In 3-D! (Found Footage 3D, 2017)
Found footage movies are pretty risky really. The primary draw for filmmakers seems to be “small crew” and “can be made on the cheap”. Sometimes, this pays off. A lot of this is related to how well the filmmakers know to space out scares and when to focus on drama. Found Footage 3D knows it is entering a very full field, and as such, starts with a wink to the audience.
The starting concept of the film is that Derek and his filmmaker friends are going to make a found footage film at a cabin. Derek announces that they will be making it in 3-D. Because audiences looooove motion sickness.
We are introduced to the crew, which includes Derek’s Ex-Wife Amy, who is dating Mark. Andrew and Carl are longtime collaborators and Lily is the new member of the group. She is excited to be a part of the film, though it seems kind of obvious she got the job because she is cute.
When they arrive at the cabin, they find out that Derek did not alert them to the fact that it is long rumored to be haunted. At first, Derek tries to unnerve the crew, but then things start to occur that indicate there are truly dark forces at work.
Found Footage 3D’s makers obviously know their goal of making a found-footage horror film is a bit of a tough sell. Found footage films, in general, have certain limitations. Why were the people filming this situation? Why do they keep filming? In this case, they opt to lampshade some of this. When asked why 3-D? Derek pauses and declares “Well, he is a 3-D enthusiast!”. His partner Andrew seems less than satisfied with this. At one point, a character mentions bad CGI monsters, and Derek takes offense. And then the monster is kind of goofy looking CGI. And the odd thing is? It works! It is not an impressive looking CGI monster…and that almost helps the film, rather than hinders it.
They also manage some really good jumps…even in moments where I was expecting something, I was still startled. And while the film is very aware of the potential pitfalls of found-footage, it does not overthink itself and become needlessly complicated.
Found Footage 3D is both fun and scary and definitely one of those films that shows how enjoyable well done found footage films can be.