I was looking up when “The Last Exorcism” is coming out on DVD and blue ray and I realized how excited I am to see it again. It really was a good movie. Some people are really not fans of this POV genre. I think it can be done right and when it is you can really be amazed with what you see. Some of the scariest moments I’ve seen in movies were in POV camera style but other times things will come off as fairly ridiculous. Let’s take a stroll down the movies I’ve seen with this style.
“Paranormal Activity” comes to mind as one of the best I’ve ever seen where the characters live in a nice suburban area Micah is such a puts about wanting to document the events that he will not quit no matter how it effects Katie and exacerbates the situation. The tension builds so well because the camera is there so it still gets high marks from me. The sequel was so-so. I just thought it was so much more of the same that it wasn’t all that scary. The dog stole the show though. I’ve seen PA2 a couple times and both times I’m impressed a great deal by the performance of the dog.
“The Blair Witch Project” was what I think made this style of filmmaking what it is now. It had an amazing backdrop and creeping settings leading to a chilling conclusion. It will always stand out for me as one of those movies that remind me that the woods are truly wild and foreboding. The one thing that makes it stink of bullshit more than anything for me is after a few days of being lost in the woods wouldn’t you ditch your camera and crap to carry only what’s essential to survive? I know recording wouldn’t be a priority.
On that same note we have “Cloverfield”. A modern giant monster movie told through the point of view of a camcorder. While most people would ditch the camera I think it was enjoyable and actually really well done. Plus the monster itself was pretty neat to look at. I really liked the way the footage of the camera kept switching between the day at Coney Island and the monster attack which was recording over it. It made it a lot more realistic in terms of home video.
The next on the list is the dual action of “Quarantine/ [REC]”. I have written a full review about what I thought about these movies compared to one another. “[REC]” is the superior version of the film by POV standards. The footage is held steady so it seems more believable that a professional is handling the camera. There is a lot to say about the fact that the camera man in Quarantine uses his camera, lens first to mouth fuck a zombie to death. It’s ridiculous, and stupid to imagine that the camera would function after that but all he does is wipes the bloody away and he’s good to go.
We also have George Romero’s Film “Diary of the Dead” Basically he is telling the events of Night of the Living Dead through some asshole kids with YouTube. It is pretty bad. There are two aspects that make it REALLY noticeably bad. For starters at the beginning the narrator tells you that music was added sometimes for dramatic purposes. Ok, so she’s acting like this horrific event (the dead are coming to life for crying out loud!) is being documented and she is adding music to it? That is really stupid. It would be like a documentary on 9-11 and someone feeling the need to add the song “Everybody Hurts” to it because the event itself wasn’t “dramatic enough”.
The end line really stuck in my craw too. Because basically you watched a movie where a bunch of kids fought to stay alive and suffered through a lot. The last line involves the narrator talking about some rednecks that she got footage of killing zombies. One is a girl tied by her hair in a tree and they shoot her with their shot guns. She closes with “Are we worth saving? You tell me.” Are you fucking kidding? These freaks are the walking dead. I know they want to make it out like man is super cruel but there is another way to do this.
Finally we have “The Last Exorcism” this was a damn good movie. People said there were some orchestral stings in it at times but I never really noticed. It’s got very likeable characters and a pretty clever script that was fairly creepy and dramatic. All in all it’s one I am excited to watch when it comes out. The biggest question for me though is who found the footage for that movie? Of all of these horror movies this last one seems to be the most unlikely to have footage not destroyed.
One thing is for sure. These movies are very popular. I’m sure many more will be down the pipe. They really let a person tell interesting stories with very little there. I just hope it doesn’t become over used. Like any spice, too much is just annoying.