I’m a big fan of what horror streaming service Shudder is doing lately. They curate great horror movies & TV shows you’ve never heard of and acquire unique exclusives. When I discovered they released Found Footage 3D, an exclusive movie available in old-school blue and cyan 3D anaglyph, I immediately watched it and really enjoyed the experience.
Found Footage 3D is the story of dysfunctional independent filmmakers who travel to a remote haunted cabin in the woods to create a found footage movie. To make their film unique, they decide to film in 3D in hopes of generating buzz when it’s complete. As filming progresses, unexplained menacing events strain the filmmakers already-frayed relations and send them into chaos.
To experience the movie in its full glory, you’ll need a pair of old-school blue and cyan 3D glasses. You can find the flimsy cardboard ones online for cheap, or you can spend $8.00 on these sturdier ones I found on Amazon Prime, which will also make you the coolest person at the rave if you take a time machine back to 2001.
Found Footage 3D’s best strength is its meta presentation. We’re watching the 3D found footage of a group of filmmakers creating a found footage 3D film. I liked the subtle touch the film had where it satirizes the plethora of formulaic found footage movies, then effectively delivers on all the things it’s mocking. It also strongly foreshadows the film’s ending, but I found myself hanging until the end to see what happens. I could see where some might find this as trying too hard to be clever, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Found Footage 3D also had some great performances. Tom Saporito excelled at playing the frustrated producer trying to keep it all together. Alena von Stroheim delivered a mysterious and subtly-manipulative female lead performance. But the best performance of the film was from Carter Roy, who initially establishes himself as a likable yet slightly-obnoxious leader, then gradually transforms himself into a full-blown and very punchable jerk.
Two weaknesses prevented Found Footage 3D from being a great film. First, the comedy aspect should have been played up. If they were going for a satirical angle and railing against poorly-made Found Footage 3D films, there were plenty of opportunities to throw in some funnier jabs. I found myself wanting to laugh more. And second, the pace of the film was frustrating at times. It starts off slow and seems to stall in the middle, then races to a chaotic finish at the end. I would have liked to have seen a more uniform build of tension to the finale.
Even with a few flaws, Found Footage 3D was a lot of fun to watch. While the film is poking fun at horror gimicks, I was surprised by how much I loved watching everything unfold in 3D from the comfort of my living room. It definitely made up for some of the film’s shortcomings. I’m hoping Shudder puts out some more 3D content because I think it could catch fire among horror fans.