Leaving D.C. (2012) – Movie Review

Leaving D.C. (2012) - Movie Review

A big shout out to Nick Dawson who brought this movie to my attention last week – never heard of it before and I quite enjoyed spending my Sunday night watching it!

This little gem is the work of Director, Writer and actor Josh Criss – yeah, I’d never heard of him before either!

A quick look at IMDb showed me what I already suspected – this was a zero budget offering and not many people knew about it (only 32 people had rated it since 2012!).

The Plot (Stolen From IMDb of Course!)

After 20 years of living in Washington, D.C., Mark Klein seeks much-needed solace by moving to the remote wilds of West Virginia.

To ease his loneliness, he sends regular video updates to members of his OCD-support group back in the city.

But Mark gradually realizes that despite his new, isolated setting, he may not be alone. From the endless woods surrounding his home, something else is watching.


Well I for one, really enjoyed this film even though it had no more than two screen actors throughout it’s duration (one of which is only on-screen for about 5 minutes at the most!).

This indicated to me that Josh Criss had a good idea of how the film was going to work before he hit REC on the camera.

When the majority of a film is taken up by one single character you HAVE to make sure you’ve got a plot that can carry him/her otherwise things can get boring pretty damn fast.

Josh Criss’s character invention is pretty cool really – it’s probably the first time I’ve witnessed such a sad dweeb of a nerd as lead in one of these films.

You start off by getting the feeling that you’re dealing with a bit of a loser and sure enough the film highlights this fact at various points throughout it’s course.

I guess this means that Criss’s performance was top dollar really – I didn’t get the impression that he’d acted before but his character was very believable.

I also liked the combined ideas he used as pillars throughout the plot. He managed to inject a creepiness into proceedings with the use of simple props and no real FX.

If you have no money to invest into a Found Footage project then you need to make an attempt to f##k with people’s minds a bit – look what Blair Witch managed with a ten dollar bill and a bag of Doritos!

Criss has taken note of this and has made a brave effort to f##k with the audience’s mindset throughout the film – he succeeds in making it really quite unnerving at times.

But there is a downside – and it’s only one downside and it doesn’t rear it’s ugly head until the end of the film…well…it IS the end of the film really!

By now I’m pretty much used to disappointing climaxes in this genre but saying that, I was still completely pissed off by this ending.

Unfortunately I can’t take that statement any further as I’ll hit too many spoiler alerts and that’s not what people expect from this site.

Overall a good Found Footage effort with plenty of neat little supernatural ideas. Not exactly a blockbuster but well worth watching!



  1. Hi, Chris, I immediately followed your recommendation and went looking for this one. I only read part of your review and only read it all after I finished the movie. You’re absolutely right, the end is very open but I pretty much had a feeling that’d be case. That being said, I think the movie is overall pretty creepy considering I’ve always dreamed of living in a cabin (not that fancy like in the film) in the woods all alone (my cousin who’s another horror movie freak, reminds I’d probably only last a few hours and she’s totally right!). Returning to Leaving D.C., it’s one that really follows the footsteps of the original Blair Witch and makes you spooked by sounds alone. It’s a must for lovers of found-footage, thanks for the heads up, as always.

  2. Stumbled on this movie while rummaging around Amazon prime tonight. What a pleasant surprise. The ending was a little off but otherwise believable, original and creepy.

  3. Hey there Chris! It’s me, Christine. Anyway, I have a newer, cool, *free* YouTube found footage to offer. First off, I watched the *Seething* in your cinema section, and it was great! The camera was a little dizzying in the beginning, but it got better as it went along and kept me intrigued! (Although I think an ending explanation is needed I didn’t get it). That being said, it led me to see if there were any other cool films to check out on YouTube, since I was in the mood. I happened upon a new film for 2016 called *The Museum Project* by a group called Freeze Frame Films. It’s only 44:46 but that’s all it needed to be to tell its story! Yes, it has your typical “group of people (specifically a girl and two guys in this case, classic) go into a creepy place at night when they shouldn’t” ordeal, but one thing that’s unique about it is that it’s not a forest, or a haunted house, or an asylum. Drum roll please, it’s a *railway museum!!!* The girl and two guys decide to check out this haunted railway museum for a media assignment but don’t get the same effect during the day, so they trespass at night to get better footage. That’s where I’m stopping before I get into too much detail. It was really good! The camerawork was great, the acting was believable, and it makes you feel as if you’re in the film. It didn’t rely on too many jump scares to keep that sense of fear moving, and it was evenlly divided between background and investigation. Please check it out I think you’d be impressed! (If you didn’t already see it)

    • Hiya Christine! Nice to hear from you again 🙂
      Yeah I reviewed the Museum Project a few months back HERE. Really liked it and I like the Freeze Frame bunch – they’ve released a few good films on YouTube now all in the Found Footage format (I’ve covered a few here at some point!).


    I actually liked the ending, didn’t see it coming. And it adds extra more mystery to the whole thing – what is really going on? The main character runs out and shoots whatever is playing the flute (we don’t know for sure if it’s the schizo girl’s ghost) and then someone/something turns and lifts the camera. Holy wow! The ghost of the dead father/grandfather (can’t remember which)? Or someone/something else? Ambigious endings are not everyone’s cup of tea, but just like the original Blair Witch Project, this ending took me by surprise and will linger in me for a long while – as will the rest of this brilliant little gem!

  5. Oh yeah I see it now, darn. Oh well, it was a great film and gave me chills. I saw Seething in your free viewing section, and it was creepy! Despite some disorienting camera shots in the beginning, it held my interest and was really cool and creepy. But yeah, did you get the ending? I still don’t quite understand.

    • If I’m honest I can’t really remember the ending now – although I can remember the feeling of “what the f##k just happened there?” creeping over me. I’ll have to re-watch it 🙂

  6. Hey Chris! There are actually 2 different endings to this movie. I watched a version on putlocker that had a different conclusion to a version I watched on amazon prime. The former is way more ambiguous than the latter. You have to investigate that you’ll be suprised

    • Ahh I’ll have to look into that! Paranormal Activity did a similar thing with the first movie (where there were 3 different endings!). I watched the Putlocker version.

      Cheers Julian 🙂

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