As Above, So Below (2014)

body horrorno
violence toward animalsno
Bechdel-Wallace testfailed
Mako Moripassed
X was the real YIt turns out reviewers were the real monster

I've changed my mind on found footage. Lazy usage of it is terrible, and it gives people the bad idea that they should pretend there movie isn't fiction (Lake Mungo may be the only movie I've ever seen where I wasn't annoyed by this). But when used correctly, diagetic cameras help create tension, and make it easier to get lost in the story.

This is not me saying all (or even more) horror movies should use the format. It only really works if the camera makes sense in-fiction (which isn't trivial), and if the camera is considered very carefully throughout the process.

The camera works here. The beginning of the film has a light-hearted National Treasure-esque feel. The camera makes the character's actions feel more subversive. Once they enter the catacombs, the camera adds to the cramped feel and makes it feel more real (aside: I'm looking forward to rewatching The Descent next week and see how they handle it).

I think the camera played no small part in making this the first movie I counted as actually scary. It's subterranean setting is naturally scary and its tone shift from light-hearted to claustrophobic really works.

Not everything in this movie works, but as seemingly-everyone except me and the person who recommended this to me hated it, read one of those jerk's reviews. What this movie does right outweighs its faults.