Horror movies come in all shapes, sizes, and subgenres. And one of the most popular subgenres in recent years is the found footage movie.
From The Blair Witch Project and Lake Mungo, through to Creep and Paranormal Activity, there is a wealth of found footage horror movies out there and they continue to prove popular with audiences. This is because these devlish, low-budget flicks, mix shocks and scares with supposed ‘real-life’ events, to create the perfect cocktail of terror.
But if you’re just getting into found footage horror movies, where do you start? With the best of the bunch, of course!
In this post I am serving up the best found footage horror movies for your convenience. These are the movies you should check out, if you’re keen to delve into this particular realm of horror, and includes some truly iconic pictures, as well as a couple of oft-overlooked gems.
First up is Host – a superb and genuinely creepy found footage movie, from director Rob Savage. Host is a British film, which Savage co-wrote and filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The movie follows the story of a group of friends, who gather together one night to take part in an online séance. But what they initially believe to be a bit of fun, soon descends into terrifying chaos.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Next up is a stone-cold classic, in the shape of 2007’s Paranormal Activity. The film concentrates on a young couple, who set up cameras in their house to record a ghost.
Featuring various jump scares and a truly memorable ending, Paranormal Activity is the perfect example of a found footage movie having the power to scare… and then some! The film is so good that it spawned an entire franchise, and while there are some decent entries amongst the PA series, none of the follow-ups are as good as the original.
The Visit (2015)
In this next movie, director M. Night Shyamalan plays around with the found footage subgenre, by injecting a little bit of fun, and a dash of suspense into proceedings, via his brilliant movie, The Visit. The film focuses on two children, Becca and Tyler, who spend a week away from home in the company of their estranged grandparents.
Over the course of the week, the children experience some odd and troublesome situations, which puts their safety at risk. And all of these unusual incidents are caught on camera, as part of a documentary that Tyler is putting together.
In this psychological found footage film, a videographer called Aaron, accepts an assignment from an eccentric client who wants a video diary. But after spending time with the client, Aaron becomes increasingly disturbed by what he discovers about the man, resulting in a mind-boggling and tragic encounter.
Released in 2012, V/H/S is a found footage anthology movie, comprising a collection of macabre tales. The movie features the work of various filmmakers, including the likes of Adam Wingard and Ti West, and has spawned various sequels and a spin-off.
Lake Mungo (2008)
Mockumentary-style storytelling is employed in this next film – an Australian found footage horror movie, about a family trying to come to terms with the passing of their daughter. Lake Mungo is a supernatural picture, written and directed by Joel Anderson.
The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)
Adam Robitel directs this next feature – The Taking of Deborah Logan. The movie follows the story of a documentary crew, who set out to make a film about a woman living with Alzheimer’s.
As Above, So Below (2014)
Set in France, As Above, So Below is a found footage horror about a documentary into the exploration of the Catacombs of Paris. The claustrophobic film is from director John Erick Dowdle, and is not for the faint hearted.
The Last Broadcast (1998)
The Last Broadcast is an oft-overlooked horror film from directors Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler. The movie tells the story of a man who commits murder, while on an expedition to locate the mythical Jersey Devil.
In Spanish horror, REC, a reporter and her cameraman accompany a group of firefighters on an emergency call, only to encounter a deadly infection. Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza direct, while Manuela Velasco and Pablo Rosso star.
The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)
John Erick Dowdle writes and directs this pseudo-documentary horror about the murders of a serial killer in Poughkeepsie. While The Poughkeepsie Tapes won’t be for everyone, the film has built up a cult following in the years since its release.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Of all the movies on this list, The Blair Witch Project is arguably the most famous. The reason for this is because it was a huge hit upon release back in 1999.
The movie follows the story of three film students, who journey into the woods in Maryland, in search of a local legend known as the Blair Witch. But as the students soon discover, there may be a great deal of truth to this supposed legend.
Released alongside a very clever viral marketing campaign, which suggested the events of the movie were real, The Blair Witch Project became a box-office smash back in the late ‘90s. However, even without the marketing campaign, the movie remains powerful stuff and is one of the best of the best when it comes to found footage horror.
Not technically horror, more dark fantasy, but Trollhunter is certainly one for fans of the found footage subgenre. The film – written and directed by André Øvredal – is a Norwegian mockumentary about a troll hunt, filmed in the forests and mountains of Western Norway.
The Borderlands (2013)
In The Borderlands (aka Final Prayer), a group of Vatican investigators are sent on a mission to research an old Church in Devon, England, following reports of supernatural activity. However, they soon uncover more than just the odd ghost.
Directed by Leo Gabriadze, Unfriended is a supernatural horror about a group of high school teens who find themselves haunted by a dead student, while taking part in a Skype call. As the story unfolds, the group’s connection to the deceased becomes more apparent, and the scares begin to increase.
A bit of a cheat here, as Ghostwatch isn’t actually a found footage movie, but rather a faux-documentary. However, it is stylistically similar to many of the films on this list, and it is ruddy brilliant too!
For those unfamiliar with Ghostwatch, this is a British (sort of) movie, which originally aired on Halloween night in 1992, via the BBC. The film was presented as a live documentary show, about a supposed haunted house in England, and the subsequent investigation that takes place to uncover the truth.
However, in reality, the whole thing was a huge hoax, set up to create a bit of Halloween fun. Only thing is, millions of viewers believed that Ghostwatch was real, causing mass complaints to the BBC and a great deal of notoriety in the process.
The Last Exorcism (2010)
In this next movie, The Last Exorcism, an evangelical minister agrees to take part in a documentary about his final exorcism. Daniel Stamm directs, while Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell, and Caleb Landry Jones feature amongst the cast.
Willow Creek (2013)
In found footage horror, Willow Creek, Alexie Gilmore and Bryce Johnson play a couple who travel to Six Rivers National Forest in search of Bigfoot. Along the way they stop off at Willow Creek, where they discover a terrifying situation.
The Deep House (2021)
James Jagger and Camille Rowe star in this supernatural horror about a young couple who explore an abandoned mansion, submerged under water. But while the building has long been abandoned by the living, it’s not completely devoid of unusual activity, resulting in some spooky encounters.
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
And finally, no list of found footage movies would be complete without Cannibal Holocaust – one of the most notorious horror films of all time. The movie tells the story of a film crew, who fall foul of a cannibal tribe in the Amazon.
Cannibal Holocaust caused huge controversy upon release, largely for footage of real-life animal cruelty (which cannot be condoned), as well as its scenes of violence, so it is a film which some horror fans may wish to skip. However, the movie’s notoriety and its place as one of the oldest found footage horror films around, means it has to appear on this list.
OK, so those are all of the best found footage horror movies, now it’s time for a recap. And to save you having to scroll back up, here are all the movies in one handy list.
- Host (2020)
- Paranormal Activity (2007)
- The Visit (2015)
- Creep (2015)
- V/H/S (2012)
- Lake Mungo (2008)
- The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)
- As Above, So Below (2014)
- The Last Broadcast (1998)
- REC (2007)
- The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)
- The Blair Witch Project (1999)
- Trollhunter (2010)
- The Borderlands (2013)
- Unfriended (2015)
- Ghostwatch (1992)
- The Last Exorcism (2010)
- Willow Creek (2013)
- The Deep House (2021)
- Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about the best found footage horror movies – I hope it has proved useful. For more useful posts, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.