12 April 2014 1:30 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Found footage films get a bad rap - and worse reviews. But the genre combines the vitality of punk rock with the reach of a video viral, and it has earned, if not respectability, then at least a respectful reappraisal. Some found footage (hereafter Ff) films are, admittedly, unwatchable (see The Devil Inside or, better, don't). But others, such as recent West Country-set religious chiller The Borderlands, or Bobcat Goldthwait's creepy Bigfoot hunt Willow Creek (out on May 2), are closer to unmissable.

Beyond an ominous title card, Ff films require little backstory, and the genre has only a brief history of its own. An uncompromising, hand-over-the-camera-lens look at totalitarianism in Vietnam-era America, Peter Watkins' 1971 mock-doc Punishment Park is considered Ff's chief forebear. Ruggiero Deodato's still-troubling Cannibal Holocaust (1979), however, is the most striking early archetype. Following a gonzo film crew into tribal Amazonia, it puts video-nasty atrocities through a film-school filter, »


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