This movie is a bit nostalgic to me. Back near the beginning of Movie Night, we had a friend who supplied us with a plethora of cheap horror DVDs. Shout out to Tim, who I'm not even sure knows this blog exists... Anyway, Diary of the Dead was one of those movies we watched something like over a decade ago, so I only remembered a few details. Forgotten was that this was directly created by Mr. George A Romero, which makes the fact that it's bad found footage all the more sad. Welcome back to October of the Living Dead.
Hellraiser: Revelations (2011)
Film rights are a can of worms. They are the reason the Marvel Cinematic Universe was created without mutants, despite the Avengers and X-Men both being owned by Marvel. It's also partially why Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are no longer Magneto's children (as of time of writing, the Trial of Magneto may have a weird ending). Whenever you hear about film rights, it's typically never a good sign. That's the case with Hellraiser: Revelations, a rushed entry in the Hellraiser franchise made so Dimension could keep the film rights. The Hellbound Halloween has hit its lowest point. This is why I took a break from this franchise for a week.
Banshee Chapter (2013)
You know that scene in Doctor Strange that the MCU has used a couple more times where the Ancient One punches Steven Strange's soul out of his body? Every so often I come across a movie that does something incredibly similar to me. I don't know how else to describe it beyond that; it's not necessarily bad, but it certainly kicks the metaphorical wind out of me and raises questions about what the hell is going on. Banshee Chapter has one of those moments when veteran actor Mr. Ted Levine playing a parody of Hunter S Thompson asks the lead character, "Have you ever read any HP Lovecraft?"
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)
Last year I said that The Blair Witch Project is a great film, and I will always stand by that statement. Sure, it unleashed a plague of cheap found footage garbage, but can you really blame the good thing for all the cheap knockoffs that follow? Speaking of cheap knockoffs, this year we're talking about Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, a mistake on just about every level. Sure, that sounds a bit unfair, but how else am I supposed to feel about a movie called "Book of Shadows" that doesn't ever feature--or even reference or mention--a spooky and/or witchy book? So the title is a lie, right out the gate? Fan-fuckin-tastic.
Don't you hate it when a movie gets spoiled by its trailer? I can't even begin to count the number of films where I watched the trailer and thought, "Well that's got to be 90% of the plot." Which brings me to Wer, a movie that makes you wonder whether the antagonist is actually supernatural or not, while the trailer flat out says, yeah, he's a werewolf.
The Monster Project (2017)
I want to give this movie some credit: while a lot of found footage movies are incredibly cheap, The Monster Project had a budget for its monsters. I've absolutely seen worse effects in other movies, and the creatures here didn't look like ass. The problem is that this movie is really, really proud of its monsters. It takes every opportunity--once things kick off at the halfway point--to show you them in action. But that becomes a problem, because the more you see clear shots of a creature, the less frightening it becomes. We become inured to it and can grow bored with it. And I know this feels more like a third paragraph thing rather than an intro, but I wanted to get that out of the way first.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
I love The Blair Witch Project. It's one of my favorite films (that I weirdly don't own), but it's by no means a perfect movie. Writers/directors Mr. Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick got amazing performances out of the small cast but through some rough means. And its financial success (under half $1 million budget against a $248.6 million box office) convinced every jackass with half an idea and a home movie camera that they too could make a found footage movie. But with those quibbles out of the way, now is my time to gush.
Amityville: Mt. Misery Road (2018)
Ha ha HA!! I bet you saw the title and thought to yourself, "Oh thank god, he's finally done with all that Mothman shit." WELL THINK AGAIN, DEAR READER!! Turns out Tubi had one last movie with Mothman, and this time there's an actual Mothman in it! Sure, it was for two seconds, and it was actually a dream, and it looked like garbage, but still!
So a friend of mine enjoys a theory about The Blair Witch Project that says there was nothing supernatural in the movie at all; Josh and Mike were faking everything to fuck with Heather. While I can see someone having that galaxy brain take, I'm personally not a fan. Not that I'm opposed to fakeouts like that! It's just that when a movie intentionally goes for a twist like that it has to be done with care, otherwise you get something shitty like The Turning. Why bring this up when I'm going to be talking about yet another Mothman movie? Well...
Paranormal Investigation (2018)
I don’t think it’s too much to ask for some paranormal activity (pun intended) from a movie with “Paranormal” in the title. Well, Paranormal Investigation has other ideas. Sure, it’s the story of a young adult of ambiguous age being possessed by an evil spirit, but there are zero special effects in this movie. Well, okay, there are SOME, but they’re just the cameras glitching slightly when the possessed guy walks past them, and then a mostly invisible body passing by a camera at the very end. So what else does the movie offer? Well… not much.