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10 Found Footage Horror Movies That Are Actually Scary

Found Footage Horror Movies

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Remember when the infusion of found footage into movies was fresh and inventive, especially when it came to found footage horror? Now the genre is so utterly saturated with the sixth-going-on-seventh Paranormal Activity movie that it seems to have lost its impact. (Even IFC’s new series Documentary Now is getting in on the found footage game.)

To prove that this sub-genre of horror was actually scary at one time or another — and it still can be — here’s a rundown of some truly spine-tingly found-footage films. (Warning: Some of these films are scarily NSFW.) And don’t forget to catch Quarantine airing this month on IFC.

1. The Blair Witch Project

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Before everyone was capturing footage of ghosts and demons with their Vines and Snapchats, the Blair Witch Project sparked a horror movie revolution. It may not have been the very first found footage film, but it was basically The Exorcist of the genre. The value of the sequels, especially Book of Shadows, is up for debate, but nothing will compare to the horrific intimacy of a group of budding filmmakers freaking out in the woods.


2. Paranormal Activity

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There’s a reason why the Paranormal Activity franchise became so popular and spawned six movies, including one spin-off: it’s freaky as hell. Looking through the lenses of various security cameras set up around the house, we see — and are even a part of — the poltergeist that haunts, possesses and slaughters the innocents of the house. The sequels may have gotten progressively gorier with their scares, but nothing compares to the fear sweats we received from the original.


3. Afflicted

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Afflicted may look like another spin on the Chronicle treatment —- a found footage film about individuals who develop strange abilities -— but there’s a horrific twist that makes it unique. We won’t spoil the big secret here, though you can probably figure it out from the GIF above, but at the end of the day the found-footage factor adds an extra layer of intensity to the proceedings.


4. [REC]

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[Rec] is a 2007 Spanish film told through camera footage from a television crew, so it makes sense that they would be filming everything in the name of journalism. The story follows a TV reporter and her cameraman as they accompany emergency workers into a building and are quickly locked inside with the horror within.


5. V/H/S

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The twisty “Amateur Night,” is just one of the many vignettes of V/H/S, a compilation of horror shorts. As if the sadistic stories weren’t terrifying enough, the found-footage aspect sees these monsters staring directly into your soul.


6. The Bay

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It’s no shocker that the horror genre quickly became oversaturated with zombie movies, but The Bay was a new take on a (pardon the pun) decaying genre. A small seaside town in Maryland is at the center of an ecological disaster that turns people into rabid killing machines. One of the more unconventional aspects of the film lies in the found footage, which draws from a mixture of footage from a TV cameraman, confessions from an inexperienced reporter and footage from oceanographers.


7. Unfriended

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If you said a year ago that a horror movie that takes place entirely on a computer screen would be freaky, let alone good, you would’ve been laughed off the Internet. But Unfriended put a new spin on the found-footage format by telling a ghostly tale through computer screens. In doing so, it also modernizes the genre, reminding even the hipster tweenie boppers of the world that they won’t live forever.


8. The Sacrament

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Filmmaker Ti West is an ace at making stories we’ve heard countless times before seem new and freaky. The Sacrament tells the tale of a crazy cult leader gathering his followers for a mass suicide, only we’re seeing it through the lens of a two-man news crew. The new format makes us, somehow, believe we have the power to change the outcome, which makes the rude awakening at the end even more chilling.


9. The Last Exorcism

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Taken out of context, this move from The Last Exorcism looks like it could mesh well with the “Watch Me Nae Nae” music video. When considered within the larger context of the hit film The Last Exorcism, it brings back fond memories of the fear-induced sweat trickling down the nape of your neck. Possession and exorcism seem to naturally mesh well with the found footage format, but this film set itself apart when bathing in the intimate moments between priest, possessed and possessor.


10. The Curse

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Some of the most f-ed up horror has come out of Japan. (The Grudge? Need we say more?) The Curse, aka Noroi, took a Blair Witch-style approach in telling the story through camera footage of a paranormal investigator/documentarian who disappeared while making a movie called The Curse. There were also mockumentary elements thrown in there, but the malevolent spirit that comes a’haunting brings the fear factor. And there’s nothing freakier than watching a person’s last minutes alive on camera.

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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.

Healthcare

From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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