REVIEW: The Fear Footage (2018)

The Fear Footage writer and director, Ricky Umberger, might be one of the new masters of marketing. This movie came out of nowhere - as of this writing, it has very little to no press, and seemingly just...appeared. This is probably exactly as intended, as the movie, like many of the found footage genre, purports to be "real." 

In this case, the bodycam footage of a police officer taking a call at a mysterious address.

The outline of the movie is that back in 2016, Deputy Leo Cole was sent to investigate a strange series of calls into the Darkbluff, Maryland Sheriff's Department. Several residents reported that a house, which has been demolished a year before, had mysteriously reappeared. Deputy Cole arrives at 11628 Hangmanor Rd., and his terror begins.

The movie watches like a cross between Hardcore Henry and The Blair Witch Project. Deputy Cole, who we only see in a first-person, DOOM like view, discovers a VCR in the house with a tape inside, labeled The Fear Footage. Pressing play, we're presented with three separate stories in an anthology format.

The first story, "Birthday Party," shows us a young boy who, for his birthday, is given a camera, which he is using to document his day leading up to his birthday party. At one point, he's mildly concerned to catch a news broadcast discussing the rise of "scary clowns" appearing throughout the country. It's not difficult to guess what happens next, and we're introduced to some nasty, evil clowns. Needless to say, poor Mom doesn't make it out alive, and we're treated to some high carnage.

This story very much reminded me of the film Sinister, with the clown standing in for Bughuul. If you enjoyed that film as much as I do, you'll enjoy this story.

The second story, "Storm Chasers," was the weakest of the bunch for me, but still quite good. We are taken along with a group of guys who are out chasing crazy storms and documenting them, a la Twister. After a car accident and the apparent death of one of the friends, shots ring out, and we see figures in dark cloaks. This one slowly morphs into a sort of death cult story with a fiery ending.

The final story, "Speak No Evil," was the best. After a former drug-addict begins hearing creepy and odd things in the woods behind his house late at night, and his wife leaves and takes his daughter believing he's fallen off the wagon, he begins to document the strange noises he hears. After posting his story online, he meets someone who tells him the story of the area, and we find out that years before, a dozen children were slaughtered in a church, located in the woods, not too far away. Once he begins to hear his daughter calling to him from somewhere deep in the woods, he's forced to try and find her, and ends up finding a lot more than he bargained for.

The final portion of the wraparound story with Deputy Cole is full-blown horror at its finest. The entire movie is good, but the final third is absolutely amazing - it's truly twisted and is 100% terrifying. I don't get to say very often, if ever, that a horror movie - especially a no-budget flick - is scary, but damn, does this manage to make the hair on your arms stand up. The entire thing feels like a crazy walk through a twisted haunted house, and much like Deputy Cole, you're trapped and have to just go along for the ride.

I wish I could give some more information on this movie - where to see it, where to buy it - but at the moment, there's nothing. I am posting the trailer below, which I did not watch before seeing this movie, and to be honest, I suggest you skip it, too. The less you see going into this movie, the better it will be.

Watch the Trailer:


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