In our world of 24-hour news, there is no major event that the news networks and their cameras don't capture. However, they're still limited by reality. In the movies, news cameras are around for crazy things. Sinister things. Impossible things. Zombies. Werewolves. Monsters. Outrageously silly terrorist plots. These are the craziest moments ever captured on tape by news crews in the movies.
In Joe Dante's The Howling, TV reporter Karen escapes from a colony of werewolves, only to return home with a serious case of lycanthropy herself. Determined to expose the werewolf threat to the world, she launches into her seemingly far-fetched story on live television. To seal the deal, she closes her speech by transforming into a werewolf herself and is gunned down by her friend Chris before she can do any harm. Meanwhile, viewers at home wonder if what they saw was actually real.
Dawn of the Dead
The original Dawn of the Dead and its exceptional remake both open the same way: with the world falling apart on television. In the original, we hear about the zombie apocalypse from news anchors, who desperately try to make sense of their situation. In the remake, we get a larger picture of the carnage as the action jumps all over the world, giving us horrifying glimpses of society crumbling in every nation (and concluding with a field reporter getting eaten alive on live TV).
One of the crazy things about Die Hard is that John McClane's ordeal at Nakatomi Plaza is captured by local news crews, letting home viewers witness the action (and Hans Gruber's fall) in real time. The media circus is orchestrated by jerk reporter Richard Thornburg, who also manages to be present for the events of Die Hard 2, making him as lucky as McClane is unlucky. Sadly, Thornburg wasn't present to give us the people at home the inside scoop during the next three films.
Cloverfield is seen through the lens of a camcorder held by a group trying to escape New York after it's invaded by a giant monster, but one of the most effective moments is captured by another camera. Early on, our heroes stumble across a news report depicting soldiers battling terrifying bugs that fall off the larger monster, teasing a later encounter with these monstrous creatures. They may witness all of this firsthand, but seeing something so impossible on the news is just plain unnerving.
In Network, Peter Finch's veteran news anchor Howard Beale has a mental breakdown on live TV and gives one of the most famous speeches in film history. In fact, the scene is so famous and so often quoted that it's easy to forget that it's one of the most troubling and disturbing things to happen on (fictional) television. The cameras keep rolling as Beale rants and raves, his superiors pleased with the ratings this ruined man is bringing to the network.
Whenever aliens arrive on Earth in the movies, the local news teams are among the first to arrive. However, no film has managed to wring so much tension out of a fake news broadcast quite like Signs. Our first look at the mysterious alien invaders is seen through amateur camcorder footage broadcast on the news depicting an alien crashing a birthday party. Unless you have nerves of steel, your reaction to the reveal should mirror that of Joaquin Phoenix in the scene.
The best scene in Batman Begins finds the Dark Knight rushing to save the life of Rachel Dawes and leading the entire GCPD on an insane chase through (and over) the streets. Although we witness the entire pursuit from the front seat of the Batmobile, Bruce Wayne returns home to find that his antics are the main subject on the nightly news. As he dryly quips to Alfred: "Damn good television."
White House Down
Like any great Die Hard rip-off, the events of White House Down all occur within spitting distance of news cameras and speculating journalists, with many of the film's craziest moments happening, plain as day, on live TV. From their living rooms, the American people get to watch the president fire a rocket launcher from the back of his limo and a young girl wave off an air strike by twirling an American flag on the front lawn (among other things). Now that's exciting television journalism!