Found footage is a form of presenting a movie where it seems that what we see has been shot by one of the main characters in the film with a camera held in his/her hand. Later, the person has gone missing or is killed along with his friends, and the only document that remains of their exploits is the footage, which is now being presented in a movie format after editing. This style of filming is mainly used in horror movies, with ‘The Blair Witch Project‘ (1999) popularizing the usage of such a format.
When the found footage format is used effectively in horror movies, it can create feelings of the unknown, claustrophobia, and intense suspense as the viewer can only see what the handheld camera shows. The interesting thing about most horror films shot in this format is that they break the ‘final girl’ trope, which is massively used in horror movies. Here, in most cases, none of the victims survive. So, here’s the list of really good found-footage horror movies on Netflix that are available to stream right now.
11. My Suicide (2009)
‘My Suicide,’ also known as ‘Archie’s Final Project,’ is a comedy-drama film directed by David Lee Miller. In the media-saturated high school landscape, Gabriel Sunday portrays Archie Williams as the center of attention with a harrowing declaration: he intends to end his life on camera for a class project. This sparks a whirlwind of reactions, from genuine concern to morbid fascination. With the weight of teenage life – from love and peer pressure to mental health – captured through Archie’s lens, the film provides a raw commentary on the media’s impact on adolescence. ‘Archie’s Final Project’ transcends typical teenage drama, transforming into a poignant and satirical observation of modern youth, making it a significant addition to this list. You can stream the movie here.
10. Shirkers (2018)
A British-American documentary directed by Sandi Tan, ‘Shirkers’ was supposed to be the first Singaporean road movie but instead became a film about how it was made in 1992 and then lost, only to be found almost 22 years later in 2011. Director Sandi Tan, who was 19 years old in 1992, shot the film but lost it after she gave it to her mentor Georges Cardona, who disappeared with it. Sandi was contacted by Cardona’s ex-wife in 2011, 4 years after Cardona’s death, and gave her the film, which was then turned into the one now available on Netflix. The documentary has the original footage along with interviews of people associated with the original film as well as those who knew Cardona. You can stream ‘Shirkers’ here.
9. Incantation (2022)
‘Incantation’ (Chinese: 咒; pinyin: Zhòu) unfolds as a Taiwanese-found footage supernatural folk horror film skillfully directed by Kevin Ko. The narrative centers on Li Ronan, who, six years prior, incurred a curse for violating a religious taboo. Presently, she grapples with the task of shielding her daughter from the repercussions of her past actions, weaving a tale of ominous supernatural forces and maternal protection. Kevin Ko’s direction adds depth to this gripping story, making ‘Incantation’ a gripping exploration of the consequences of forbidden acts in a world tinged with supernatural dread. You can watch the film here.
8. I See You (2019)
‘I See You’ is a horror-thriller film directed by Adam Randall. In a suburban setting, we’re thrust into a world where a young boy’s disappearance unveils a series of unfortunate events for the Harper family. Lead investigator Greg Harper grapples with the pressures of the case and domestic strife due to his wife, Jackie’s recent indiscretions. As familial tension heightens, their reality skews when a malevolent entity stakes its claim on their home, and their son Connor is at its mercy. Starring Helen Hunt and Jon Tenney, this thriller isn’t merely about a missing child but the unveiling of sinister secrets within a seemingly normal household. The movie captivates with its plot twists, making it a must-watch in the found footage genre. You can watch the film here.
7. Time Trap (2017)
‘Time Trap’ is a sci-fi film created by the directors Ben Foster and Mark Dennis. Amidst the vast terrains of Texas, a team of students embarks on a quest to find their vanished archaeology professor, only to stumble upon a mysterious cave. This isn’t just any cave; it’s a vortex of time anomalies and enigmatic barriers. While delving deeper, they confront bewildering temporal distortions and chilling revelations about the past. Led by Brianne Howey and Reiley McClendon, the group’s pursuit of truth becomes a survival battle against time itself. This action-adventure film offers a fresh perspective on the found footage trope, making it an exhilarating, time-bending adventure worthy of mention. You can watch the film here.
6. Dabbe: The Possession (2013)
‘Dabbe: The Possession’ is a Turkish horror film directed by Hasan Karacadag. The movie delves into supernatural themes, focusing on demonic possession and exorcism. As the fifth installment in the ‘Dabbe’ film series, it follows a gripping narrative centered around a family encountering malevolent forces. The film combines elements of traditional Turkish folklore with modern horror tropes, creating a chilling atmosphere. With its intense scenes and psychological twists, ‘Dabbe: The Possession’ offers a spine-tingling experience for horror enthusiasts, showcasing the director’s skill in crafting suspenseful and frightening tales. You can watch the film here.
5. Paranormal Investigation (2019)
In the film ‘Paranormal Investigation,’ directed by Franck Phelizon, viewers are immersed in a chilling exploration of the supernatural. The story revolves around Rebecca (Rebecca Finet) leading a paranormal investigation team, including her cameraman Ben (Benoit Ponsaille), as they delve into a haunted house with a dark past. The film skillfully blurs the line between the living and the dead, unraveling terrifying consequences. ‘Paranormal Investigation’ captivates with intense suspense, driven by strong performances from the cast. Phelizon’s direction weaves a tale that keeps audiences on the edge, delivering a riveting and haunting experience. You can watch the movie here.
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4. Missing (2023)
‘Missing’ is a thriller film written and directed by the duo of Will Merrick and Nick Johnson. The narrative is based on Sev Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty’s story. A sequel to ‘Searching’ (2018), the film unfolds on our screens as teenager June is hurled into a digital maze searching for her mother, who vanishes during a trip to Colombia. While stationed in Los Angeles, June, played by Storm Reid, innovatively harnesses technology to trace her mother’s steps. But as June navigates the digital realm, she unearths unsettling truths, realizing her mother may have been a stranger to her all along. Featuring Nia Long and a stellar cast, the movie excels at enhancing the tension of the digital age, securing its position on this list. You can watch the film here.
3. Creep (2014)
This 2014 movie is the story of Aaron, a videographer, who has decided to answer an advertisement for a job that he saw in a newspaper. The ad was from this guy called Josef, who lives in a secluded house all by himself. When Aaron goes to meet Josef, he realizes something is eerily wrong with him, and he should have avoided coming here. Josef, however, acts innocent, but strange objects in his house and a wolf mask make Aaron more alarmed. Later that night, Aaron realizes that Josef is mentally unstable when a phone call warns him about it. He tries to escape, but things are not that easy anymore. ‘Creep’ received widespread critical acclaim from critics who marveled at the use of the found footage format, the intense acting, and the writing of the movie. You can watch it here.
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2. Creep 2 (2017)
The sequel to ‘Creep,’ ‘Creep 2,’ also follows the story of Josef, who now goes by the name Aaron. Karan Soni of ‘Deadpool’ fame plays the role of Dave, a friend of Aaron’s. Aaron admits to Dave that he is a serial killer and kills him. Then begins the story of Sara, who has responded to Aaron’s advertisement of wanting a videographer for a day on Craigslist. When she arrives at his house, Aaron makes a bizarre request, which Sara decides to comply with. Later, things turn sour as their encounter becomes life-threatening for both parties. Like ‘Creep,’ this movie was also lauded by both audiences and critics. You can watch the movie here.
1. Cam (2018)
‘Cam’ emerges as a standout found footage film directed by Daniel Goldhaber. The story revolves around Alice Ackerman, a camgirl, who discovers an eerie doppelgänger has taken over her online identity. This psychological thriller expertly utilizes the found footage format, immersing viewers in the unsettling intersection of technology and identity. Goldhaber crafts suspense through the lens of Alice’s webcam, creating an intimate and voyeuristic experience. ‘Cam’ is a chilling exploration of the digital age’s darker side, with Madeline Brewer delivering a captivating performance. Its innovative use of found footage and gripping narrative make ‘Cam’ a compelling and unsettling cinematic journey. You can watch the movie here.
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