Welcome, one and all, to another top 5 list! This time around I’m going to be making some movie recommendations. More specifically, films of a specific genre. So, in order of release, these are my Top 5 Found Footage/Docufiction Horror Movies You May Not Have Seen.
The oldest film on the list, Ghostwatch first aired on Halloween Night. The cast features a bunch of popular UK TV personalities – such as Michael Parkinson, Sarah Greene, and Craig Charles – playing themselves as the BBC attempts to document a real haunting. Now, of course, this actually wasn’t a real haunting. It did draw some influence from the famous Enfield Haunting though, and they even used one of the investigators of that case, Guy Lyon Playfair, as a consultant here.
The film took itself very seriously, and even with the tell-tale signs of it being fictional, many people watching took it to be real. The result was that the initial airing was hit with a ton of controversy, Complaints rolled in, and at least one suicide was blamed on the film. As a result, it took until 2002 for it to get a home release. Having influenced both Derren Brown and The Blair Witch Project, it certainly left a strong legacy. If you like things kept simple, this is a great shout.
Lake Mungo 
This Australian release is shot in a documentary style. It tells the story of the death of sixteen-year-old Alice Palmer and the events that unfurled after her passing. After its original airing at the Sydney Film Festival, it became a regular on the festival scene, right up until 2010. Since then, it has become a favourite among genre fans and still gets mentioned as one to hunt down.
What makes the film so good is that it builds slowly, but organically. The acting is strong, and the way the film is laid out feels authentic as it leads us through everything from an alleged haunting to controversy with a neighbour. What you have here is an understated but effective piece that could easily fool you into thinking it’s real if you didn’t know what it was.
The Houses October Built 
This found footage film sees a group of five friends embarking on a road trip to visit haunted attractions across America. During their trip, they start hunting for Blue Skeleton, an alleged underground extreme haunt. It first aired at the Telluride Horror Show and became the first film to sell out the Sheridan Opera House.
Though sometimes criticised for its pacing, the film is actually a very easy watch. You get a good feel for the different types of haunts you can find across the US, and some of the costumes are excellent. In particular, I thought Procelain was immensely creepy. The film was well-received enough to warrant an (also great) sequel and is well worth watching if the idea that haunts could go way too far appeals to you.
Here, we follow a videographer named Aaron as he works with his client, Josef, in a remote cabin. Though it sounds like a simple job – help the terminally ill Josef create a video for his unborn child – it very quickly becomes clear that something is wrong. A video on demand favourite, the film has been a surprising find for many viewers since its release.
What makes this film work so well is that it doesn’t try to overdo things. Patrick Brice (Aaron) and Mark Duplass (Josef) directed and wrote the film, respectively. Don’t let that fool you into thinking it’ll be overly self-indulgent though Mark Duplass is wonderfully creepy in his role, and his performance alone makes it – and the sequel – worth watching.
Hell House LLC 
Hell House LLC sees the titular team open a haunt in the Abaddon Hotel, an abandoned building in New York. All we know at the start of the film is that something happened on opening night, and nobody is really sure what. The footage that the documentary crew are supplied reveals the events leading up to the tragedy, and indeed what happened.
My word, that clown is freaky. It’s not the only thing that works well either, as the cast is pretty convincing in their roles, and the build up to the chaos of opening night is well executed. The film went on to spawn two sequels, though neither was quite as good as this original.
So, those are my picks. But what about you? What lesser known found footage and docufiction horror titles do you love? Let me know in the comments below.