Cults AND images found? Yes please.
Folk horror is a spooky subgenre filled with flower crowns and ancient blood rituals. Movies such as The Blood on Satan’s Claw and even Midsommar tapping into beautiful aesthetics to mask the forces of evil waiting to burst onto the world. But when there’s an unholy alliance of found footage and folk horror? It’s like my own personal bat signal. While the typical popular horror aesthetic can’t always be achieved with a first-person perspective, these movies make up for that in dread. Alongside the characters, we learn and research any weird cult magic that might be at our fingertips. This anxiety permeates every frame as you try to figure out exactly what is unfolding.
These five films bring together two incredible subgenres into utterly unique films that will send shivers down your spine.
When Chloe Webber (Samantha Redford) started making a documentary investigating her aunt’s disappearance, she didn’t expect to stumble upon her neighborhood cult. One night, while filming a re-enactment with her friend Ed (Joseph Tremain), a young woman rushes out of her neighbors’ house screaming for help. While her elderly neighbors say it’s their drug-addicted niece, Chloe senses something else is going on here. What follows is a tense film about the search for the truth. Plus, the cult has some amazing flower masks that deserve way more love in the folk horror realm.
Old Lady’s Wood
Sometimes you go on a first date that turns into a camping trip that turns into a sacrifice to the old diet. Danny (Ed Murphy) and Hailey (Elva Trill) have the craziest first date ever. It ends with a campsite in the supposedly haunted Crone Wood. Of course, they begin to hear strange noises and footsteps in the woods. But then the film reveals its twist. Old Lady’s Wood is a fascinating subversion of the way the naked body is filmed in found footage.
Noroi: the curse
Folk horror is not just a product of Britain. Japanese master of found footage Koji Shiraishi made folk horror and found art with his 2005 film Noroi: the curse. The film is the literal found footage of paranormal researcher Masafumi Kobayashi (Jin Muraki) who disappeared while making a documentary called The curse. The images reveal a descent into horrifying folklore with deadly consequences. And the effects of what’s at hand aren’t limited to Kobayashi’s camera. Reality television footage and static cameras show the supernatural presence, Kagutaba, infiltrating the world.
they are outside
This found footage/folk horror mash-up is a pretty scathing look at famous psychologists who think they can fix everyone’s problems in one episode of their show. In they are outside, pop psychologist Max (Tom Wheatley) travels to “cure” agoraphobic Sarah. She is terrified of something called Green Eyes which is supposedly always watching her from the woods. Green Eyes is a local legend, and Max dismisses her as such. But as the evidence begins to pile up, he can no longer deny that something strange is happening to Sarah.
I’ve written about this film before, particularly in reference to its heartbreaking ending that makes me nauseous to this day. But more than that, it’s a popular horror movie disguised as religious horror. As the Catholic Church investigates claims of miracles, we quickly learn that this church was built on an ancient pagan site. This is not about Jesus, but about something much older and wicked.
Tags: found pictures found pictures friday
Categorized: Editorials News