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3 Found Footage Movies You Can Watch Now – Ruined by Underground Ruins Edition

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The vast majority of humans live their lives above ground, going about the humdrum of daily life upon the surface of the Earth. We drive the roads, walk the paths, and sleep in our homes, all the while blissfully ignorant of the subterranean horrors that may lurk beneath us. In this edition of Found Footage Movies You Can Watch Now, we explore three films that prove the acuity of our surface-dwelling ways, by unearthing a few of the terrible secrets that lay buried deep underground.

The Pyramid (2014)

The Pyramid (2014) - Found Footage Films Movie Poster (Found Footage Horror)Shortly after archaeologists discover a unique three-sided pyramid buried several hundred feet below the surface of an Egyptian desert, they are ordered to leave due to riots going on in nearby Giza. Determined to not be robbed of their discovery, the archaeological team defies the order and sends a remote-controlled rover equipped with cameras into the pyramid. When the rover is attacked and knocked offline by strange creatures, the team decides to investigate. The consequences are horrific.

The Pyramid was billed as a found footage film, but it breaks almost every rule in the book at one point or another. With an ongoing musical score, cinematic pans and zooms, and regular inclusion of angles and scenes that could not possibly be captured by any in-movie camera, this film might be better classified as a hybrid—a more traditional movie that infuses several found footage elements.

While it may turn off some purists, the movie’s more traditional approach may have the (likely intended) effect of giving the film a broader appeal. Horror fans who do not usually care for the found footage format may find that they enjoy The Pyramid more than some of the more strict movies. Or at least they might have enjoyed it more, were it not for the relatively inane plot, goofy special effects, and forgettable characters.

The Pyramid is certainly a found footage movie that you can watch now, but whether you should watch it now depends on just how hardcore a fan of found footage you are. The film is not completely without merit—the multi-million dollar budget certainly shows in its high production value and a decent cast who do their best with what they’re given, but don’t go into this movie with high expectations. The Pyramid earned its way onto several “Worst Films of 2014” lists for a reason.

The Tunnel (2011)

The Tunnel (2011) - Found Footage Films Movie Poster (Found Footage Horror)During a water shortage crisis in Australia, the government developed a plan to reclaim and cleanse several million liters of water trapped in abandoned subway tunnels beneath Sydney. Without warning or explanation, and amidst stories of homeless people going missing in the tunnels, the government suddenly scrapped the entire plan. The Tunnel is a documentary-style found footage film that follows investigative reporter Natasha and her film crew as they seek to discover the reason for the government’s sudden shunning of the underground water source.

The Tunnel is a very well-executed found footage film. The quality of the footage taken inside the tunnels, professional look and feel of the interview segments, and top-notch acting come together to form a very competent movie that could rival the believability of many real documentaries.

Since some of the characters don’t appear in the interview segments, who survives the ordeal and who may be less fortunate is foreshadowed fairly early on in the film. Clearly hinting at a character who is doomed and then developing him in an endearing way is a very compelling technique that The Tunnel pulls off expertly. The Tunnel also builds great tension with a claustrophobic atmosphere, good use of grainy night vision, and an ever increasing dread of draining batteries.

The Tunnel is noteworthy in that it was entirely crowd-funded, and then distributed in part through BitTorrent. Seeing as how it is currently available in full for free on YouTube, there is absolutely no reason to pass up this fantastic subterranean found footage nightmare.

As Above, So Below (2014)

As Above, So Below (2014) - Found Footage Films Movie Poster (Found footage Horror)Unlike The Pyramid and The Tunnel, in which the antagonists are various creatures and ghouls that reside deep underground, the main villain in As Above, So Below is the film’s very setting itself. Filmed largely on-location in the actual catacombs beneath Paris, France, this rollercoaster of a movie treats viewers to an extremely rich and claustrophobic atmosphere in which a group of adventurers seek a mythical artifact deep below the city streets.

As the film descends deeper and deeper underground, the catacombs become increasingly surreal. When the adventurers come across a tiny passage inscribed with the infamous phrase that adorns the gate of Hell in Dante’s Inferno, “abandon all hope, ye who enter here,” you know things are about to get interesting.

Filled with an engaging, twisted plot, elegant foreshadowing, nightmarish imagery, superb acting, and an incredibly immersive audio score, As Above, So Below is a masterpiece of found footage cinema. If you must choose just one movie from this list to watch, make it this one. But then, when you’ve finished with As Above, So Below, take a moment to consider your reasons for only choosing one, realize that they are deeply flawed, and then watch The Tunnel as well.

Browse All Ancient Ruins Films on Found Footage Critic

The next time you glimpse movement through a sewer drain in the corner of your eye as you go past, the next time you hear the groaning of your home’s neglected foundations emanating from the basement, resist the urge to investigate. Stay instead well above-ground, nestled comfortably on a couch, in front of a large brightly-lit television screen, and sate your curiosity by watching one of these movies instead. There’s no way to know what you might find down there, but if these films are to be believed, you probably won’t like it. And it most certainly will not like you.

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