It’s that time of year again! The leaves are turning color, there’s a chill in the air, and the smell of fear is upon us—Halloween is approaching! This year the Found Footage Critic staff writers each offer their top found footage picks for Halloween. Below we present five horrific found footage films that appeal to the unique sensibilities of each of our writers. Are you brave enough to watch?
Lake Mungo (2008) – Recommended by Staff Writer Zoe Serrano
Lake Mungo is Australian, it’s got a great mockumentary feel to it, and while it’s not overtly scary it’s one of those films that will haunt you days afterward.
Halloween only comes once a year, so I always go through a long, drawn-out vetting process to decide which films are worth watching. I’ll make lists, write out pros and cons, note the possibility that I’ll likely have to pause the film a couple times to pass out candy. A great Halloween found footage film must be versatile enough to withstand drunk friends and screaming children, and yet still bring something more to the table.
Lake Mungo is an Australian mockumentary style film that is perfect for such an occasion. The film focuses on the family of a teenage girl who died under mysterious circumstances and how, in the aftermath of her death, they had reason to believe that she was returning from the grave. Lake Mungo captivating enough to survive the pause button and spooky enough to befit the occasion, not to mention that it’s a technically strong found footage film. — Zoe Serrano
16-year-old Alice Palmer drowns in a local dam. When her body is recovered and, her grieving family buries her. The family experiences a series of strange, inexplicable events centered in and around their home. Unsettled, the Palmers seek the help of psychic and parapsychologist, Ray Kemeny. Ray discovers that Alice led a secret, double life. At Lake Mungo, Alice’s secret past emerges.
What We Do In The Shadows (2014) – Recommended by Staff Writer Hannah Norby
Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s What We Do in the Shadows is the perfect mix of fun and spooky for your Halloween found footage movie marathon. The vampire spoof mockumentary never lowers itself to cheap, cynical parody. Instead, it’s clear that the filmmakers have a genuine love for the tropes and cliches of the vampire genre, drawing inspiration from everything from Dracula to Nosferatu to Twilight.
The movie is by turns hilarious, heartfelt, and still packs some genuine scares. At the same time, as you’re laughing yourself hoarse, you’ll also be raising your eyebrows at some top-notch gore, and wondering how you’re getting so emotional about the movie that a moment ago had you choking on your Mini Snickers.
Alongside our suggestion of TrollHunter (below), What We Do in the Shadows is also a chance to add some international flair to your Halloween, being part of the proud tradition of New Zealand horror comedies. This is the perfect movie to put you in the Halloween spirit. As an added bonus, you’ll also get to enjoy having the opening theme song stuck in your head until Thanksgiving. — Hannah Norby
Follow the lives of Viago (Taika Waititi), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), and Vladislav (Jemaine Clement) – three flatmates who are just trying to get by and overcome life’s obstacles-like being immortal vampires who must feast on human blood. Hundreds of years old, the vampires are finding that beyond sunlight catastrophes, hitting the main artery, and not being able to get a sense of their wardrobe without a reflection-modern society has them struggling with the mundane like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.
- What We Do In The Shadows (2014) – Movie Page
- What We Do In The Shadows (2014) – Movie Trailer 1
- What We Do In The Shadows (2014) – Movie Trailer 2
- What We Do In The Shadows (2014) – Written Review
- What We Do In The Shadows (2014) – Podcast Review
TrollHunter (2010) – Recommended by Staff Writer Rudism
My favorite aspect of Halloween has always been its alleged roots in paganism. I watch slashers, creature features, thrillers, and paranormal horrors all year long, so when Halloween rolls around I’m usually in the mood for something different. I generally gravitate toward films with a strong folkloric influence–witc
One of the greatest folklore oriented films in any genre, let alone found footage, is the Norwegian masterpiece Trollhunter (2010). The film has a tongue-in-cheek feel at times, largely thanks to a cast seeded with a number of Norwegian comedians. If you brush up on Scandinavian folk tales before watching, you’ll recognize several shout outs and references peppered throughout the film.
With a nice mix of humor, great special effects, and gorgeous cinematography, Trollhunter has everything I could ask for to give me my Halloween folklore fix as I slowly slip into a candy-induced coma. — Rudism
When bears are found dead in Norway, the students of the Volda University Thomas, Johanna and the cameraman Kalle decide to investigate. They stalk the trailer of the mysterious hunter Hans expecting to find an explanation for the killings. The reluctant Hans tries to flee from the youngsters, but he agrees that they film him in action provided they follow his orders. Sooner the trio of students learns that Hans is actually a troll hunter that works for a secret government agency. Further, several dangerous trolls have escaped from their territory and Hans is assigned to eliminate them.
- TrollHunter (2010) – Movie Page
- TrollHunter (2010) – Movie Trailer
- TrollHunter (2010) – Podcast Review
The Houses October Built (2014) – Recommended by Found Footage Files Co-Host Boss Butcher
It’s that magical time of year when the only holiday I care about comes around. Halloween. I have been a fan of horror films most of my life, and I usually do revisit a few of my favorites during the month of October each year. When it comes to found footage horror, one film stands above the others in theme, and quality. That film is The Houses October Built. It is a film made to watch at this time of year.
The Houses October Built takes the fun of visiting haunted house attractions and takes it to the next level, as our heroes go on a quest to find the scariest experiences around the country and stumble upon a scary underground behind the scenes of these thrill rides. Their journey leads them across the country into Louisiana where the line between recreational terror crosses into a real visit to evil and danger.
The cast pulls off this documentary style flick, as they tour these haunted houses in their RV, and the antagonists deliver the creepiness in a way few films do. The characters are memorable and genuine, and their pursuers are iconic. Especially the creepy doll character. The movie is also high on the “fun” factor, and this film is one you will want to watch again and again. In fact, I think I’ll watch it now! — Boss Butcher
Beneath the fake blood and cheap masks of countless haunted house attractions across the country, there are whispers of truly terrifying alternatives. Looking to find an authentic, blood-curdling good fright for Halloween, five friends set off on a road trip in an RV to track down these underground Haunts. Just when their search seems to reach a dead end, strange and disturbing things start happening and it becomes clear that the Haunt has come to them…
- The Houses October Built (2014) – Movie Page
- The Houses October Built (2014) – Movie Trailer
- The Houses October Built (2014) – Podcast Review
House With 100 Eyes (2013) – Recommended by Found Footage Critic Owner Michael Steinberg
What makes for a good Halloween film? This is a subjective opinion for sure, but for me, a great Halloween film draws out all of the emotions that come with the holiday: fear, tension, and dread. And of course, let’s not forget the blood and gore indicative of this special day of the year.
With so many found footage films to choose from, selecting just “one” great Halloween film does not come easy. I scoured the Found Footage Critic film database and selected a fantastic 2013 title we reviewed last fall, House with 100 Eyes!
This film has gore, humor, tension, great acting, a riveting and entertaining story, and even has a small, albeit poignant, supernatural element. Found footage fans who have not seen that many explicit horror films may find this one a bit too much for their sensibilities, but it’s a great film Nonetheless. For these reasons, my Halloween pick is House with 100 Eyes! — Michael Steinberg
Ed and Susan appear to be a normal loving couple, however, they are far from it. They are snuff filmmakers and want to make the first ever triple feature; Three victims, three kills, all in one night. In order to provide their fans with everything you’d get on a straight DVD, they rigged their entire house with cameras and audio for your viewing pleasure. Ed’s plan slowly unravels and it is all captured on tape.
- House with 100 Eyes (2013) – Movie Page
- House with 100 Eyes (2013) – Movie Trailer
- House with 100 Eyes (2013) – Written Review
- House with 100 Eyes (2013) – Podcast Review
What are Your Favorite Picks for Halloween?
So there you have it, readers, the top found footage films for Halloween from the Found Footage Critic website staff! We would love to hear what YOUR favorite found footage films are for the Halloween Season. Please post your favorite titles in the comments section below!