Found footage horror movies have become a staple in the horror genre. If done correctly, filmmakers can utilize found footage as a way to produce a quality horror movie that seems raw and real. If done incorrectly, the found footage film can be nearly unwatchable.
Found footage horror movies have been stereotyped as a low-budget means of making a feature film. This is true in a sense. Paranormal Activity had a production budget of $15,000 and The Blair Witch Project had a production budget of $60,000. But there are found footage horror films with huge Hollywood budgets like Paranormal Activity 2 which had a production budget of $3 million. Or Grave Encounters which had a reported budget of $2 million. Even The Den had a reported budget of $300K.
Not everyone is a fan of found footage horror movies. The shaky camera style of filmmaking that is often times overused in found footage movies can be annoying to many moviegoers.
When coming up with this list of “Must Watch” found footage horror movies, we looked at several criteria. How realistic is the film? Is it believable that this could be found footage? And is it entertaining?
We solicited input for the list from numerous Facebook groups, Reddit users, and of course our research here at Horrornchill.com. When formulating the Must Watch Found Footage Horror movies list, we decided to only include the first movie in the film franchise. Debating the best film is a movie franchise is something that can be debated later.
The following list of 30 Must Watch Found Footage Horror films is in no particular order. Let us know what’s your favorite on the list?
The Blair Witch Project
Synopsis: Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.
The Poughkeepsie Tapes
Synopsis: A collection of tapes is found in Poughkeepsie, New York, chronicling the torture, rape, and murders of The Waterstreet Butcher. The film is actually inspired by various serial killers including one from the titular town Poughkeepsie, but it’s not based on any one single murderer.
Synopsis: REC revolves around a television reporter, Ángela Vidal, and her cameraman, Pablo, who cover the night shift in one of Barcelona’s local fire stations for the fictional documentary television series Mientras ustedes duermen (While You Sleep). You may also want to check out the remake Quarantine.
The Possession of Michael King
Synopsis: After poor advice from a psychic leads to the death of his wife, a man vows to disprove the existence of the paranormal by allowing himself to be possessed by demons.
Synopsis: For their ghost hunting reality show, a production crew locks themselves inside an abandoned mental hospital that’s supposedly haunted – and it might prove to be all too true.
Synopsis: During a rescue mission into the Amazon rainforest, a professor stumbles across lost film shot by a missing documentary crew.
Noroi: The Curse
Synopsis: A documentary filmmaker explores seemingly unrelated paranormal incidents connected by the legend of an ancient demon called the “kagutaba.”
Synopsis: After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.
The Last Horror Movie
Synopsis: A serial killer uses a horror video rental to lure his next victim. What begins as a teen slasher transforms into a disturbing journey through the mind of Max Parry, a mild mannered wedding photographer with a taste for human flesh.
Synopsis: Aaron answers an online ad and drives to a stranger’s house to film him for the day. The man wants to make a movie for his unborn child, but his requests become more bizarre as the day goes along.
The Taking of Deborah Logan
Synopsis: Mia records the daily lives of Deborah and her daughter Sarah as part of her thesis. As the days progress, strange things happen around Deborah, and it becomes apparent something has taken control of her.
Synopsis: A group of students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings, but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter.
Synopsis: Chaos breaks out in a small Maryland town after an ecological disaster occurs.
WNUF Halloween Special
Synopsis: Originally broadcast live on October 31, 1987, the ‘WNUF Halloween Special’ is a stunning expose of terrifying supernatural activity that unfolded at the infamous Webber House, the site of ghastly murders. Local television personality Frank Stewart leads a group of paranormal investigators including Catholic exorcist, Father Joseph Matheson and the prolific husband-and-wife team Louis and Claire Berger. Together, the experts explore the darkest corners of the supposedly haunted Webber House, trying to prove the existence of the demonic entities within.
Synopsis: As a group of New Yorkers enjoy a going-away party, little do they know that they will soon face the most terrifying night of their lives. A creature the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Using a handheld video camera, the friends record their struggle to survive as New York crumbles around them.
Diary of the Dead
Synopsis: A group of young film students run into real-life zombies while filming a horror movie of their own. Written and directed by George A. Romero.
Be My Cat: A Film for Anne
Synopsis: A young man in Romania goes to shocking extremes to convince Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway to star in his film.
Synopsis: In the remote woods of Upstate New York, David and Clare Poe are attempting to live an idyllic life. However, their twin children’s bizarre behavior might just tear the family apart.
Synopsis: When a group of misfits are hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape, they discover more found footage than they bargained for.
Synopsis: An investigation into a government cover-up leads to a network of abandoned train tunnels deep beneath the heart of Sydney. As a journalist and her crew hunt for the story it quickly becomes clear the story is hunting them.
Synopsis: Two best friends see their trip of a lifetime take a dark turn when one of them is struck by a mysterious affliction. Now, in a foreign land, they race to uncover the source before it consumes him completely.
Man Bites Dog
Synopsis: The activities of rampaging, indiscriminate serial killer Ben are recorded by a willingly complicit documentary team, who eventually become his accomplices and active participants. Ben provides casual commentary on the nature of his work and arbitrary musings on topics of interest to him, such as music or the conditions of low-income housing, and even goes so far as to introduce the documentary crew to his family. But their reckless indulgences soon get the better of them.
The Last Broadcast
Synopsis: A man films a documentary about four men who went into the Pine Barrens of New Jersey looking for the Jersey Devil, and only one survives.
Synopsis: On January 9, 2009, five college students left New York City for a weekend in the country. 48 hours later, all five students have simply vanished without a trace. There were no leads and no evidence – until now.
Synopsis: While studying the habits of web cam chat users from the apparent safety of her own home, a young woman’s life begins to spiral out of control after witnessing a grisly murder online.
Synopsis: A documentary about conspiracy theories takes a horrific turn after the filmmakers uncover an ancient and dangerous secret society.
Synopsis: From 17 year old French director, Nathan Ambrosioni, Therapy is part found footage part regular film. Jane and Simon are two young police officers leading a routine investigation following the discovery of hidden video equipment in an abandoned house by a night watchman. But the first filmed images go well beyond a simple holiday movie. The two investigators realize that they have to move quickly if are to find out what has become of Steven, Stephanie, Olivia, Sam and Sebastien….. before it’s too late.
Synopsis: The timely story of a normal family disintegrating under financial pressure, eventually driven to the unimaginable. We witness the terrifying events unfold through daughter Judith’s video camera, which subsequently becomes Exhibit A.
Synopsis: A news team trails a man as he travels into the world of Eden Parish to find his missing sister, where it becomes apparent that this paradise may not be as it seems.
Synopsis: A man and his girlfriend camp in the woods to capture firsthand evidence of Bigfoot.