Examining The Dead #29

Examining The Dead returns for the summer of 2021! Train and Seth talk about the release of A Quiet Place 2 and The Conjuring 3. Plus game news in Diablo II: Resurrected. The latter half of the show is devoted to the “found footage” genre of horror movies.

Examining The Dead #29

2:20 – The Coroner’s Report

  • A Quiet Place Part II opened to a pandemic record-setting $50 million opening weekend. It was originally set for an opening in March of last year. It is now set for an Ultra-HD Blu-Ray release around Halloween.
  • The Conjuring 3 – The Devil Made Me Do It, the latest in a shared universe with The Nun, opened to a $24 million opening weekend. It is also available on HBO Max.
  • A Toxic Avenger Remake is in the works starring Kevin Bacon and Peter Dinklage
  • Halloween Kills is rescheduled for October 15th. It was originally set for release last year but was postpones cuz COVID.
  • Ned Beatty passes away
  • Resident Evil Village was released on May 7th to mostly positive reviews. Most of the criticisms were about how the game has gone more into an action/RPG style game as opposed to the puzzle-oriented style of the originals. Seth believes this may be due to a mix of trying to appeal to a broader demographic as well as more complex game engines that didn’t exist in the 1990s.
  • Blizzard Entertainment is releasing Diablo II: Resurrected this fall. It is a 20th Anniversary Remake of the game with a very eye-catching trailer.

32:25 – The Gruesome Twosome

  • The Blair Witch Project jumpstarted a genre of “found footage” horror stories when it was released in the summer of 1999. In those days, there were no Wikipedia or fact-checking sites to easily debunk whether something was real or not. In fact, many people were fooled into thinking the footage used in the film was legitimately lost footage. Fans pondered for years over what the ending of the film truly meant, even though the filmmakers intentionally left the ending to be ambiguous.
  • The Blackwell Ghost is a modern take on the genre. While the movie is not made of “found footage” it is filmed and edited like a self-made documentary. Since it was listed on Amazon as a documentary, people were easily drawn to believe it was legitimate filming of haunting when, like Blair Witch, it is a clever way to tell a ghost story on the cheap. It has since spawned four sequels.

58:40 – Into The Crystal Ball

The “found footage” genre is actually nothing new. In fact, it could be argued that classic horror literature such as Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula which were written in the form of personal notes and journals were inspirations for modern media takes.

Orson Welles’s famous radio take on War Of The Worlds fooled some people into thinking the world was under alien attack. Italian “mondo” films in the 1960s eventually led to the Faces Of Death series in the 1970s.

Cannibal Holocaust was released in 1980 and is considered to be the first of the true “found footage” style movies. Other TV movies, such as 1983’s Special Bulletin was filmed like it was a network TV news broadcast. The 1990s saw video games like Night Trap and Five Nights at Freddy’s use a security camera footage format to tell their stories.

A decade after Blair Witch, the Paranormal Activity series of films grossed hundreds of millions at the box office. Even reality shows like Ghost Hunters are likely very inexpensive to produce, thus likely making a return on investment.

Recommended watching: Cannibal Holocaust, Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield, Apollo 18, Hell House LLC, Houses that October Built, Blackwell Ghost

Are there any “found footage” style movies you think could be added? Let us know below!