The Best (and Worst) Found Footage Films

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Found Footage them or hate them, one must acknowledge there’s a glut of them. You would think the market would have reached saturation point by now, but they just keep coming, and coming, and … suddenly I feel like if I put one more coming, we’re talking about an entirely different type of found footage film, so I’ll just stop right there.

Anyways…Gracie and I put our heads together and came up with a short list of the best and worst found footage films. (We did both because we couldn’t think of ten good found footage films to fill up the list.) I don’t know if I need to qualify that these are obviously sci-fi and horror oriented, because aren’t most found footage films in one or the other?

Top Ten Tuesday’s topics are normally brought to you courtesy of the Broke and Bookish, but their topic for this week just wasn’t quite our style.



The Best Found Footage Films

The Blair Witch Project – 1999

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.

Everything you’ve heard is true.

The Possession of Michael King – 2014

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.

If you invite it in, it will never let you go.

Ghostwatch – 1992

The BBC gives over a whole evening to an ‘investigation into the supernatural’. Four respected presenters and a camera crew attempt to discover the truth behind ‘The most haunted house in Britain’, expecting a light-hearted scare or two and probably the uncovering of a hoax. They think they are in control of the situation. They think they are safe. The viewers settle down and decide to watch ‘for a laugh’. Ninety minutes later the BBC, and the country, was changed, and the consequences are still felt today.

We don’t want to give anybody sleepless nights.

Paranormal Activity – 2007

After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.

What Happens When You Sleep?

Grave Encounters – 2011

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.

They were searching for proof… they found it

The Worst Found Footage Films

Blair Witch – 2016

After discovering a video showing what he believes to be his vanished sister Heather, James and a group of friends head to the forest believed to be inhabited by the Blair Witch.

There’s something evil hiding in the woods

The Gallows – 2015

20 years after a horrific accident during a small town school play, students at the school resurrect the failed show in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy – but soon discover that some things are better left alone.

Some things are better left alone.

The Last Exorcism – 2010

A troubled evangelical minister agrees to let his last exorcism be filmed by a documentary crew.

God asks. The Devil commands.

Apollo 18 – 2011

Decades-old found footage from NASA’s abandoned Apollo 18 mission, where two American astronauts were sent on a secret expedition, reveals the reason the U.S. has never returned to the moon.

There’s a reason we’ve never gone back to the moon.

Paranormal Activity – 2007

After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.

Surprised? No, it’s not an accidental reprint, just an example of how two horror fiends can think very differently on the same movie. Such are the awesome variations of horror.




So, how’d we do? Do our tastes align with yours, or did a selection of ours offend you? I (LG) know a lot of you are probably going to roll your eyes at Paranormal Activity 1, but it was really the first found footage film I ever watched, and it scared the bejesus out of me! GracieKat fully expects to get some comments her way about The Last Exorcism (and perhaps Paranormal Activity) as it seems to be more popular than she thought!

Feel free to spout your opinion in the comments below.

7 thoughts on “The Best (and Worst) Found Footage Films

  1. I agree with most of your categorizing. I liked the first Paranormal Activity movie. The second one too. And I liked Apollo 18. The second Blair Witch was a complete waste of time. What about Cloverfield? I liked that one.

    1. I really liked Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 but I do realize that most people don’t. At the very least it feels a bit more of a coherent continuation of the first movie but it was a work of art compared to the newest one, lol.

      I was thinking about including a Bonus section (at Lilyn’s suggestion) and I really wish that I had listened because I did want Cloverfield on there and The Asylum’s Paranormal Entity (the mockbuster of Paranormal Activity) was actually quite good. The Last Broadcast was decent, as well. Not great but enjoyable.

  2. The Gallows drove me crazy. I liked the first Blair Witch but boy, it did start an epidemic huh? Found footage films tend to give me motion sickness, as do some video games. Something about all that jostling!

      1. I’ve experienced it with some, not many, though. The Blair Witch Project didn’t bother me but Blair Witch (2016) did in spots. Never to the point of upchucking or anything but every time I watch As Above, So Below I get a headache and a little queasy.

    1. I get it a bit from some video games as well. I still haven’t finished Bioshock because it makes me queasy after a bit. The Blair Witch Project seems downright smooth when compared with some of the newer FF movies. I feel like they think “the shakier, the realer”.

      I think Blair Witch Project broke through so well because of the (genius) marketing blitz they did. There were a few before it but got largely overlooked. Well, Cannibal Holocaust got it’s own bit of media but probably not in the form they were hoping for.

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