Found footage is often one of the most effectively creepy and scary horror subgenres. The form brings audiences into the world of the movie in a way that historically has left multiple viewers believing what they saw was real.

And even for those of us who know it’s fake, there’s a strange added sense of authenticity to the horror that gets under your skin no matter what. So when one horror fan takes to an online horror community to ask for other fans’ favorites in the subgenre, they get hundreds of recommendations; we've gathered ten of the best.

  • The Blair Witch Project (1999)

    Image Credit: Artisan Entertainment.

    While there were found footage films before The Blair Witch Project, none made the same cultural impact as the 1999 classic. The film, which follows a group of three film students as they get lost in the woods while making a documentary about a legendary witch, convinced some viewers that it was real when it first came out, and there’s no greater claim than that for found footage.

  • Rec (2007)

    Spanish film Rec follows a local news crew who find themselves in the middle of a mysterious outbreak while reporting an emergency in an apartment building. The movie’s combined single location and found footage make for an incredibly claustrophobic viewing experience.

  • Lake Mungo (2008)

    Image Credit: Arclight Films.

    Lake Mungo is an Australian mixed mockumentary and found footage film that centers on the Palmer family after the drowning of their daughter. The family is already struggling with the loss.

    But things become even more complicated when ghostly figures that look like their dead daughter appear in photographs and video footage of their home. It’s a great movie that’s equally horrifying, emotionally resonant, and thought-provoking.

  • As Above, So Below (2014)

    As Above, So Below is a horror fantasy movie which is already a rare breed; add to that the fact that it’s a found footage film, and you’ve got something especially unique on your hands.

    The movie follows a group of filmmakers and their guides as they search the catacombs under Paris for the legendary philosopher’s stone. It’s a movie that combines the history of magick, influences from Dante’s Inferno, and good old fashion jump scares to deliver something both fascinating and effectively scary.

  • Savageland (2015)

    Image Credit: The Massive Film Company.

    Multiple people recommend Savageland, calling the film “incredibly effective,” “creepy as hell,” and sadly “very underrated.” The movie centers on a US/Mexico border town with a small population found dead under mysterious circumstances, except for a photographer who was passing through and is charged with the murders.

    As the movie continues, though, it becomes clear that something much more sinister and outlandish happened in the town.

  • V/H/S (2012)

    Image Credit: Magnet Releasing.

    V/H/S is the first of what is now a six-movie franchise of found-footage anthology films. The first film includes an overarching narrative and five shorts, each telling a different story using the found footage format.

    It’s a fun movie as these shorts can quickly introduce and effectively play out their premises. But what’s most remarkable is how many horror subgenres are touched in the shorts, from different kinds of sci-fi to 100% realistic stories of terror.

  • Noroi: The Curse (2005)

    Image Credit: Cathay-Harris Films.

    Noroi: The Curse is a cult favorite Japanese mockumentary film that follows a filmmaker investigating several strange occurrences. As the film continues, these phenomena begin to cohere into an ever more frightening whole, leading to an incredible finale.

  • Ghostwatch (1992)

    Image Credit: BBC.

    Ghostwatch is something extraordinary. The made-for-TV movie originally aired as if it were a live broadcast following real BBC reporters playing themselves as they investigated a possibly haunted house. It’s a brilliant piece of filmmaking that was so effective it led to hundreds of thousands of calls to the television station from viewers who thought the program was real.

  • Incantation (2022)

    Incantation isn’t just a terrifying found-footage movie; it’s also a wildly impressive one. The film plays out on two timelines, both using the found footage format.

    One follows a group of young filmmakers investigating a mysterious cave, while the other centers on that investigation’s fallout. It’s also a found footage film that perfectly implicates the viewer in its horror.

  • Creep (2014)

    Image Credit: The Orchard.

    Creep follows a desperate-for-work videographer as he takes a job creating a video diary for a dying man to give to his unborn child. But the longer the videographer spends with the man, the more he learns he’s been lied to. And as the movie goes on, the tension ratchets up, leading to a bizarre and disturbing finale.

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