For the most part, there’s nothing particular that helps this one stand apart from any other Bigfoot movie. Nothing compared to any other found footage for that matter. Nothing except, one very long continuous take in which our two leads sit and listen as something stalks around their campsite in the middle of the night, getting closer and closer. It reminds you of those times you stood frozen at the top of your stairs, holding your breath as you’re trying to figure out if someone has broken in your house. If I could feel no pain I would’ve chewed my fingers right down from nails to knuckles. Someone finally decided to make good on Blair Witch’s use of real-time tension.
Not only does this unfortunate tale have an interesting and creepy take on the transformation from human into vampire, but it’s a kick to see the world through a modern-day vampire’s eyes as he scales and leaps from tall buildings. It can be a trip, but it’s thrilling to watch at times.
Only just released this year in the UK on DVD under the title Hacked. A lot of undeserved praise was heaped on its “innovative” cousin Unfriended (2014). So as you may have guessed the majority of this film’s story is shown through the main screen of the protagonist’s laptop. And although it is never mentioned by name, the source that terrorises our leading lady shows a lot of characteristics of a hacker from the dark web, the worldwide web version of the black market. A very real place that nobody should get on the wrong side of. Especially trespassers.
Encounters never took itself too seriously, so when it starts rolling out the scares it becomes a surprising thrill ride. Thanks to its popularity, this one has far too many shockingly bad copycats. Its severed tongue sequence is now part of a popular Try Not To Get Scared video on YouTube.
Known as House Swap on IMDb.com, what frightened me about this one is that for once the evil force in the house wasn’t a witch, a ghost, the devil, bigfoot or an alien, but a person. An insane killer that navigates the house unseen until they decide they want you to see them.
This chilling excursion shows us the horrifying effects of group psychosis, what people are willing to do, to sacrifice for their own beliefs. The climax is unnerving on many levels, and the act itself is, by extension, its own form of terrorism.
Romero taught the world how to make kick-ass zombie movies, but could he be schooled by the new kids on the block. As expected, the teacher is also a brilliant student. If memory serves me right, I also preferred this one to George’s Land of the Dead (2005). It’s certainly better than 2009’s Survival of the Dead… (Shudders in disgust)
This entry in my Top 10 is a payment of respect, but that shouldn’t take away from its initial impact. The tent scene didn’t scare me like it did so many others, but then came that fucking ending. It’s the perfect example of how quickly and deeply urban myth can take route in the human mind. After seeing this film, all you would have to do is stand in the corner of an empty room, and the next person to walk in would know to run back out…usually screaming for their lives…
Its prequel was a great start to the franchise, grim short horror stories told to us through that grainy first-person/voyeuristic perspective. Part 2 steps things up, the way every sequel should. I’ll admit, it’s not as creepy, but for what it lacks it makes up for in style, technique and the entertainment factor. Segment 3 is easily the best of the entire series. This instalment is one story short of the original’s 5 tales. Personally, I’d remedy this by plucking Bonestorm – the skater boys versus Mexican witch zombies segment – from V/H/S Viral (2014), and having that tame and disappointing sequel not exist at all.
As well as having one of the most bizarre and original endings I’ve seen in any genre, the night church scenes filled me a dread that I can’t quite explain. I wouldn’t call myself a believer, but I guess the notion of a place of worship and safety being violated by something so malevolent and deadly isn’t exactly comforting.