26 October 2016

31 Days of Horror Day 26 RWD 2015 - REVIEW

Anyone who has followed along with TC for any amount of time, knows that I am not a fan of found footage films. It's an oversaturated subgenre littered with subpar films that will always be (either by filmmakers themselves or media) held in comparison to The Blair Witch Project but rarely exceed it's greatness. Don't get me wrong, there are some FF films that I enjoy, [Rec]Grave Encounters and The Hunted, are good examples. However, those are rare finds in the almost infinite flow of these types of films.

Chris (Adam Hartley) and Ricky (Matt Stuertz) are two wannabe filmmakers who host a web series called "Ghost Goofs". The series has them hunting ghosts but not to talk to them or help them cross over, it's to prank them (yes you read that right). The two head off into the woods to investigate the legend of a family man turned cannibal while stranded in the middle of nowhere. Turns out Chris scheduled the wrong dates for their interview subjects so they instead go wandering around the woods in search of a different story. What they find instead is themselves.

Sounds like the plot to a John Hughes coming of age film, no? Well, it's far, far from it. Now, I'm not advocating hand holding by a filmmaker. I'm not asking them to divulge every teeny bit of info so the audience can follow along; BUT the audience does need to know what's going on. They need to be able to connect with some aspect of the film in order to enjoy it. By introducing RWD with a line like "Blair Witch move over", directors Hartley and Stuertz set major hurdles for themselves. If you're going to place your film in the league of what is arguably one of the best FF films of the entire subgenre, you better deliver. Unfortunately RWD doesn't.

When you have a cast of two that have to carry an entire film, those characters need to be built in a way where they're, at the very least, likable. At first, Chris and Ricky just come off as two goofballs doing what they love but twenty or so minutes into the film, they turn into giant self centered douche bags and you really just want them to die. There is this epic event going on around them and the best the writers can come up with is to have them prank themselves. It literally makes no sense and in turn causes the whole story to fall apart. I do applaud them for coming up with an original idea however there just wasn't enough substance there to sustain it for it's 77 minute run time. In my opinion, 57 minutes or so of this film could've been left on the cutting room floor and RWD would've made a pretty stellar short film.

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