This Sundance breakout, about three filmmakers who disappear in the Maryland woods, was an instant must-see. The "found-footage" concept was so novel in 1999 that some early viewers (allegedly) thought the film was real.
Paranormal Activity (2007)
Despite 'Blair Witch''s success, it took a decade for another found-footage frightfest to become a hit. Enter 'Paranormal Activity,' shot for $15,000. Steven Spielberg loved it, Paramount released it (in 2009), and the rest is history. The latest entry, 'Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension,' comes to theaters Oct. 23.
The Devil Inside (2012)
A mockumentary centered on exorcisms set in Rome, following a young filmmaker hoping to find out what happened to her possessed mother. The answer? Nothing good.
The Visit (2015)
M. Night Shyamalan's self-financed entry in the genre mixed scary with laughs. But even though it has moments of dark humor, this movie about a couple of creepy grandparents still gets under your skin.
The Sacrament (2014)
A documentary news crew heads to an isolated retreat where a religious group has established a new community. But not everyone is as happy as their leader claims.
The Quiet Ones (2014)
The U.K. chiller revolves around a professor who leads a small group of students in search of a ghostly presence that proves to be extremely dangerous. Naturally, one of the students must document the experiment.
The Last Exorcism (2010)
'Paranormal Activity' took horror away from slasher movies and "torture porn" and back to the realm of the supernatural. As confirmed by 'The Last Exorcism,' found footage and demonic possession proved to be an irresistible combination.
A Spanish news crew follows a team of firefighters into a building. Their routine call plunges into chaos as they discover that a virus has turned the building's residents into savage killers. Remade in the U.S. as 'Quarantine.'
Found footage meets monster movie: A giant creature ravages Manhattan and a group of young New Yorkers flees in terror – with a video camera conveniently in tow. 'Cloverfield' was produced by J.J. Abrams, now Hollywood's sci-fi go-to guy.
Not to be outdone by the Americans, Norway's response to 'Cloverfield' features the country's own giant monsters: trolls. Dry Nordic humor and high-quality special effects have already made 'Trollhunter' a cult classic.
The Curse (2005)
We can't talk about foreign found-footage horror without a nod to Japan, a noted purveyor of creepy movies. 'The Curse' (also known by its Japanese title 'Noroi') offers yet more demonic possession in its sprawling storyline.
Apollo 18 (2011)
In real life, Apollo 18 was a planned lunar mission that was canceled due to budget constraints. But this movie proposes that the mission really happened, and that the astronauts were all killed by spider-like aliens on the moon.
'V/H/S' is an "anthology film" – a collection of five short films by different directors, tied together by a narrative about burglars who discover a videotape and view its sinister contents.
The Bay (2012)
Here's something you don't see every day: a found-footage horror flick made by an Oscar-winning director ('Rain Man''s Barry Levinson). This "eco-terror" film is about polluted Maryland waters infecting the locals with a mutant parasite.
Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
The granddaddy of the genre. A documentary crew goes to the Amazon to film cannibal tribes. Naturally they vanish, leaving only this footage behind. Beware: This film is extremely graphic. You've been warned!
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