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My top five found footage movies

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Found footage made its debut in the 1980 movie, Cannibal Holocaust. Though used in this film it later would become popularized in 1999 by The Blair Witch Project. Since then found footage has had its own place in the horror sphere. This medium of storytelling challenges creators to find realistic reasons for people to be filming and for filming to continue when the on screen characters are facing imminent danger and possible death. Known in part for their cliffhanger endings due to characters having succumbed to whatever horrors they face. Let’s dive into what I believe are the five most quintessential found footage movies to watch and those that I truly enjoyed watching for one reason or another.

1. Coming in at number one is The Blair Witch Project (1999). No surprise here since this movie popularized the sub-genre but despite this the film has withstood the test of time. A slow burn up until the final act this movie keeps viewers on the edge of their seat as it builds tension and doubt amongst the lost filmmakers.

2. Number two on my personal list might be a little controversial but nonetheless one of my personal favorites, Unfriended (2014) takes this position. This movie is one of the first to take place primarily on a laptop screen as if we are viewing the screen as one of the characters. There are some definite plot holes in this movie but the creativity and ingenuity of it’s time while still being scary puts it high up on the list.

3. This next spot goes to a collection of movies rather than one, none other than the V/H/S series. The first movie released in 2012 but they continue to be released with an anticipated release in the future. These movies are anthologies tied together by people watching these VHS tapes despite knowing that watching them in a certain order foretells a grave fate for the watcher. Some of these stories are a bit hokey but there is at least one worth watching in each installment of the series.

4. Fourth place goes to Creep (2014) depicting a man who answers an online ad to go to a stranger’s house to film him. The acting from Mark Duplass keeps you guessing and intrigued from start to finish and is a good movie all horror aside.

5. Last but certainly not least, The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014). Though this movie is a bit long and chalked full of story to follow and piece together the final scenes have truly haunting imagery that sticks with viewers.

Honorable mentions:

As Above So Below (2014) is a personal favorite of mine that I like to watch over and over. Taking place in the catacombs of Paris, a place that just invites horror due to its history, we follow characters looking for a treasure only to find what appears to be a portal most would want to avoid.

Paranormal Activity (2007) this movie is one of the most realistic horror movies. The haunting of this couple’s home starts small and picks up as they continue to engage with it and observe it. The final scenes of this movie (from both endings) shocked audiences at the time and left people screaming at their televisions for answers. Video footage of audience members watching and reacting to the film were used in promotions of the movie to tell audiences how scary it was. Definitely worth watching if only for that piece of horror history.


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