Savageland (2015) – Movie Review

Savageland (2015) - Movie Review

Before we get started, I need to give a shout-out to both Johnny and Howard for putting this title in front of me (they both actually contacted me on the same day – great minds think alike boys!) 🙂

Anyway, I was pretty stoked to hear about this as a lot of the ‘dodgy’ film sites are being blocked in the UK at the moment.

This isn’t usually a problem as someone in London throws up a proxy within a week or two…but it still manages to set my research back!

So, if you are reading this you are probably a regular to the site – don’t hold back – contact me whenever you come across something I’d be interested in!

The contact form on this site actually leads straight to my personal gmail account so we can converse from there easily enough (just don’t try and sell me anything – I ain’t buying!).

The Plot

Okay, we’ve got a small town near the Arizona-Mexico border that has seen better days…well it’s population has been completely wiped out…except for one immigrant survivor (and as you can imagine – that poor sod is right in the sh#t with the authorities).

So he’s pretty much taking the blame for killing everyone there – but he has a much different version of events…


This was the second mockumentary film I sat through the other night – the first being Population Zero (which I’ll put up on this site sometime this week).

It’s not often that I get to watch two excellent films from this genre in the same night – but Savageland just edged out ahead in the race.

It was highly impressive, and atmospheric, from the word go.

The film does a great job of telling the story in a variety of ways – newspaper clippings, court artwork, photographs and interviews.

When a mockumentary manages to get it right – it gets it RIGHT!

Savageland got it right…through about 99% of the experience.

It’s extremely believable, and this is mainly down to the quality of the actors that are playing interviewed characters.

You won’t recognize any of them – they’ve probably been stuck doing commercials or children’s TV for most of their career…but they really pull out a blinder for this motion picture.

It’s always the same with Found Footage films – if you get the acting right – the rest will fall into place. You don’t even need a great plot – it will just work.

This did have a great plot though – an extremely impressive, ambitious and original plot (for this genre).

They could of f##ked it up quite easily – but they pulled it off in style.


There was only one poor showing in this film, and we’ll get to that in a moment. As I touched on above – 99% of this movie was damn impressive!

The attention to detail, layout and cinematography of the experience was incredibly well thought out.

Savageland takes a very well used movie monster and a very well used plot, but travels its story in an extremely unique way.

Simply put – the Found Footage (or mockumentary) genre has not attempted to try out this plot before…because it’s a hard one to pull off.

If I had to label it, I would say it’s a cross between Night of The Living Dead and The Bay – now, if that doesn’t sound cool…I don’t know what does?

Full credit has to go to directors (and writers) Phil Guidry and Simon Herbert here. They knew what direction to go with the film and they nailed it.

The ONLY downside to the film was actually the ONLY  true Found Footage segment near the end – it was complete pants…and it sort of left me feeling a little short-changed.

The audience travels a long way through this story – surely we deserve something a little better than that footage effort?

But that was the only downside to the film…

A slow burner that manages to be dark, gripping and in some parts disturbing – well worth watching!



  1. hey chris have you seen dark tapes yet i have been trying to find it online. i have heard good things.

    • Hmmm Dark Tapes? Sounds familiar but I’m not sure? Is it a new release (i.e 2016/17)?

      • Yup, came out this year to rave reviews. Been looking for a legal (or less than legal) way to watch it online as well!

        • Hi Rushabh,

          Been looking myself over the last week or so – no luck so far on all the dodgy sites! How about you?

  2. I absolutely loved this film. One of the best I’ve seen. I kind of liked the found footage ending. I love how the bad quality footage finishes the film on the air of ambiguity that is consistent throughout. It is left completely up to the viewer to decide what they see in the photos and footage.
    I also love the political lean that is written under the plot – obvious racism amongst Middle America toward Mexican immigrants. It is a poignant message, especially when considering the current U.S president…..

    • Yeah it’s good isn’t it – the ending is pretty cool as well!
      I shouldn’t really be commenting on the US president, because he scares the shit out of us all over here! (we’re already building bomb shelters at the end of our gardens in the UK!!!) 🙂
      Hopefully his term will be short lived…or he gets shot!

      • I live in the U.K too 🙂 yeah I agree, he’s such a hubristic wally it’s terrifying. The way he’s carrying on the CIA will hopefully frame/pay someone for his assassination soon.
        I love your website by the way, I only came across it today whilst looking for good found footage recommendations. I’m going to find another recommendation now to watch whilst I chill out for the night. So, thank you for that 🙂

  3. I literally have thought this was a true documentary all week and have been freaking out!!!! A coworker friend just told me it’s not but it’s made so well it makes you think it is! So so good!

    • Haha – this made me smile Chassie!
      Glad you liked it. There are many more like it out there – check through our blog archives and see what takes your fancy! 🙂

  4. Hello my name is Stacie. Me and my husband watched this movie and at first glance it was very impressive. But as you go into the movie you just have to look, and not too hard I might add, this is actually poorly done. First thing every house is extremely damaged and been abandoned for many many years and they are abandoned even in the pictures that show people being killed or hurt in the pictures. Then who in their right mind would do nothing but snap a picture of a little girl being attacked and then have time to snap another one holding her hand, I mean cone on people!!! Then every scene with a blood trail had plastic under it, and the bones, well at least one of them was a cow bone. And last but not least the one and only family they really show is the the same little girl being shown over and over and the little boy is the guy portraying the so called killer just look and most of the people talking look like they could be his family.

    • Hi Stacie

      That’s okay – you don’t have to agree with the opinions here to use the site! 🙂
      It is a relatively low budget indie offering – like most of the movies covered here, so there are always going to be a few ‘warts’ here and there. Still, if it wasn’t for you – why not pick another title from here and try that?

  5. Hi Chris, I just watched this. I found the photos terrifying! I guess you could call it “found still footage.” Very well done, scary, and very timely commentary on immigration.

    • I like that – ‘Found Footage Still’
      The comment of the day award goes to Dave! 🙂
      Glad you enjoyed the movie mate.

  6. Chris, major kudos for the no bullshit site!! I really appreciate the honest appraisals of the FF movies, I thoroughly enjoyed Savageland and I have seen most all the FF movies since 2007. My list for top 5 would be (if you are interested)
    Afflicted. 2013 2. The conspiracy 2012 3. Cloverfield 2008 4. The tunnel 2011 .5 The atticus incident.
    lists are very subjective as all have their favorite genres and other factors that affect our decisions regarding films so I believe there are no wrong answers as to which films belong at what number on any list. I really dig your site and will support it if given the opportunity cheers from fresno ca.!!!

    • That’s a pretty decent line up there Tommy – I can’t really argue with your choices! 🙂

      Cheers for using the site – glad you enjoy it!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *