Limited Liability Carnage

This article was originally published on Ferretbrain. I’ve backdated it to its original Ferretbrain publication date but it may have been edited and amended since its original appearance.

Found footage horror movies are ten-a-penny these days; simply shooting a lot of first-person footage and then hacking it together with some editing (or, even worse, minimal editing) is extremely easy, after all. Hell House LLC has its found footage aspects but, like Resurrecting the Street Walker, does something a little meatier than simply presenting the audience with warmed-over raw footage. Instead, it takes a mockumentary approach, wherein found footage is set into context with additional material – in this case we’re looking at talking heads interviews with witnesses and investigators, 911 calls, footage uploaded to YouTube by eyewitnesses, and so on.

The end result is much, much more convincing than a simple found footage movie. Often, 100% found footage movies end up having to stretch suspension of disbelief here and there to answer the “why is this person still filming?” question – however, by offering a compilation of different sources and details, movies like Hell House LLC and Resurrecting the Street Walker can allow themselves to paste over such gaps, as well as using editing to draw the viewer’s attention to things that it would seem unrealistic to emphasise a lot in the raw footage.

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