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NOTE: This list is based solely on IMDB's database, which may not be complete.
NOTE: This list is based on IMDb Database, which may be incomplete.
Scary at some scenes, but not too much.
I had watched James Wan's The Conjuring before this, so I had high expectations. I am a fan of found footage horror films, but the Conjuring was one of my favorite commercial horror films. The start of Insidious is always good, like in Annabelle, which he also had directed. James knows how to create a very uneasy atmosphere. Insidious was a scary one, but as usual, at the middle towards the end, it gets fast=paced, knowing that the mysteries are being divulged. Plus, the repeated overusing of loud distorted scary orchestra sounds can sometimes be annoying, like it is trying too hard to scare. Near the end of the film, it doesn't get scary, especially since the demon's face is explicitly shown. It looks more like watching an adventure/fantasy film. Overall, I enjoyed this better than Annabelle, but this film is short of scenes that would have made it more well-remembered.
Grave Encounters (2011)
One of the most terrifying films for serious horror fans
Not always, but many horror films with big budget and spectacular production effects are not that terrifying as raw found footage films. Found footage simulate the actual atmosphere and lets the viewer focus on the scene without the distracting production effects. I do not understand why this film has only a cult following, when it is far more scary than Paranormal Activity series. The setting is to much for one to imagine; being in a hospital is uneasy; in a mental hospital eerie; in an abandoned mental hospital scary. But to be locked inside a haunted abandoned mental hospital at night? Maybe that's why it can't be understood by the mainstream; they don't want to put (or don't care in putting) themselves in that kind of situation. They just watch the film as a spectator who is detached from it, or like nothing goes on their mind while watching it, or the film is not being taken too seriously. If you have a strong imagination and dark delusions, and hate pretentious mainstream horror films, this film would really satisfy your dark "fantasies".
The Equalizer (2014)
So here is another super hero in human form...
There's no doubt Denzel was able to portray the stoic character of the protagonist. In fact, he did it perfectly, so as to appear that he was the real villain. One would, as usual, expect spectacular effects from such wealthy companies as Sony and Columbia. But the story was disappointing. Here we have an agent who assassinates adversaries perfectly in every situation, with minimal to no damage taken at all. The girl was even set aside in the mid-section of the film and, laughably, re-emerges in the final scene (maybe so as to remind viewers her significance in the film was not fully set aside). Plus, some would find the insertion of a meaningful quote at the beginning baffling. The movie doesn't even provoke pity or, at the very least, understanding of the main character's situation. With so many slow-motion and time-lapses in between scenes, one can vividly picture the aim of the movie; to impress viewers with force, which some people may see as arrogance. It is a commercial action movie though, so most who are satisfied with intense action and little drama would find this film worthy of taking their time.
A film that effectively shows how "natural" a gruesome act can be.
After reading reviews of Kinatay, I decided to watch the film, but it was so rare I can't find it in the internet. Luckily, I found it in a CD shop in a mall and bought it.
The first scenes had a feeling of ordinary life in the shanties of urban Philippines, displaying the bouncy/cheerful personality of Filipinos. However, the ordinary setting takes an abrupt turn upon the start of the mid-section of the movie, where the dark ambiance begin to ooze.
The actors, as aided by unconventional found-footage style camera angles, really did well in making the scenes appear so natural, so as to make the viewer really believe he is an invisible spectator on the actual site. The eerie background music was minimal and effectively placed in scenes that actually require it, enhancing the psychological effect on the viewer.
The flow doesn't hurry in switching scenes. It maintains a slow pace, even until the ending, which is so unconventional but effective. At the end, it leaves the viewer "hanging" because its ending can only offer implications.
What makes the movie really stand out is the sheer natural attitude the characters portray for an extremely brutal and insane act, as viewed by a direct witness. As an indie film, it is not expected to have a spectacular production value, so there would be scenes that are so dark and silent (or both at the same time), and others used to commercial movies might find it boring and lame. If you want something dark and psychologically affecting because it shows how "natural" a grisly act is, then this film should be in your list.
After Earth (2013)
A fresh young actor in a not-so-refreshing movie..
I didn't know of Will Smith's son, Jaden, being the young main actor in the film until I checked IMDb. So that could explain why such a juvenile actor was given the spotlight in the movie because his dad was the screenwriter. While Will showed how serious, composed and stern he can be, I could not really complain about Jaden's acting either except for some acting that needs to be subtle so as not to appear overacting. The story in relation to the glamorous effects was disappointing. It seems they made an expensive movie with a lame story just to introduce Jaden's acting prowess (or progress) to the public. Unless you are fond of sci-fi adventure films, or good-looking young "prodigies", then there will be much more excitement that other films might offer.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
One of the most worthless things to watch.
I do not get the idea why people would make a movie so worthless. Its story is senseless and extremely lame to say the least. Its primary purpose is to show gore, gore that is done by non-humans; "monsters" if you will. Like your usual mediocre gory horror movies, the cast is all enticing with youthful good-looking actors and actresses. In this movie though, the acting was fair enough. The movie writers wanted to make a movie that combines technology with old-fashioned backwoods zombies. They thought it was a brilliant idea. All it did was an utter waste of resources. Maybe that's what they wanted after all, since the movie was all about that; futility.
Evil Dead (2013)
Gory scenes make up for the lame story.
At the first scenes, one would think the movie courts the audience with all of its good-looking actors and actresses. But why would people want to make a movie with a lame-to-useless story just to show how gory and cruel a movie can be? The movie's background was so rushed that I cannot understand why the the group even visited the cabin. In addition, the lead actor is good-looking but his acting style is so bad. His persona and decisions are so dumb that it can be annoying. The flow is fast-paced and there is no element of suspense. At the middle of the film, you already get to know the outcome. The scenes are virtually the same; gory scenes, loud screams and survival. There is so much blood and violence in the movie that one can only imagine how twisted the writers and director were to portray the worst imaginable kind of physical feeling; but that's all about the movie. For people who really enjoy gory and cruel stuff, however bad the story is, then this is for them.
Deliver Us from Evil (2014)
Not a very good exorcism movie.
After watching several exorcism movies, I thought this would be a really good one. The building of the suspense in the early part of the movie is very good. It has some similarities in certain events with The Conjuring. Although the disappointing part is the abrupt and bland ending which spoils the whole movie. In addition, the priest actor has some Latin accent that makes it very hard to recognize the words he say, which makes understanding the plot and flow more difficult. The perspective is more "worldly" than spiritual, which is understandable since the main actor is a police. Although the story writers had missed putting enough religious element in the movie, which makes the movie seem as if it was trying too hard to stray away from being religious. Because of this, the movie isn't compelling, and is fine to watch when nothing better is available.
Gory and startling
OK, this movie starts off like it was "fun". There is no anticipation of any terrifying stuff. I cannot believe how quick the events unfolded. But the tension started building up the moment the police with the reporters and firemen opened that door with the old lady. The characters played their roles well. It was expected that the characters would end up dying as the film progresses, but I did not expect the terrifying near-end and ending, which overshadows the horror of even the Blair Witch or Paranormal Activity. One cannot stand but ponder on the pitiful situation the female reporter was in. A really good horror movie.
What else would you expect from a Hollywood production company?
I thought I would be able to like all found footage films. However, this disappointed. The voice acting by the cameraman was so horrible like he was just making fun of it. What's more, there's so much sensationalism in the obviously Hollywood high-budget movie which strips off the suspense and realism. The numerous "Oh my Gods" are extremely annoying. Plus, the storyline was so bland that it would seem the movie was primarily for showcasing the impressive graphics and simulation technologies at the time. Whatever the case, this isn't even a scary or thrilling movie. So I wouldn't know why they made such a pitiful script for such a high-budget movie. I would like to think of it as a waste of time, but at the very least, it opened my eyes to see how big and wealthy production companies venture into the found footage genre only to end up mostly creating a trying-hard or trying-to-impress movie full of your usual mainstream movie elements; extravagant graphics and annoying sensationalism, two key elements not typically found in the REAL found footage genre.