Latest Movie News Headlines

01.03.2014by: Alex Maidy

Top 10 Found Footage Movies of All Time (Video Edition)

The fifth entry in the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise opens today marking another movie in the popular found footage sub-genre of films. What used to be a novelty has since grown into a full-fledged way of making films. Studios love them because they are cheap to make while amateur filmmakers can tell stories with limited film-making skills. The results are not always great, but there are ten that stand out amongst the rest as the best found footage movies ever made. If your favorite didn't make the cut, feel free to mention it in the Talk backs below.

#10 - CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST

Widely considered the template for found footage horror movies, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST is a gory and f*cked up nightmare of a movie. Not very well acted, the movie has become better known for select images from the movie rather than the movie itself. Still, compared to a lot of goofy horror movies these days, few pack as much of a punch as this one.

#9 - THE BAY

Barry Levinson's eco-horror movie plays like a found footage flick but instead carries with it a message of the importance of environmental conservation. Some of the shocks are well made and if you showed this to an unsuspecting viewer they may actually believe it was real.

#8 - PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

One question always asked about found footage movies is why those in the stories continue to film despite what is going on. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY switched things up and plays using the security cameras installed in the homes of the victims, giving the movie an air of realism. After four entries, the series has still managed to pack an effective punch.

#7 - END OF WATCH

Who says horror is the only kind of story that works with found footage? The television series COPS proved that police can be an interesting subject and David Ayer puts that to the test with END OF WATCH. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a cop who gets involved with some very dangerous criminals. The action is brutal and the movie really feels like you are there as the bullets are flying.

#6 - TROLLHUNTER

Those crazy Norwegians took the found footage format and gave us an awesome action fantasy featuring the mythical monsters in various shapes and sizes. We are still scheduled to get an English remake of TROLLHUNTER, but I would highly recommend watching the original for some truly cool creature effects and a fun ride of a movie.

#5 - V/H/S

In this age of digital film-making, many forget the era of VHS tapes. The mysterious rectangles surely litter countless homes to this day and the movie V/H/S imagines what the horrible contents could be on those unmarked cassettes. Bringing together multiple directors for an anthology unlike any other, V/H/S pushes found footage to the limits of taste.

#4 - THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT

While CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST may have invented the found footage genre, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT brought it to the mainstream. As any horror aficionado will tell you, a movie can be a hundred times scarier by not showing you the monster but rather by hinting at what is just out of view. THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT showed that with just some handheld cameras, a basic script, and a lot of imagination, you can make a truly scary movie.

#3 - MAN BITES DOG

Those crazy Belgians! MAN BITES DOG purports to be a documentary crew following the exploits of Ben, the craziest serial killer in Europe. What happens involves some of the most ruthless and cold-blooded explanations of how a murderer thinks that you could imagine put to film. Funny in a very dark way, MAN BITES DOG is one of the most controversial movies of all time.

#2 - CLOVERFIELD

J.J. Abrams name and a very mysterious teaser was all that was needed to sell audiences on this monster movie. Add in the unique take on a GODZILLA type creature destroying a major city and you have a unique film that divided audiences. Some loved only seeing the creature for a moment or two while others felt ripped off. In the end, CLOVERFIELD remains one of the trademarks of Abrams' marketing machine and a very original found footage film.

#1 - CHRONICLE

Take one genre out and swap another in and you get movie magic. Trading horror for superheroes, CHRONICLE is a brilliantly executed comic book movie that doesn't have roots in Marvel or DC. Screenwriter Max Landis and director Josh Trank create a convincing what if scenario featuring the birth of superheroes and villains. Trank and stars Dane DeHaan and Michael B. Jordan shot to success after this film showcased their talents.

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

+2
3:12AM on 01/27/2014

Rec?

I'm shocked that Rec isn't on here. Honestly one of the scariest found footage films I've ever watched.
I'm shocked that Rec isn't on here. Honestly one of the scariest found footage films I've ever watched.
Your Reply:



10:15PM on 01/05/2014
Found footage ruined Chronicle!.. I would have actually liked this movie had it not been for the found footage take. FF gives me a headache due to the shaky cam and it's simply annoying. This movie had potential and would have been tons better had it was filmed in a more traditional point of view.
Found footage ruined Chronicle!.. I would have actually liked this movie had it not been for the found footage take. FF gives me a headache due to the shaky cam and it's simply annoying. This movie had potential and would have been tons better had it was filmed in a more traditional point of view.
Your Reply:



10:06PM on 01/05/2014
I can't behind this movie. It doesn't suck totally, but it isn't good. It's so meh and I don't understand the love for it.
I can't behind this movie. It doesn't suck totally, but it isn't good. It's so meh and I don't understand the love for it.
Your Reply:



10:02PM on 01/05/2014
This is the only one I care for and the only movie I believe the found footage works well for it. The rest of the time the found footage filming method is annoying and lazy.
This is the only one I care for and the only movie I believe the found footage works well for it. The rest of the time the found footage filming method is annoying and lazy.
Your Reply:



9:33PM on 01/05/2014
I have yet to see this movie. I always forget about it b/c it's not readily available. Not sure where to look to see it.
I have yet to see this movie. I always forget about it b/c it's not readily available. Not sure where to look to see it.
Your Reply:



2:41PM on 01/06/2014
Netflix
Netflix
2:44PM on 01/05/2014
I liked this film a lot. We watched at the office Friday. I disagree with everything film_geek said. My ex even mentioned how his brother , a homicide detective, is always talking about how stupid some of the gang bangers are by filming their stuff and taking pics. Hell, even stupid enough to post on facebook!
I liked this film a lot. We watched at the office Friday. I disagree with everything film_geek said. My ex even mentioned how his brother , a homicide detective, is always talking about how stupid some of the gang bangers are by filming their stuff and taking pics. Hell, even stupid enough to post on facebook!
Your Reply:



2:38PM on 01/05/2014
I love this film!
I love this film!
Your Reply:



2:34PM on 01/05/2014
This film never really did it for me but that may be because EW did a write up for it at Sundance. By the time it was in wide release, I already knew it was fiction so the marketing did nothing.
This film never really did it for me but that may be because EW did a write up for it at Sundance. By the time it was in wide release, I already knew it was fiction so the marketing did nothing.
Your Reply:



10:20PM on 01/05/2014
I saw it at the Egyptian Theater when it debuted at Sundance 1999. I never had to deal with the "is it real" marketing that was done for the film. I saw it as a horror film; no more, no less.
I saw it at the Egyptian Theater when it debuted at Sundance 1999. I never had to deal with the "is it real" marketing that was done for the film. I saw it as a horror film; no more, no less.
2:38PM on 01/04/2014
The lack of Leslie Vernon on this list disturbs me, though that flick does lose the hand held cam gimmick in the climax.
The lack of Leslie Vernon on this list disturbs me, though that flick does lose the hand held cam gimmick in the climax.
Your Reply:



2:52PM on 01/05/2014
Agreed. Leslie Vernon did it perfectly and the humor was spot on. One of my favs.
Agreed. Leslie Vernon did it perfectly and the humor was spot on. One of my favs.
2:35PM on 01/04/2014
I enjoyed the second much more, Gareth Evans segment being the stand out
I enjoyed the second much more, Gareth Evans segment being the stand out
Your Reply:



10:23PM on 01/03/2014

The Bay...

The Bay? Seriously? This was terrible, so much so, that I the only reason I didn't turn it off, even though it's free on Netflix, was because my girlfriend was curious what would happen. As soon as the reporter started talking, I knew watching this movie was a bad mistake. "Like, so, uh, what happened was like, pretty terrible, and uh, like, ya' know, this is like, pretty bad what like, happened, ya know? Like, seriously, these people like, didn't stand like, a chance. Like, ya know?"
The Bay? Seriously? This was terrible, so much so, that I the only reason I didn't turn it off, even though it's free on Netflix, was because my girlfriend was curious what would happen. As soon as the reporter started talking, I knew watching this movie was a bad mistake. "Like, so, uh, what happened was like, pretty terrible, and uh, like, ya' know, this is like, pretty bad what like, happened, ya know? Like, seriously, these people like, didn't stand like, a chance. Like, ya know?" TERRIBLE!!!!!!
Your Reply:



7:06PM on 01/03/2014
The rifftrax for this one is pretty good, dude man bro.
The rifftrax for this one is pretty good, dude man bro.
Your Reply:



+0
5:59PM on 01/03/2014
Chronicle is probably my favorite on this list, but I do believe the best found-footage film is Europa Report, which is one of the best space exploration films ever made.
Chronicle is probably my favorite on this list, but I do believe the best found-footage film is Europa Report, which is one of the best space exploration films ever made.
Your Reply:



5:48PM on 01/03/2014

I Was Underwhelmed By This FIlm

I didn't enjoy this film much. Frankly, I don't get why people dig it. But, to each their own.
I didn't enjoy this film much. Frankly, I don't get why people dig it. But, to each their own.
Your Reply:



5:45PM on 01/03/2014

Love It!

The Blair Witch Project is good stuff.
The Blair Witch Project is good stuff.
Your Reply:



5:44PM on 01/03/2014

Nice choice

Everything in this film worked. You had two great actors in it, Dane Dehann and Michael B. Jordon, so they were able to place seriousness into a film that was a bit silly. I loved what they did with the cinematography when Dane learned how to control things with his mind. It was a nice touch I really thought was extremely creative. People complain that him filming everything isn't realistic. That is such crap. I did it back in high school, though my stuff was a lot more light and
Everything in this film worked. You had two great actors in it, Dane Dehann and Michael B. Jordon, so they were able to place seriousness into a film that was a bit silly. I loved what they did with the cinematography when Dane learned how to control things with his mind. It was a nice touch I really thought was extremely creative. People complain that him filming everything isn't realistic. That is such crap. I did it back in high school, though my stuff was a lot more light and funny, with friends to perserve memories. It was his way of him dealing with the negative stuff in his life. We got spoiled back in 2012 because this came out early in the year when films usually suck. Definitely the standard for this genre.
Your Reply:



5:43PM on 01/03/2014

This Film Was Only Notable for the Lead Actors

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peņa were terrific in this film. They conveyed the comradery of two people that knew each other inside and out while keeping it entertaining. The flaw of this film is the vignette style story structure. It's a bunch of scenes that are only connected by the two leads being in the film. Other than that, it's a matter of happenstance what happens to them at the end of watch. Also, the found footage gimmick of this film was annoying as even the antagonists (gang-bangers)
Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peņa were terrific in this film. They conveyed the comradery of two people that knew each other inside and out while keeping it entertaining. The flaw of this film is the vignette style story structure. It's a bunch of scenes that are only connected by the two leads being in the film. Other than that, it's a matter of happenstance what happens to them at the end of watch. Also, the found footage gimmick of this film was annoying as even the antagonists (gang-bangers) were video taping their day of committing crimes, as you do. End of Watch is just an ok film with really good performances by the leads.
Your Reply:



5:38PM on 01/03/2014

I understand why people thought that it was bad

They got caught up in all the mythical speculation of what the creature was and when the film came out it was a simple monster movie. I thought it was a great film and still do to this day. It was very soap opera-y but had thrills.
They got caught up in all the mythical speculation of what the creature was and when the film came out it was a simple monster movie. I thought it was a great film and still do to this day. It was very soap opera-y but had thrills.
Your Reply:



5:37PM on 01/03/2014

One of the best marketed films of all time

The way they sold this film was ace
The way they sold this film was ace
Your Reply:



5:36PM on 01/03/2014

I haven't seen it

I feel, as a film lover, I should check this out. I have heard great things about it.
I feel, as a film lover, I should check this out. I have heard great things about it.
Your Reply:



2:39PM on 01/06/2014
I refuse to watch it due to the actual animal torture and killing.
I refuse to watch it due to the actual animal torture and killing.
3:41PM on 01/03/2014
Where's "Rec", i even though "Quarantine" was pretty good.

Where's "Rec", i even though "Quarantine" was pretty good.

Your Reply:



2:34PM on 01/03/2014
Cloverfield was so very shitty.
Cloverfield was so very shitty.
Your Reply:



+0
1:55PM on 01/03/2014
Great soundtrack
Great soundtrack
Your Reply:



-8
1:07PM on 01/03/2014

P.A.-8/10; TROLLHUNER-0/10; V/H/S-3/10; BLAIR-4/10; CHRONICLE-5/10.

I'll have to re-watch CLOVERFIELD,but I think I liked it the 1st time.
I'll have to re-watch CLOVERFIELD,but I think I liked it the 1st time.
Your Reply:



12:37PM on 01/03/2014

Security cameras?

I've only seen the first one so maybe i missed something but i was quite certain the film wasn't a result of a security camera, the main character bought a camera to try and capture footage of the ghost in the house.
I've only seen the first one so maybe i missed something but i was quite certain the film wasn't a result of a security camera, the main character bought a camera to try and capture footage of the ghost in the house.
Your Reply:



1:03PM on 01/03/2014
Yes, but he was using it AS a security camera. In the sequel they use actual security cameras.
Yes, but he was using it AS a security camera. In the sequel they use actual security cameras.
+8
12:31PM on 01/03/2014
I think u prolly have the best 10 on there, but in the wrong order. Blair Witch should def be #1. What a great marketing job with the posters and that website before movies were even really doing that. Especially small ones.
Was end of watch entirely found footage? I don't think so, which means district 9 counts, which is a better movie and does something different with the format. I like chronicle. It's a very good film, but it didn't do much to change the found footage genre. In
I think u prolly have the best 10 on there, but in the wrong order. Blair Witch should def be #1. What a great marketing job with the posters and that website before movies were even really doing that. Especially small ones.
Was end of watch entirely found footage? I don't think so, which means district 9 counts, which is a better movie and does something different with the format. I like chronicle. It's a very good film, but it didn't do much to change the found footage genre. In fact, I think had it been a "regular" film it's quality wouldn't be hurt too bad. Def not number 1.
Your Reply:



1:08PM on 01/03/2014
DISTRICT 9 started as a mockumentary and then they kept using the camera the same way.
DISTRICT 9 started as a mockumentary and then they kept using the camera the same way.
12:22PM on 01/03/2014
Would also add REC to the list.
Would also add REC to the list.
Your Reply:



Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting

Movie Hottie Of The Week

More