5. Noroi: The Curse (2005)
This one is a real exercise in creeping dread.
Shown to viewers not just as a found video tape but a disappeared filmmaker’s almost-completed documentary on paranormal phenomena, the straight presentation, naturalistic performances and credible folklore makes the moments where the supernatural breaks through (often suggested, but sometimes explicit) all the scarier.
It’s the atmosphere that does it to you here, the constant prickle on the back of your neck and the way a neutral documentary background soundtrack can take on much more sinister implications as this investigation goes deeper.
4. Host (2020)
One of the few great creative successes of Lockdown.
We witness a group of friends on a Zoom call who attempt a virtual seance to stave off quarantine boredom, but before long find themselves fighting an aggressive and malevolent entity. Short and sweet, Host uses low-fi effects and plays with conventions and limitations of video calling to truly terrifying effect in this paranormal chiller for the age of isolation. The film takes the same Found-Footage genre tropes as Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity did in the preceding decades, refines them and deploys them in service of a great horror story.
Recommended for you: The Art of the Social Media Thriller; Narcissism, Paranoia and Tools for Good or Ill
3. Creep 2 (2017)
Now under a new assumed name, “Aaron” invites another filmmaker, Sara, to document his life, and with a fascination for unusual individuals and a web series in need of new lifeblood, she accepts.
Duplass builds on his terrifying character in new and disturbing ways, and Desiree Akhavan proves more than a match for him. Found Footage is often used to make supernatural horror stories more immediate and frightening but here is proof positive that it can be as effective in making the real and credible just as chilling.