Which Found Footage Horror Films Reign Supreme?

Which Found Footage Horror Films Reign Supreme?

The horror genre is quite popular. People like to be scared in a controlled way. Horror movies are also favored by filmmakers. Unlike action, war, or sci-fi films, it is possible to produce a horror movie on a modest budget.

This is especially true for found footage horror.


The fundamental element of every found footage horror is authenticity, or at least the illusion of it. The viewer watches all events through the main character, who records everything on a camera. This makes it much easier to get immersed in the whirl of events, enhancing the film experience.

This is why there is such interest in found footage horrors, even though they often don't make much sense. Few would likely run from mad killers, demons, ghosts, or zombies with a camera/phone held out in their hand.

However, those who can dismiss this illogic will find great entertainment in the best films of this horror genre. And which found footage horrors are among the most popular?

The Blair Witch Project

This film undoubtedly defined the found footage horror genre as we know it today. When it premiered in 1999, it caused a major stir. Although The Blair Witch Project was made on a shoestring budget, it earned a quarter of a billion dollars. One reason was a clever marketing campaign.

The campaign presented the film as an authentic document compiled from the recordings of three missing filmmakers who disappeared deep in the woods.

Today, The Blair Witch Project may not seem terribly frightening. Apart from the last ten minutes and a few shots of sinister-looking figures made of twigs, most of the film is essentially uneventful.

Still, The Blair Witch Project deserves its place on this list, especially for its pioneering role. After its great success, two sequels were made, neither of which is noteworthy.


Before director J.J. Abrams decided to mangle Star Trek and destroy the Star Wars saga, he was involved in producing quite decent films. For example, he produced one of the most expensive found footage horrors of all time – Cloverfield.

The film is told from the perspective of several friends trying to escape from New York, which is being ravaged by unknown monsters. Cloverfield is a very intense affair. The film grabs the viewer around the tenth minute and doesn’t let go until the end credits roll. It is definitely worth watching.

This film also has two sequels, but in neither do the main characters run around the world with a camera turned on. However, they are worth watching as they are quite quality pieces.


The film REC shows that being a firefighter is tough and sometimes very dangerous, as even the main character finds out. The movie begins with a fire brigade's callout, which is unusually accompanied by a young reporter.

What seems like a routine call to an apartment building turns into a fight for sheer survival. Some tenants develop an uncontrollable craving for human flesh.

REC is among the best ever created in the found footage horror genre. This Spanish film has it all – action, suspense, and blood.

Given its huge success with audiences, it's no wonder that this film has three more sequels. They are quite good, but they fall short of the original's quality.

Specific Style and Quality

Found footage horrors are often very low-quality, nonsensical messes that may only attract attention due to their narrative style. However, there are also very good works in this genre that can please almost any fan of spooky films. The three pieces mentioned above undoubtedly belong to this category.