can to try and get these people a warm place where they can feel safe and they can feel secure and you can definitely make a big difference in that any little amount helps; please, definitely check out their website They contribute to people who really deserve a warm place to feel safe

Comments 100

  • He actually praised unfriended… I thought he knew good movies!

  • Look out there's bullshit about. Best line ever

  • The visit sucks

  • The thing about Blair Witch was that it was able to be realistic enough to make people think it actually happened, but now it's just unrealistic looking.

  • Found footage is not as bad as shark movies cause fuck there are a lot of shark movies.

  • As above so below? That was quite good

  • Weird hearing something good about The Visit. MovieBob's review savaged it.
    That booing of the newest Paranormal Activity trailer NC heard brought to mind a similar reaction to the trailer to The First Purge, before Deadpool 2: in the theater, I shouted, out loud, "For fuck's sake, another one?! Christ!" and the guy sitting next to me said "I know, right? 2 was enough."
    And if Unfriended made the teenage characters intentionally unlikeable, then that's a failure of storytelling, because if the audience can't connect to the characters, then there's no point. TVTropes helpfully calls it I Don't Care What Happens To These People.

  • Dude how are you going to copy the Goosebumps intro? This Channel is a fraud. Found footage, anyways is one of the best genre-styles if done right. Pure fuckery

  • 1:29 What movie is this?

  • I don't remember what the movies name was but it was a found footage film about a couple that has a honeymoon in Brazil and them they wife gets inseminated with the antichirst…one of the worst horror movies I have personally seen. the movie was so bad I ended up making fun of it as it went along not even respecting the form of the medium until one good scene.
    the scene is the one where a child walks into the babies to be room, and the camera pans around in a circle until revealing the mother screaming like a pistof human to the child to leave…the silence pause makes the scene stand out……AND THEM she drops to the floor and keeps scratching the floor with a knife crating creaking sounds completely destroying the scene.

  • Found Footage needs to stop, but only for American-made movies. Rec is AMAZING, but Quarantine is garbage. It seems like foreign movies handle it better than we do.

  • The answer is yes

  • its not my favorite brand of film making the shaky cam makes me feels sick this is a controversial statment but i feel cloverfield would have been a better movie if it wasnt found footage

  • Wait, where you saying that Frozen (2010), Unfriended and The Visit where good movies?

    Okay then.

  • I would think that movies like Chernobyl diaries and Area 51 are good examples of Found Footage movies done right. Suspenseful and well done.

  • Every one of your 'can (this) ruin a film?'….end up being you giving negative criticism, yet saying it can work if done correctly and done well….for literally every one of these types of videos you do. So why not just call them, 'The good and bad of (this type of movie)'….then it wouldn't be misleading. And yes, despite anyone's arguments it is misleading.

  • I guess I have bad taste cuz I really like the paranormal activity movies…

  • *when he purposely opens the briefcase

  • The Blair witch project is boring as shit


  • I liked both Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity.

    What I don’t like are the obvious cashgrabs. I.e. sequels.

    I think most can agree;
    it’s better to be a part of shitty movie(and like what you’re doing), than bagging groceries at the local Pathmark.

  • 5:00 Boy, the fanbase for that movie must be really awkward now….

  • Well, a found footage film would fit a slender man movie

  • i LOVE DOUG AND. ROB MALCOLM. AND TAMARA!❤❤❤❤😆😆😆HILARITY, so glad im not the only living cartoon out here! K.I. THEE UNDERTAKER look me up Doug ! PLZ ! LOL

  • Chronical and cloverfield are my 2 favorite FF movies

  • F*ck you entertainment I don't have to see!

  • I tried watching Paranormal Activity with some friends, it was soooo boring. Who gets scared by a door opening by itself in the night or moving sheets? I nearly fell asleep. The acting was so bad it was cringeworthy.
    The only good found footage movie I've seen was Chronicle, though I think it would have worked better without the found footage style, as constantly needing to have cameras floating about felt silly.

  • Ironically, I think the found footage genre kind of died out not long after this aired.

    …Now we're back to old hat Slasher Films and Demonic Possession.

  • 8:48 It’s only bullshit because the guy gets saved in the end. Seriously it’s the same situation with Devil why do you hate the idea of people getting born again in movies?

  • you should review the Rec series

    it's a very underrated film series

  • While I agreed with most of the points that you made in regards to found footage films in general were well founded, I also personally think that your calling The Visit good really inadvertently detracted from the respective validities of many of your points.

  • I’ve only seen one found footage film which was Cloverfield and I loved it

  • when i was in school.
    some people and kids actually believed this was real FOUND footage.

  • I can't watch it. I got motion sickness too severe. Whenever i see a movie and i kinda want to watch it. Then i have to go to the bathroom later feeling so dizzy i regret every decision of ever doing it. much as i want to watch some of it i can't.

  • Who else read the paper in the beginning

  • And today we have… 3 movies? that all take place on Computers :O

  • Rec was probabbly one of the best found footage films, it's a spanish horror movie and its incredibbly scary

  • End of Watch was good. It all depends on how it’s done

  • All Blair Witch did was give me a stiff neck. I think it's time for found footage to get lost. If your movie looks worst than something posted here its time to bury it.

  • I just had a idea for a horror movie
    The whole movie is about a teen who is super paranoid and scared about everything at night and sees and hears things and is always tenis and then it gets worse and worse and we have to pick if its really a ghost or a demon or is the guy just freaking out and losing it becoming more and more paranoid and scared throigh out the movie

  • He's got a David pumpkins outfit

  • Does anyone know the instrumental used during the video? He used it in the happening review as well

  • Actually, this video reminds me to ask, how about you review Unfriended after Christmas? I HATE the movie, and I think you could get quite a few jokes from it.

  • I know it's 2018, but personally, I enjoy hand-held horror. Aside the motion sickness, it just seems interesting to me.
    Now when you beat a dead horse and never come up with anything remotely original, that's lame. :/

  • I feel like Dracula would work best as a Found Footage film, the book was a collection of journal entries, after all.

  • I wanna bring up this little movie called “never hike alone” which is a Friday the 13th fan movie about a hiker coming across Jason, it is half found footage and half BRILLIANT acting and I hope the guy who made this film makes another, now I like the found footage movies cause it makes me feel I’m the one with the camera, and unfriended is a perfect example, btw don’t go see the downgrading paranormal activity films they get entertaining then enter what the fuck is this territory

  • It's not done. If you take the time you'll find some really good gems. Grave encounters hell house llc and the houses October built. There's sequels to them but the only 1 worth watching is hell house llc 2. Not as great as the first but still good. Troll hunter is good and different and nori: the curse is a fantastic Japanese found footage film.

  • I LOVE the Last Exorcism…until the last 10 minutes

  • Nooooo!!!

  • Have yet to ever watch Blair Witch Project always look stupid still does

  • You’re right the found footage film has been done before Blair witch,the first one ever was a horrible(as in murdering animals horrible) movie called cannibal holocaust

  • Make a review of Unfriended. Pretty please.

  • The Last Exorcism was brilliant.

  • 6:50 Unfriended is a giant hunk of shit. I’m sorry Doug but It’s just bad.
    7:21 Oh and this failed abortion. Doug I like your videos a lot but THIS is what you use to defend found footage? This is one of the most cheesy, lazy, dumb, unfunny and annoying pieces of shit I’ve seen in my life. And I think it’s the worst M. Night movie (That And Glass). There’s not a single good thing about it apart from the fact it did indeed END.

  • Blur which sucks

  • Found footage would work best with H.P Lovecraft style storytelling. Don't tell me what it is, don't show me what it is, imply what it is. Let my sick imagination run wild and I'll scare the shit out of myself. Also, less shaky cam, please. I know that it may decrease realism, but Im willing to sacrifice that for a better watching experience.

  • My favorite found footage movie is Lunpolis

  • I'm so tired that just watching a video talking about horror movies alone is making me scared.

  • pause at 0:49
    Edit: And yeah, this style of film is really lame. It looks like some director just said "who needs to spend about $1,000 on all this camera equipment? Just use an iPhone held by someone who recently used a medication that makes them super jittery!"
    It just looks ugly.

  • I loved chronicle it was a amazing movie though

  • "Fuck you entertainment I don't have to see!" LOL.

  • In my opinion, found footage is a great movie style because of that touch of realism.

  • There needs to be newer ones

  • What I never have seen and always wanted was a scary movie based around a squat of soldiers doing investigation on a secret mission with supernatural elements.
    Maybe a secret weapon, or a phenomenon that the government is trying to understand.
    Whatever it is the how movie is shot through the cameras in their helmets and as they get deeper we grow closer to the characters and the same time we unravel the mystery with them.

  • And Quarantine and Rec

  • VHS did "found footage" in a weird anthology way that actually worked for me. Other than that I have hated found footage since like fucking blair witch
    with vhs it was like "oh didn't like that lil story? here is another by another creator" and it kinda made me miss that kind of format. It even gave a reason for the cam to be out and not just "dad got a new cam he wants to film 24/7" it was "we are on vacation" or "I opened an alt-dimension and need proof of my discovery" or "I am a douche that wants to be an asshole and fuck girls with a glasses cam"

  • The whole point of the found footage was to make it seem like a real event was captured by some poor soul(s), but once you realize that is never and can never be the case…then why would anyone want to put up with bad lighting, bad sound, bad camera handling, no framing, no cinema photography at all….all to not support weak story telling. It was a good idea once, a movie that a surprising number of people that was real. It cost nothing to make and made mad money. High profits on a low budget and no skills is the reason why studios make the movies. That part I understand. The reason why some people like those movies is confusing.

  • At the end of the day, Found Footage is just a creative choice for presenting a movie, much like animation. But, all creative decisions, it needs to be used correctly and for the right projects to be really effective.

  • Chronicle is my only favorite found footage movie. It was genuinely good with good characters and writing and story. Actors did great. It may just be my unpopular opinion, but I really liked it and thought it was a good movie.

  • First found footage I remember was in the 1995 movie Strange Days. It was just a short bit – basically the McGuffin for the movie – but I had to RUN for the toilet, because it made me so sick. For years, I avoided all FF. I did finally learn that dramamine and motion sickness braclets could help, and I saw a few of them after that, but Chronicle is the only one I really thought was worth it.

  • Everything about this video is great, it's well thought out, and a great exploration of something people were totally dismissing at the time (and that is sadly kinda gone by now) only one problem, one pretty big problem, he uses unfriended as an example. That's the whole problem, no seriously, it is one of the worst films in this whole genre, like good god what a fucking abomination. I mean he mentions unbelievably making the film fall apart, and that is the fucking apex of it. What he said about it is what it SHOULD have been, and I know why he used it because IF it had worked it would have been a perfect example, because, yeah, it is an amazing idea, but it failed hard.
    Also he references Frozen, and it's also just fucking awful.

  • Who gets motion sick from a camera jiggling about? I mean sure it can get annoying, but actually physically ill? I'd see a doctor about that before I complain about the movie.

  • YES.Yes it should. Never should have started. Someone go back in time and take the Blair Witch people's camera…

  • Cannibal Holocaust is the true Hand held found footage film that got popular world wide

  • Why people are getting sick?sequels.repetitiveness.
    just imagine a good movie like Pulp was awesome.but what if they made,2,3,4 etc?it would wear thin real fast.same here.Blair Witch project was a great movie but we didn't need sequels of it.

  • The Visit and Chronicle are two of my favorite movies

  • The only found footage i absolutely love is marble hornets

  • I just think cloverfield is good. Not just the movie, its the story. VERY confusing.

  • Cannibal Holocaust, the first found footage film, is still the best one. Best writing, best use of the found footage, and most importantly, a movie that is simultaneously pure exploitation, and one of the most pretentious movies of all time.

  • FoundFootage should be done without any effects , i feel like if you wanna make a found footage look like a vhs , record on an actual vhs without any CGI effects.

  • Chronicle is the best found footage film and I will die on that stance

  • Check out the movie 21 days free on tubi

  • You make every scary movie a funny movie

  • There's rules to found footage movies, which end up with most people break them after they decide its too monotonous. Its been nice to see a few films work somewhat.

  • Found footage is good for args like Marble Horents, the West records, etc

  • The only FF movies I like are: The Blair Witch Project (and its mockumentaries) and Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County

  • No mention of the original found footage horror? No, not Blair Witch, Cannibal Holocaust.

  • The Main Reason Why I Don’t Like The Ghostfacers in Supernatural’s Because of Ed,&,Harry,The Secondary Reason’s The Found Footage Aspect of Those Episodes

  • i was with you until you talked about Unfriended in a positive light

  • Film makers should do an anthology style FF horror film where it’s jumping around to different cameras at different points of an event. Leaving the audience to piece together what’s happening. Like the video game “Return of the Obra Dinn”

  • Chronicle was good

  • nostalgaween is my favourite season c:

  • paranormal activity 2 is the peek of the series

  • 0:12. Damn, I'm trying to start the first Dark Tower book.

  • Th visit sucks asss

  • 0:53 Guess What I Just Saw A Trailer For?

  • Personally, I really like found footage films! I think it is a great way to make the movie seem more real!

    (Please don't hate me!)

  • The scariest found footage movie is surfs up.

  • Now there’s ‘screen capture’ like the 2 ‘Unfriended’ films & ‘Searching’

  • There shoukd be a found footage drama film, about a prisoner or hostage.

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