The Fear Footage (2018) – Movie Review

The Fear Footage (2018) - Movie Review

Last week I was contacted by yet another indie director/writer named Ricky Umberger regarding his new low budget Found Footage offering. He is currently in the process of gearing up for a festival run and looking for some decent coverage for the film to get the word out there.

Now, as most of you know – I love it when this happens!

When I receive a screener copy of a indie movie I can relax a little more than usual – I already know it’s a completely independent effort and therefore I already have a slight soft spot for it (before I even hit the ‘play’ button).

Unfortunately, last week brought a shitload of bad luck with it for some reason, and I ended up having to watch the film is two separate sittings (never trust Lenovo laptops!).

Anyway, I got there in the end, and I’m kinda glad I did.

It’s not a flawless Found Footage experience – far from it, but it does offer some brave and enjoyable scenes that helped the project stand out above similar budget-level releases…

The Plot

Okay, I think it’s best that I use the initial text still to cover the plot line – it gives you everything you need to know without hitting any spoiler alerts…

“On April 19th, 2016, Deputy Leo Cole of the Darkbluff, Maryland Sheriff’s Department vanished after being dispatched to 11628 Hangmanor Rd. The next morning, his body camera was found”

Three Section Anthology

I was really surprised to see that The Fear Footage is split up into a three part anthology horror – much like the layout of the classic VHS films. Considering the independent nature of the movie’s origins – this was a brave move…

But it worked, and worked kinda well!

You have the ‘root’ storyline of Deputy Leo Cole playing through, which branches off into three little horror projects:

  • Birthday Party
  • Storm Chasers
  • Speak No Evil

I was toying with the idea of going into the subplot of each section, but I feel that could reveal a little too much – provide information that is more fun to find out by yourself!

Suffice to say – each segment of the anthology offers something a little different, something that’s quite watchable…and in some cases quite frightening (I fucking HATE clowns!).


As I touched on above, there are a handful of faults in this movie, but I had no problem forgiving them due to the strong plot decisions and the pace of the film.

What stood out the most for me?

Easy – the jump scares.

Seriously, I lost count of the amount of times I was caught out by a sudden scene…even when I kinda knew it was coming.

For the most part the cinematography was well above average – I did spot a few minor glitches, but I’m a fussy fucker anyway at the end of the day!

As we all know by now – actors make a Found Footage experience.

If you manage to band together a group of actors that are capable enough not to over-act, then half the battle is already won.

I’m pleased to report that the cast were decent enough in this project – they managed to pulled it off. Okay, they ain’t going to be winning any Oscars anytime soon, but they knew what was needed to make a Found Footage project work.

The film comes in at a run time of just over an hour – which also seems to work in it’s favor. There wasn’t time to dwell on each segment and there was no need for your more traditional Found Footage ‘build’ (that drags on, and on…).

The Fear Footage is a brave independent entry to the Found Footage genre – showing us what can be done with a low budget and a good plan.

It’s not a classic, by any stretch of the imagination, but it offers enough to indicate that Ricky Umberger could well have a future in this genre. I look forward to seeing what he comes up with next.

P.S. I REALLY fucking HATE clowns!!!!



    • I’ll get hold of the filmmaker today and see if he’ll post the release info in this comment section, Anna. I know it’s doing a festival run but I’m not sure about any other early screenings!

    • Hello Anna,
      I’m the writer, director and editor. I’m currently attempting to take The Fear Footage to the festival circuit. I won’t know if it’s accepted to any until at least September. Follow us @the_fear_footage on Instagram and check in to the website http://www.thefearfootage.com (will be up this week) occasionally to see what’s up. Thanks for your interest, I look forward to providing you with a few nightmares.

  1. Hello Anna,
    Im the writer, director and editor. I’m currently trying to take it to the festival circuit. Won’t know if it’s accepted to any until at least September. Follow @the_fear_footage on Instagram for more info or occasionally check in to the website http://www.thefearfootage.com (will be up this week).

    • What a strange question…

      Well – it’s my job!

      Directors send me early releases of their films, and I throw ’em up here. If I’ve seen it – it gets reviewed and published here. I don’t pick and choose films on whether or not the public have seen them – I’m just lucky to get to see them first! 🙂

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