This isn't the first time Couto has made a found footage movie, with Alone in the Ghost House his first real foray into the genre. That movie proved he knew what to do and this movie is where he delved a bit more into things.
The unique thing about this movie is that there are 2 plots, alternating throughout the coarse of the movie. One set in the present and one in the past, but both are found footage. I have watched many found footage movies and this is the first one that splits between past and present footage, especially with different media styles. The present is of course on digital whereas the past segments are fashioned to appear recorded on VHS.
The first plot in the present involves Josh Miller as George working on his thesis involving fear with Michael William Ralston (Simon) as the main cameraman along with Joni Durian (Sarah, George's girlfriend), Allison Egan (Elizabeth, George's sister), and Alia Gabrielle Eckhardt (Lisa, their hippy friend). They plan to camp in the cursed woods of Amityville, trying to explore fear in various different ways. We are introduced to the second plot via a video tape, a supposedly "authentic" tape of what went down at a house in Amityville near where they will stay. While camping in the woods, we are introduced to Ira Gansler (Woodsman) who is looking each night for his missing daughter, warning the campers that the woods are dangerous.
The second plot features Julia Gomez (Lina) as a wife who is missing her husband, who has been deployed. She bought their first house which neither of them have seen yet and is recording her first weeks discovering the house. This plot alternates between first person perspective of Lina showing off the rooms and stationary scenes where Lina talks directly to the camera (or doing various things such as sitting at a table, doing yoga, getting ready to sleep). As her plot goes on more and more supernatural things are caught on tape.
The acting is great as usual. While majority of the cast have been in previous Couto films, Egan is a newcomer. Yet she's not a newcomer to the Ohio indie movie scene, staring in multiple Dustin Mill's movies as well as Eric Widing's Primordial (Widing produced and edited this movie). This was also Ralston's first time as a main cast member, previously just having bit parts. He did an excellent job for his first big acting role.
I only have 2 complaints, minor at that. First is that some of the past scenes have slight continuity error where the date does not show up. Another minor complaint is there were scenes where characters questioned something they saw yet they could have looked at what they just filmed to verify what they saw. Other than that, I truly enjoyed the movie!
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