You know when you read the premise of a new horror movie and think, “Oh, that sounds pretty good”? And then you find out it's a found footage movie and think, “Oh, that sounded pretty good, before”?
This weekend's “The Gallows” (the latest offering from Jason Blum's mega-successful Blumhouse Productions) is one of those films for me. I'm a sucker for slashers centered around the tragic anniversary of some deadly murder/accident (in “The Gallows,” a prop malfunction in a high school play is the catalyst for the present-day mayhem), but once I was made aware of the shaky cam aesthetic I was immediately turned off (let's just say the trailer didn't do much to change my mind).
Do I hate all found footage movies? No! The first “Paranormal Activity” was properly terrifying, and I was frankly wowed by Josh Trank's 2012 found footage/superhero mashup “Chronicle.” Other solid examples of the genre: Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza's “REC,” the 2012 horror-anthology film “V/H/S,” 2010's “The Last Exorcism” and the visually stunning Norwegian mockumentary “Trollhunter.” But those are outliers in a sub-genre that, in my opinion, needs to die (or at least become seriously endangered).
Below are six reasons why Hollywood needs to give their found footage obsession a rest.