Alicia Soto, Editorial Board

Found-footage by definition is a genre of filmmaking in which a film is partially or entirely presented as a video or recording of an event, often left behind by someone who is supposedly missing or deceased. In 1999 when The Blair Witch Project was released, people were shocked about its found-film point of view. It was bold, never done before, and for once people believed the words “based on true events.”


It seems that now after thirteen years since The Blair Witch Project, every horror movie produced is a found-film. Why is that? What is it about found-footage films that frightens and leads audiences to question the supernatural? But perhaps it would be even more believable if the film industry did not get carried away with found-footage directing.


Maybe it is the constant camera movement that convinces people. The camera movement is one of the main elements of a found-film. In one moment the camera could be aimed at something completely irrelevant and serene but, once it moves there is no telling what it will catch. This is what causes the unexpected gumbo of emotions that the audience pays to receive. It also causes the audience to push their belief.


However, I personally think that that is the worst thing about a found film. It causes a headache when the camera is constantly always in motion.


Some movies, like Apollo 18, Death of a Ghost Hunter, Chronicle and Cloverfield are fictional stories using the found –footage point of view for audience effect. They are not actually “based on true events” like they claim to be.


How can you tell? Well, found-films do not have a story line. They reveal scattered information and only capture what one is recording; information is limited.


Nearly one-hundred found-films have been produced in the last thirteen years since The Blair Witch Project. Hopefully, this style of movie directing will not appear on every scary movie there is to come. Although this point of view can cause someone to shiver and question the supernatural it may be unhealthy for some. Audiences might grow confused about telling apart the real and unreal.