FOUND FOOTAGE 3D: IT’S META COMEDY HORROR TIME, PEOPLE!
In an effort to try and stay at the cutting edge here at 31 HATH, I watched a movie that’s just come out. It’s a little ditty called FOUND FOOTAGE 3D, and it’s a… well, a found footage movie that’s… shot in 3D. It’s about a group of low budget filmmakers who try to make the first 3D found footage movie. To add an even more meta level to the metaness already going on (megameta?), in “real life” this film actually IS the first found footage movie to be shot natively in 3D. My brain hurts now…
This movie, written and directed by Steven DeGennaro, is a horror comedy that is very self-reflexive (see the paragraph above), but is it any good? Sometimes, filmmakers will come up with a clever idea and then forget to bring the movie. In this case, it’s a little bit of a mixed bag, ultimately, but the good stuff is so stunningly GOOD that I have to give it a qualified thumb’s up.
The plot is one of those simple found footage set ups: low budget douchebag producer/actor Derek (played by Carter Roy) has put together a tiny film crew in order to shoot SPECTRE OF DEATH, a 3D found footage movie about an estranged couple trying to work out their differences while retreating to a creepy farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. He’s joined by a director (Tom Saporito), a grizzled sound guy (Scott Allen Perry), and an impressionable college kid (Jessica Perrin), and enlists his recently exxed ex-wife, Amy (Alena von Stroheim), to play the Wife part to his Husband.
Tensions begin to run high between Derek and Amy the moment they get in the car to head out to the creepy location they’ve rented for the film. In a shocking twist from most found footage fare, the lead up stuff is way more awesome than the shocking horror stuff. The main weapon this movie packs has nothing to do with its tricky conceit and everything to do with the amazing actors. Everyone nails their parts, especially Stroheim, who plays Amy as hurt-but-game, and the interactions between her and Roy are believable and painful. As tensions begin to run high and the weird stuff gets rolling, it’s the characters that shine. I know that shouldn’t be a revelation, but it reminds me how often one has to ignore bad acting and poor dialog in these kinds of movies.
The effects and editing are all great and everything, but I was hoping for more as far as actual scares go. I wasn’t mad or anything by the end, as the comedy works all the way through and the actors were amazing. I’m sure if I’d seen it in a theater with a bunch of folks, in 3D, I’d walk out with a pretty big smile. All in all, solid film, and I can’t wait to see what DeGennaro and company do next. (It also would not surprise me at all if this entire cast became household names in the next five years)
MY REVIEW: A LITTLE FLAT IN PLACES, BUT WATCH IT FOR THE ACTING