The unofficial beginning of the ‘found film” project was a devastatingly bad film called Cannibal Holocaust, a 1980 disasterpiece. Ever since the odd hit film The Blair Witch Project thrust this genre into the forefront, found film movies were somewhat of a stepchild in storytelling. It was considered a cheat somehow. I agree, it kind of is. Then I saw Cloverfield and as much as it didn’t appeal to me in the slightest, it was a rather good film (totally subjective judgment, the critics and box office thought otherwise). Then there was Skyline, a spectacularly bad film, where you wish the found footage had indeed been lost (+1 for Me, +1 for the box office). Paranormal Activity, both parts, did spectacularly at the box office.
Today we are offered Apollo 18, whose publicity is being fueled solely by social media and the interwebs. Good ploy for what may be the sleeper hit of the summer. The Facebooksphere and Twitterverse are abuzz with hits and teasers. More can be found here on the “unofficial” website, where secrets will slowly be revealed. Part of me is hoping for a hit, the other part (80%) is casting a sardonic eye at the Hollywierd publicity machine co-opting social media as just another sales tool.
Be that as it may, the box office is the final judge as to whether this will be another Cannibal Holocaust. The “found footage” milieu just refuses to die.