Top Ten

Top Ten Found Footage Films

OK you asked for it – so we’ve provided it! The ultimate list of Top Found Footage films. After many disagreements we’ve finally managed to come up with a list we feel is an accurate representation of the ‘big boys’ from this genre.

Position Title Year Overall Score
1 The Blair Witch Project 1999 99%
2 Grave Encounters 2011 97%
3 Paranormal Activity 2007 96%
4 Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County 1998 94%
5 The Houses October Built 2014 93%
6 As Above So Below 2014 92%
7 Exists 2014 91%
8 REC 2007 90%
9 V/H/S/2 2013 89%
10 Lunopolis 2009 88%

Now we’re pretty sure this list is going to ruffle a few feathers and start a few arguments off – but we cannot cater to everyone’s taste ( and we wouldn’t want to anyway πŸ™‚ ).

So below you will find a further list of what we like to call elite films – the ones that just missed out on the top ten listing above. Keep in mind that these two lists are not set in stone – if a new contender comes along and knocks a classic off it’s perch so be it! We will change the listings and positions as the genre evolves!

Title Year Overall Score
Cloverfield 2008 87%
Megan is Missing 2011 87%
Chronicle 2012 87%
Zero Day 2003 86.5%
The Poughkeepsie Tapes 2007 86%
Exhibit A 2010 86%
The Troll Hunter 2011 86%

40 Comments

  1. Props to your list and your website. I thought ‘The Possession of Michael King’ and ‘Trollhunter’ deserves a top ten consideration….

    • Both Great films Michael. We are only halfway through the page so far! We are including a section of all the films that just missed out on the top ten spots later this week ( Michael King & Troll Hunter will be included ). Cheers for stopping by πŸ™‚

  2. Like the list. Would add borderlands, Occult, and Cult…last two are from same director as Noroi the curse. Amazing story progression and crazy ideas abound.

  3. Really good list. A few top notch ff films πŸ™‚ Although for me number one will always be Grave Encounters. One of the few found footage horrors i like to watch again once in a while. I also love “The Houses…” and “As Above…” and i would put them on positions 2 and 3.

    As for movies missing from the list, i would add “The Taking of Deborah Logan” and Turkish series Dabbe.

    • Hey there Marek,
      Yeah I love Grave Encounters – but it just slips behind the old school offerings you see at the top! Deborah Logan was pretty cool and I’ve only watched a few episodes of Dabbe so I don’t really know what to think of it yet ( besides it’s not a movie so I doubt I’d include it on the list! ).
      Cheers for your input – hope to see you here again soon πŸ™‚

      • Thanks, i see so many reviews here that i will surely be back many times;) You are doing great job here.

        What do you mean Dabbe is not a movie? Maybe we are talking about something else? πŸ™‚ I recommend Dabbe: Cin Γ‡arpmasi from 2013. It is long but it offers something fresh – turkish folklore and possesion by Djinn and no haunted asylums πŸ˜‰ I think it also have one of the best endings in FF movies.

        • Yeah I think we’ve got our wires crossed somewhere. Sorry of the delayed response – we’ve been trying to test out a forum template on the site and it’s managed to screw up a few of the comments we received i.e. we’ve lost some of them!
          Apologies to anyone that has left a comment recently and it’s been eaten up – completely our fault for f##king about with the technical side of things. Everything should be back to normal now…
          ( famous last words! )

    • Agreed with you Marek on the “The Taking of Deborah Logan.” A phenomenal found footage entry with the main character doing some of the best acting I’ve probably ever seen for this type of movie!

  4. I can pretty much get behind that top 10 myself, except for Megan Is Missing perhaps. May have replaced it with Look, The Collingswood Story or TTO Debrah Logan. Regardless of that, you’re doing a great job on this site!

    • All good films you’ve mentioned there John – it always boils down to a hard decision and the tables above are ever-changing ( when we think a new one deserves to be up there we relegate an old one and replace it with the new title! )

  5. Grave Encounters is, to me, and example of the all-time worst found footage videos (I can’t bring myself to call it a film) yet made – yet it somehow enjoys a solid enough fan base that they were able to finance a sequel. It’s somewhere down with The Ouija Experiment or Crybaby Bridge, it’s so bad. The acting is beyond horrible, the plot is as overdone and rehashed tired as tired can be, the CGI is actually laughably bad (c’mon, “strechymouth” – again?), and the cinematography is abysmal, even for a c-movie, micro-budget indie. If it was on your Worst Top 10, I’d agree wholeheartedly. I’d suggest “The Bay”, the original “VHS”, (of course, Houses/October, Michael King, and others already mentioned), Afflicted, Sacrament, Delivery, Exists (one of the best), and a dozen other amazing films – but I agree with every other film on your list, with that notable exception.

    • Don’t really know how to reply to this – you do know that Grave Encounters is an incredibly high grossing film that made the Vicious Brothers (Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz) extremely famous? I’ve never actually come across a Found Footage fan who doesn’t like Grave Encounters so I’m a bit stumped on what to say!
      Well everyone’s entitled to an opinion I guess…

    • I think the reason Grave Encounters was made was not to fulfill your checklist in order to be considered a good movie (because that is not what found footage is about) unless your closed minded attitude is simply instigation in order to be upsetting. Grave Encounters shifted the mindset of the genre and that is proven with the last 5 years of campy FF that has been released en mass. I’m sure that when you think about it you also feel that Cloverfield sucks… But you took the time to consider the tools used as effective because JJ Abrams put it out and the budget was over 20 million dollars. TJ Miller was operating the camera, what you may not know is that they afforded a rig for him to wear with a steady cam stabilizer and remote connection (so that zzom and focus could be managed from a distance) so that even if he sucked, his 40k worth of equipment would ensure he couldn’t. That is what you need in order to have better than “stretchy mouth” but Grave Encounters on the other hand (I personally prefer the second), was made on 2 million… Could you honestly have done better in 2011?

      Merits of the movie to me, first movie I watched that included the idea that a paranormal investigation show went wrong. Thrills and build up pertain to the genre of horror and the teams skill level with a camera was equivalent to expectation. Low budget TV show with people interested in the paranormal who are beginning to get used to their roles as a film crew together.

      Btw, almost all of the movies you listed, I would not consider as found footage because of the shooting style. i.e. Exists is a broken shooting structure, it has shots strung together by an editor, fashioned to look like a movie and not like real footage where there is continuous action occuring. The build ups are lacking in their thrill factor and you do not get a sense of atmosphere in it’s build up. I was left constantly questioning the camera, it feels like the director did not even think about how it was meant to be used. If they have Go Pro’s attached to their chest, why? and why are they not in the shots? The camera’s keep magically appearing and disappearing from shot to shot. It appears as if the directror had very little idea on how to make a found footage film and instead relied on standard pre-production which includes storyboarding which in some cases works but in this case the “clean” shots were used which do not include the elements that make FF seem so real.

      At the end of the day, I don’t understand how you are judging the movie, again, unless you are trying to instigate a negatve reaction…

      • Good acting though, just wish Exists strung in more dirty shots so it would feel more like FF…

      • I had to read this twice before I realized it was in response to Tom Hunter’s comment πŸ™‚
        I haven’t had my coffee yet!!!

      • The Internet is full of contrarians like this guy..Usually it has nothing to do with the quality of the movie..People like that will trash a movie, song, or anything else simply bc it’s so popular..cuz we all know it’s not ‘cool’ to like popular ‘mainstream’ products !!

  6. I haven’t seen it in your lists but if you haven’t, check out ‘Pyramid’ (2014 I think). Think, As Above So Below in a forgotten Pyramid.

    Well worth a watch!

    • Hi Mikki, I have seen Pyramid but unfortunately I can’t class it as Found Footage – way too many segments are filmed in the traditional style to include it on this site! πŸ™‚

  7. I am having a difficult time finding a website that has some kind of list of the 2016 found footage horror movies coming out. Moth and Jeruzalem are basically the only ones i keep seeing. Any ideas?

    • I’m also a bit on the dark at the moment Philip – it seems as if there are not going to be many ‘big’ releases in this genre this year. We’ll have to wait and see!

  8. Hey man, great site! somewhere to feed my guilty pleasure of found footage! Just my 2 cents worth though, would be amazing if you could put review stars or some kind of score by your reviews. You can also integrate this will google and this should help your rankings (I used to do SEO a few years ago).

    Film wise, have you checked out end of watch? Not a horror film, but a very cool found footage film. Also a series called siberia… its not amazing, quite an original idea though.. sort of like lost meets survivor all in a reality TV show style.

    Anyways keep up the good work!

    • Hi Ash, yeah I’ve seen them both but just haven’t got around to reviewing them yet ( unfortunately! ). We did use a ranking system when we first started off the site but it completely demolished our SEO – people don’t want to hang around and read a review after they’ve spotted a poor rating ( our bounce rate went through the roof in analytics! ).

      • ah yeah I never thought of that, forgot google put a big emphasis on bounce rate. Weird though as they tend to promote the usage of the newish “rich” meta data like review stars etc. Tricky one! haha makes me glad I don’t do SEO anymore, makes my head hurt!

        • Yep, gives me a constant headache as well. At least this site seems settled on the first page of Google for the term ‘found footage films’. Hope it stays that way! πŸ™‚

    • Yeah I also liked Chronicle but the list was cross referenced opinions from 10 indie ( horror ) filmmakers I know and myself. We agreed beforehand that we would be fair to the results ( which where on scribbled bits of paper one evening! ). There are actually 3 films I would like to see on there, but I’ll keep ’em under my hat.
      I am the owner of this site so I may throw all my toys out of the pram and change the list to exactly the way I want it…one day LOL

  9. ‘Hangar 10’, ‘Willow Creek’, ‘Alien abduction’ and ‘The Borderlands’ should be in the top 10 for me, very scary. Spookier than the over-rated REC that’s for sure.

    • All good choices – Willow Creek probably the strongest out of the three!

  10. Great list! Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County was so surprisingly good! It was realistic and stressful – felt like an episode of the Twilight Zone. Exists was excellent as well!

  11. Surprised not to see Lake Mungo on there, or even mentioned in the comments. I know not strictly a found footage film, but certainly has found footage elements to it. And after watching it right to the very end (through credits), found it to actually be VERY spooky indeed, forcing me to want to actually watch it again! Good list though, introduced me to a couple of movies i wasn’t aware of. Watched Atticus and Michael King yesterday, thoroughly enjoyed them both so thankyou. Agree with you on V/H/S, all good films but the 2nd one definitely kicks ass, that whole cult episode had me on the edge of my seat!

    • Hi Daniel,

      The list is actually made up of the opinions of myself and 5 other indie directors – it was the only way we could get a fair representation overall. Lake Mungo was considered but just missed the mark…the same as about a hundred other titles! πŸ™‚

  12. No “Cannibal Holocaust” and “Man Bites Dog”? The Blair Witch Project influenced (and influences) most post-2000 FFs, but most found footage films still use CH and MBD formula.

    It’s good to see “Megan is Missing” is in the list. It’s an unknown and underrated gem. And I think some other FFs (e.g. The Den, Unfriended, Ratter) are inspired by MiM. Even “The Houses October Built” finale is similar to MiM in some aspects.

    • No, definitely NO Cannibal Holocaust! Between the 5 of us that title didn’t come up once…that should tell you everything you need to know about that one! πŸ™‚
      On the flip side – Man Bites Dog came up twice but quickly fell down the pecking order. We could of sat about arguing for days in the end so we just settled as is (we’ve actually swapped the list around twice since!).

      Cannibal Holocaust is reviewed here so that might give you a better idea on why it’s not included.

  13. Everybody presumes blair witch should be number 1. it is awful, yawnfest no horror at all just snotty noses.
    grave encounters: also awful. badly timed scares, terrible effects (down right laughable photoshop stuff, i mean jesus, just put a costume on)

    list is ok other than that. although i feel mr jones and deborah logan deserve a place. and none of the others are in any kind of order i would put them in. but hey each to there own.

    theres an old bbc programme called ghostwatch too that deserves mentioning.
    it was before blair witch and was rather good. its not really found footage but its style is very familiar.

    • I have no idea what to say to this comment….

      (Yeah I watched Ghostwatch live when it first appeared on BBC in the 80’s – it’s decent)

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