found footage

The Bay

On paper, “The Bay” doesn’t look like much. It’s a found footage film, and haven’t we all seen enough of those to last a lifetime? It’s also directed by Barry Levinson, a fine director but known more for movies like “Good Morning Vietnam” and “Diner” than anything horror-related. How could this movie be good?

Playback Image

“Playback” starts interestingly enough. A young man named Harlan Diehl walks around a country farmhouse with a video camera, filming recently slaughtered bodies (as we learn later, it’s Diehl’s adopted family being filmed and he’s the one who did the slaughtering). His camera then focuses on a little baby left untouched in the mayhem. Before we learn the reason for his murdering spree, however, he is gunned down by police officers. Would it surprise you to know that the baby survives?

We review the biggest practical joke of the Halloween season...

It's hard to believe there have been four "Paranormal Activity" films. Even in the year 2012, where sequels and spinoffs are commonplace, it's still unlikely that the series has made it this far. What's even more unlikely? The fact that, at least up until now, the series has maintained and even raised the bar for quality with each entry. Unfortunately, with "Paranormal Activity 4" you can throw that trend out the window.

Many people on Twitter pooped themselves during this movie... find out if we had the same experience.

"Sinister" is an interesting little film. Originally slated for a limited release this fall, it will now be featured in over 2,000 theaters this Friday, due mostly from positive word of mouth from early screenings. After seeing it with an advance audience myself, it's not hard to see why.

Wait, how did a webcam conversation end up on a VHS tape?

Certain films succeed almost entirely because of plot devices, singular performances, concepts, or settings. Others fail because of one missing piece to that same puzzle. Unfortunately in the case of "Hollow", it fails despite having a setting so engrossing that it distracts you of the film's pitfalls for nearly three quarters of the film.

"V/H/S" is a new, independent horror anthology that comes to you from ten, count 'em, ten directors, including current horror golden boy Ti West ("The Innkeepers"). The entire film is shot in a first person "found footage" style, although the subject matter of the stories varies wildly.

There's a very simple premise behind "Grave Encounters"… take a group of cynical, fraudulent "Ghost Hunters" shooting a terrible reality show, and throw them into a situation where they actually encounter ghosts. It's a format ripe for parody and/or satire, given the dubious nature of most of these shows to begin with. Unfortunately, "Grave Encounters" does little with it beyond the setup, and even worse, adds nothing to the found footage subgenre it so tirelessly apes.