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Default (2014) – Movie Review

Default (2014) - Movie Review

Well, I don’t know what has happened to the Found Footage industry over the last fortnight, but for some reason I’m getting new titles thrown at me left, right and center!

Filmmakers contacting me directly, website contact messages regarding new releases, amateur YouTube directors – you name it – I’m getting it!

At the moment I have a backlog of about 30 titles to get through (and those are just the one’s I remembered to write down!).

So, I thought I’d start with something a little different – something that takes a step away from the Horror and Science Fiction genres.

Default was actually ‘introduced’ to me last week by a member of the team that originally promoted it in 2014…well I’m guessing they are a member of that team…they could really be a member of a new marketing group brought in!!!

Anyway – who cares!

All that matters is that it’s a Found Footage thriller, and it’s actually quite good…

The Plot

A news crew is taken hostage on an airplane set to take off from the Seychelles by a gang of Somali pirates whose leader is driven by one goal: to be interviewed by a prominent member of the crew, legendary journalist Frank Saltzman.

A REAL Reason For Keeping The Camera Running…

Over the last 12 months or so, I’ve noticed a large amount of Found Footage titles getting extremely lazy in their explanations.

What do I mean by this?

Well, as you know, one of the most vital components of a Found Footage movie is the reason behind the camera. Basically – why the f#ck is the camera still rolling?

All too often these lazy titles resort to the good old “Keep the camera rolling, we need to document this” angle…when in reality…most of us would have already dropped the camera and hit the road like shit off a shovel!

Default manages to justify the use of the Found Footage technique to tell it’s story – this means the film actually works for the most part without really trying.

I’m desperately trying not to give any sort of spoilers away here, but the angle is introduced near the start of the film anyway…

The leader of the ‘pirates’ informs the news crew that if they document the whole incident…they will be released unharmed when the hostage situation is finally over.

This reasoning really does work on many filmmaking levels, and also helps the movie seem eerily realistic at times. It also manages to add to the tension, because we get to see near enough everything.

This cinematography setup gave me something I hadn’t really experienced in a while – for once I could just completely forget about the reasons behind the footage and just concentrate on the plot’s journey.

It kinda allows you to relax into the film a bit more (well it did for me anyway!).

Conclusion

I love brave and unique titles in the Found Footage genre – but they really don’t come around as often as they should. There’s nothing wrong with haunted asylums, cryptozoology and witches in the woods…

…But the genre as a whole really does need freshening up from time to time.

That is what we get with Default – a well made, intelligent thriller which is unique in it’s own right.

I’ll be honest with you here – I’m not really a fan of thrillers!

That’s right, I’m a geek, and I only usually go for Horror or Science Fiction.

But Default worked on me due to it’s Found Footage roots, and it could well work on the majority of you reading this.

The plot/story was solid, the pace was spot on and the cast were more than capable of pulling it all off.

A surprising addition to the genre…but a good one all the same…

Definitely worth watching (in my humble opinion!).

Chris

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