23 Found Footage Movies That Deserve To Be Discovered

·6 min read

Netflix kicked off 2022 with their latest horror series, Archive 81, which mixes found footage horror, nightmare logic and traditional terror with plenty of shocks and scares.

But with Netflix turning back the clock with this buzzworthy series, we decided to shine a light on a number of found footage movies of yesteryear that deserve to be dusted off for your viewing pleasure.

1.Man Bites Dog

Benoit Poelvoorde in "Man Bites Dog"

A shocking dark comedy that continues to drop jaws to this day, Man Bites Dog is a faux documentary about an impressionable film crew that follows a charismatic yet sadistic local serial killer.

Roxie Releasing / Courtesy of Everett Collection

2.The Den

"The Den"

An early adopter of the screen-based horror popularized by Unfriended, The Den is a tense and unsettling horror offering about a sociology student who is targeted by a violent and manipulative hacker after an strange experience on a Chatroulette-esque website.

IFC Films / Courtesy of Everett Collection

3.Lake Mungo

Theatrical Poster for "Lake Mungo"

A film that was incredibly ahead of its time, Lake Mungo is a legitimately scary ghost story that would fit perfectly among the creepypasta and urban legends of today.

After Dark Films / Courtesy of Everett Collection

4.They’re Watching

"They're Watching"

A bloody hilarious satire from some of the minds behind Spongebob Squarepants and The Angry Beavers, They're Watching follows a reality-based home improvement television show that encounters a hostile village in Moldova when they film at a rundown home with a sordid, secret past.

Amplify Releasing / Courtesy of Everett Collection

5.S&Man

Erik Marcisak in "S&Man"

Part documentary, part mockumentary, S&Man follows the deepest, darkest section of horror fandom and fetish films while the filmmakers question if a troubled regional independent filmmaker may have blurred the line between fact and fiction.

HD Net Films / Courtesy of Everett Collection

6.[REC]

Manuela Velasco in "[REC]"

One of the most frightening found footage films of all time, [REC] takes place in an apartment building as a news cast about the routine of a fire department in Barcelona is interrupted by the chaos and carnage of a horrific viral outbreak scenario.

Filmax / Courtesy of Everett Collection

7.Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum

Theatrical Poster for "Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum"

In this spine-tingling found footage fright film, a group of horror YouTubers attempt to record a seance within a notorious abandoned hospital, only to learn, one by one, that the rumors pale in comparison to the terrifying truth.

Hive Mediacorp / Collection Christophel / Courtesy of Alamy

8.Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Jorge Diaz and Gabrielle Walsh in "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones"

A spin-off of the Paranormal Activity franchise set within a Hispanic American community, The Marked Ones breathed life into the franchise following the stagnant fourth entry and culminated in one of the wildest endings in the whole series.

Paramount Pictures / Courtesy of Everett Collection

9.WNUF Halloween Special

"WNUF Halloween Special"

A cult classic that spread through horror fandom like wildfire through word-of-mouth, WNUF Halloween Special ingeniously tells the tale of a Halloween news broadcast gone wrong with all the authenticity of a genuinely discovered VHS tape, including local commercials, bad on-the-scene interviews and creepy clues to a story-within-a-story.

Midnight Crew Studios / Via YouTube

10.Frankenstein’s Army

Karel Roden in "Frankenstein's Army"

An over-the-top, SFX-driven creature feature, Frankenstein's Army follows a Russian propaganda filmmaker who stumbles upon a mad Nazi scientist crafting robot-zombie hybrids as a last ditch effort to help win World War II.

MPI Media Group / Alamy

11.Cloverfield

Lizzy Caplan in "Cloverfield"

In the age of streaming, it may be hard to contextualize the excitement that surrounded the release of Cloverfield, the teaser trailer of which took the world by storm and helped to turn Matt Reeves' found footage kaiju film into a full-on cultural event.

Paramount / Courtesy of Everett Collection

12.Unfriended: Dark Web

Rebecca Rittenhouse and Betty Gabriel in "Unfriended: Dark Web"

While Unfriended was a surprise hit for Blumhouse Productions, its reality-based sequel, Dark Web, is a meaner, more nihilistic animal altogether that featured multiple endings, each of which with the capacity to linger in your brain far after the credits have rolled.

Universal Pictures / Blumhouse Productions / Courtesy of Alamy

13.Lollilove

Jenna FIscher and James Gunn in "Lollilove"

Directed by The Office star Jenna Fischer, Lollilove is a mockumentary about a misguided upper-class couple (Fischer and then-husband James Gunn) who obliviously organize a campaign to cheer up the homeless population with novelty lollipops.

Troma Entertainment / Via YouTube

14.Hell House LLC

Adam Schneider in "Hell House LLC"

An underground horror hit with a number of bone-chilling set pieces, Hell House LLC helped to usher in a new wave of independent found footage horror pictures, including two divisive Hell House sequels.

Terror Films / Via YouTube

15.[REC] 2

"[REC] 2"

Often in the conversation for sequels that are on par with their predecessors, [REC] 2 utilizes the Aliens formula by continuing the story and expanding the universe of [REC] with a well-armed police unit responding to the first film's horrifying aftermath.

Magnet Releasing / Courtesy of Everett Collection

16.Butterfly Kisses

"Butterfly Kisses"

Butterfly Kisses is a twisty and scary found footage film about an ethically dubious documentary filmmaker investigating a lost student film allegedly containing evidence of a deadly local legend. Directed by the late Erik Kristopher Myers, the film won the Audience Award at the Unnamed Footage Festival in 2018 and has since built a budding cult following.

Gravitas Ventures / Via YouTube

17.Mortal Remains

"Mortal Remains"

A faux documentary that builds a whole universe around its petrifying premise, Mortal Remains follows the fictional counterparts of filmmakers Christian Stavrakis and Mark Ricche as they search for Karl Atticus, an allegedly deceased slasher film pioneer whose connection with the occult served as the impetus to his own supposed demise.

Cryptic Pictures / Via YouTube

18.The Sacrament

Gene Jones and AJ Bowen in "The Sacrament"

A slow-burn faux documentary from indie horror darling Ti West, The Sacrament posits a trio of Vice journalists who travel to a Jonestown-esque compound, where their presence soon uncovers harrowing cracks in the community's picture-perfect visage.

Magnolia Pictures / Courtesy of Everett Collection

19.Creep

Mark Duplass in "Creep"

From the minds of Patrick Brice and Mark Duplass, Creep creates macabre madness out of the mundane as a budding videographer takes on an eccentric client whose behavior quickly shifts from unusual to unsettling.

Blumhouse Productions / Via YouTube

20.Paranormal Activity 3

"Paranormal Activity 3"

Considered by many to be the gold standard of the found footage horror subgenre, Paranormal Activity 3 is the scariest film in the franchise by a country mile while expertly orchestrating multiple moments of unforgettable terror.

Blumhouse Productions / TCD / Prod.DB / Courtesy of Alamy

21.Troll Hunter

"Trollhunter"

A clever, thrilling and often hysterical horror-comedy, Trollhunter follows a blue collar exterminator who hunts the titular mythical creatures on behalf of the Norwegian government.

Magnet Releasing / Courtesy of Everett Collection

22.Afflicted

Derek Lee in "Afflicted"

One of the most underrated found footage films in recent memory, Afflicted takes a well-trodden horror archetype and uses found footage to flip it on its head, crafting a fresh and frightening vision within the first-person format.

CBS Films / Via YouTube

23.V/H/S/2

"V/H/S/2"

While V/H/S gained much praise for its multiple memorable segments, the anthology itself was unfortunately dragged down by a pair of weaker entries that caused a tonal whiplash throughout. Leave it to its sequel to raise the bar to an entirely different level, as each segment in this found footage anthology brings the pain in a unique and shocking way that lends itself to repeat viewings... if you dare.

Magnolia Pictures / Courtesy of Everett Collection

Don’t miss Sam Claflin in the new rom com Book of Love from BuzzFeed Studios, coming to Amazon Prime Video February 4th and Sky Cinema February 12th.

Sam Claflin and Verónica Echegui standing on a street below the film's title
BuzzFeed Studios / Amazon Prime Video