Five Unmissable Found Footage Horror Films You Must Watch


Kai talks about the found footage sub genre of horror and its must-see films.

‘Found footage’ horror films are films seen through a camera held by a character. Sometimes you don’t see this character, sometimes you do, but they are involved in the dialogue of the movie, and you see everything via their perspective, apart from when they drop the camera, or pass it to someone else, which is guaranteed to happen. You can also expect a whole lot of WTFs and things to happen in the background while on-screen characters aren’t looking.

If you’re as much a horror fan as I like to think I am, then you know that finding a good film among the multitude of Horror sub-genres can be difficult. Whether it’s; slashers, possession films, found footage, psychological horror, etc. the bad will always outweigh the brilliant, and by a substantial amount.

So, seeing as found footage horror films are some of my all-time favourites, and most fans think the found footage sub-genre to be entirely run in to the ground by a whole lot of inexplicably bad films at this point, here are five I think you shouldn’t miss:

‘Paranormal Activity’ (2007)


‘Paranormal Activity’ created a franchise that as of 2015, is six films strong. It’s the popular belief that the quality of the franchise has decreased with each new entry, but there’s nobody saying that the success of the franchise is surprising. The first ‘Paranormal Activity’ raised the bar, not just for the sub-genre, but for Horror as a whole.

The first entry in the ‘Paranormal Activity’ franchise centres on young couple Katie and Micah, it takes place in the days following their move to a new house and documents the events before, during, and after, Katie’s strange confession.

‘Creep’ (2014) 


Although a recent addition to the sub-genre, ‘Creep’ introduced me to the real genius of found footage and encouraged me to go back and find any gems I may have missed in my earlier found footage ignorance.

‘Creep’ is made up of footage recorded by a camera held by Aaron, after he accepts an online advert created by Josef, a man who we are disturbed to learn more about almost from the word; ‘Hi’.

‘Taking of Deborah Logan’ (2014)


Another found footage horror film from the last five years, ‘The Taking of Deborah Logan’ features flawless acting, almost superb pacing, and is, in my opinion, a serious contender for the sub-genres crown now the Paranormal Activity series has stepped down.

‘The Taking of Deborah Logan’ is mostly made up of footage from Mia’s (a medical student) documentary project on Alzheimer’s which stars Deborah ‘Deb’ Logan and her daughter Sarah. Mia and her documentary crews investigation into Alzheimer’s symptoms turns sour when secrets from Deborah’s past begin to unfold around them.


‘The Blair Witch Project’ (1999)

The Blair Witch Project

The single parent of found-footage horror films, this thought-to-be-real masterpiece led people from all over the United States to Black Hills Forest, Maryland in search of the three film students whose missing posters covered walls all over the country. The marketing campaign that enveloped this movie, as well as the improvisational brilliance of the actors, are two reasons of many as to why ‘The Blair Witch Project’ continues to inspire film makers across the globe.

‘The Blair Witch Project’ is a film recorded by two cameras, used by Heather, Joshua, and Michael, as they attempt to create a documentary on the legend of a local murderer.

‘[Rec]’ (2007)


‘[Rec]’ is a fast and intense experience and it’s the Spanish film that gave birth to some of the motifs seen in found footage horror films since. There are a number of scenes from films already listed here that I’m sure wouldn’t have been without the originality of [Rec]. These facts make [Rec] an essential among horror fans.

While shooting their TV show ‘While You’re Asleep’ Angela and Pablo follow two firemen they’ve been documenting into an apartment building after they are called to rescue a trapped woman.

What are yours? Let us know in the comments below.

Support more young people to have their voices heard

Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.

We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.

In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important. 

Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.