This article examines the post-millennial popularity of the found footage movie, in particular its engagement with the representational codes of non-fiction media. Whilst the majority of critical writings on found footage identify the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Centre as a key visual referent, they too often dwell on the literal re-enactment of the event. This article instead suggests that these films evoke fear by mimicking the aesthetic and formal properties of both mainstream news coverage and amateur recording. As such they create both ontological and epistemological confusion as to the reality of the events depicted. Rather than merely replicating the imagery of terror/ism, these films achieve their terrifying effects by mimicking the audiences media spectatorship of such crisis.
influential The Blair
Witch Project in 1999 . This strategy (also known as subjective camera,
amateur camera, found footage, POV and mock documentary) has come to
be widely used, including in Death of a Ghost Hunter (2001),
The Descent (2005), Diary of the Dead ( 2007 ), the
Paranormal Activity series (2007–12),
Cloverfield (2008), The Zombie Diaries
]onster figures can be used to affirm the existing
order in that they represent threats to normality which are purged.
The release of narrative tension is often identified … with conservative
institutions’ (1988: 179). Accordingly, within monster narratives the
agent of rescue provides a return to pre-existing order. The agents may
be authoritative institutions such as the military (Cloverfield, 2008),
police, sheriffs, or other government agents (Police Chief Martin Brody
in Jaws, 1975; Sheriff Donald Thompson in A Nightmare on Elm
Street, 1984; Agent Clarice
reanimated nightmares. In
other words, fear films can provide momentary relief but, unlike most
Hollywood films, do not entirely contain what they manifest. The
‘happy ending’ is perhaps merely contingent, and may be equivocal.
Furthermore, in the aftermath of chaos we may see irrevocable trauma
and damage. Sometimes disruption is total, destroying all in its path,
disavowing even provisional relief, and ends in apocalypse. The monster
movie Cloverfield (2008) is one of these profoundly unsentimental
instances, a narrative that offers little or no containment
-up, lighting, and staging,
along with the performance of actors and movement within the shot.
Mise-en-scène elements may be contrasted with editing, which occurs
after shooting (Cook, 2016).
19 Here we endorse Liam Burke’s view that the superhero story has
become synonymous with the comic book film (L. Burke, 2015).
20 For more on the United States government and Hollywood in the
post-9/11 context, see chapter 4.
21 See, for example, films like Gladiator (2000), The Perfect Storm (2000),
The Day after Tomorrow (2004), Cloverfield (2008), Avatar (2009),
’ personal admiration for and interest in adapting Riget and Låt den rätte komma in , there were unsurprisingly also American economic interests at play. ABC, one of the big traditional US networks, needed to improve its viewer ratings in a changing TV landscape, which I will comment on below, and hoped that King's Kingdom Hospital would be the answer to that challenge, whereas Reeves had been the director of the found-footage horror movie Cloverfield (2008), a profitable box office hit. However, despite Stephen King pronouncing it ‘the best American horror movie
way the film starts: focusing on the
ambulance going to the hospital – it gives the thing a completely different tone. It is very much its own movie. I know
how passionate the director [Matt Reeves] was for this story,
and for making this movie.
Swedish crime fiction
SP: That comes across to me as a viewer of the film, and there
are certainly different emotional and stylistic registers.
Reeves is working in a much more melodramatic mode. His
understanding of different genres, and combining them, is
prevalent in his earlier film, too, in Cloverfield.
Gothic tradition of the discovered manuscript and the
discovered recordings in films such as Blair Witch Project
(Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, 1999), Cloverfield (Matt
Reeves, 2008) and Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007) and its
sequels. Probably the most impressive achievement of
Suspense’s ‘Ghost Hunt’ is to be found in
the use of the voice of a celebrity non-actor in the lead role