There is always that moment when a movie genre starts to take itself too seriously. And fortunately it is at that moment that someone has the brilliant idea to make a movie about the genre and the state of it, thus giving it new life. I think back to the action movies of the eighties telling people to “ get to the chopper”, as a single man would take on armies and escape without a scratch. We loved it, but at the same time marveled at its “no way” moments that littered the movies. Then in 1993 “Last Action Hero” was released and it pointed out all the things we already knew, and it was brilliant in doing so.
What ‘Hero’ did for action, three years later “Scream” did for all of those horror slasher movies, giving you its rules that were always unspoken in horror movies of the past. While these films did make fun of whom they were, they also breathed new life into their genres. With the popularity of the sub-genre ‘found footage films’, it was time for someone to show how those films are stuck on repeat and never seem to change in their basic formats. That someone is Steven DeGennero, and he has made the “Scream” of found footage.
Derek (Carter Roy) wants to make a found footage film with his now estranged wife Amy (Alena Von Stroheim). He has the story, and knowing he needs a gimmick to make it stand out, decides his will be the first filmed in 3D. With Director Andrew (Tom Saporito), his brother Mark (Chris O’ Brien), and their sound guy Carl (Scott Allen Perry) they head down to a cabin that Amy happens to own. Derek has also decided to use a second camera to film the process of making the film, in other words, film him filming a movie. Strange things start to happen when they begin to film, things they try and explain away. It turns out though the house they are at has a real story behind it, and their found footage film starts to become a found footage film for real.
Calling this the “Scream” of found footage is the best way I can describe what DeGennaro was aiming and got most of the time. While the film has its heart in all the right places, and does deliver most of the way, it still has a few things that doesn’t work as well. The biggest weakness is the run time, which at an hour and forty minutes feels a tad too long. There are plenty of laughs that are delivered, especially by Perry’s character Carl. The 3D also works surprisingly well and the film has indeed found its “I’m different” card, as well as its meta take on the “just put the camera down” genre. There is a good movie in here, I enjoyed this fresh take on a group of films that have become slightly stale. I hope more people get to see this movie, because it does deserve it, and it will be a success if given the chance, as all it needs to be is found.