After generating a major hit with The Blair Witch Project back in 1999, found footage horror movies have returned with a vengeance over the past few years, thanks almost entirely to the success of Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity. What’s more, the handheld faux documentary aesthetic has permeated almost every single genre imaginable, from comedies and superhero movies to dramas and disaster movies. It has become the trademark of the YouTube generation and synonymous with “now” — which explains why upcoming remakes of The Ring, Carrie and Frankenstein are planning to use it to set themselves apart from the originals. But is the format becoming a cliche and are audiences already getting tired of it?
One of the main reasons why studios are so gung-ho on this style of filmmaking is that it is extremely cheap. However, at the same time, audiences are clearly connecting with it as well, and it works on a visceral level that big Hollywood blockbusters cannot reproduce. However, some viewers frequently complain that the extreme camera movement causes nausea and that unfortunate word “shaky cam” is also tends to enter the conversation as well. What do you think? Are you a fan of found footage films? Are they effective or just a gimmick? Are filmmakers still finding interesting ways to use it or are they running out of ideas? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.