Severed Footage ( 2012 ) – Kanaka Pete & Newcastle Island


Severed Footage ( 2012 ) - Kanaka Pete & Newcastle Island

Friday nights are pretty cool in my household – girlfriend and kids in bed so nothing to disturb me and another Found Footage session!

This Friday it was me and Severed Footage – a horror based on Kanaka Pete and the ghosts of Newcastle Island…

The Long Way Around…

Sometimes a Found Footage film strains itself through the build to it’s conclusion – this was definitely the case with Severed Footage.

During the first hour of this film I was completely bemused to why it had been made into a feature that lasted 1 hour and 27 minutes!

Nothing of note happened – and I mean absolutely nothing!

At times I started to wonder if anything was actually going to happen at all!

I had discovered the film by trawling my way through the IMDb archives and it seemed to have a pretty average ( but not terrible ) rating.

After the film I looked a little closer at these ratings and realized they were all from Canada…and this was a Canadian film!

The Plot

Mat ( Mathieu Lessard ) and his good friends Tony ( Matt “Tony” Walker ) and cameraman Mark ( Mark Arnott ) decide to film a local documentary for a college history project.

Mat, who seems to be the group leader, decides this documentary would be a perfect chance to get to know some local ‘hotties’.

He invites two female college buddies along for the ride with a view to getting a ‘little closer’ to them!

As they look into the dark history of the island and talk to the locals in the area, information about a mining disaster on the island that claimed numerous lives is revealed.

This seems to be a pretty good starting point for a documentary so they dig around the locals for further information on this tragedy.

This digging uncovers yet more strange legends involving a certain Kanaka Pete – an axe-murderer who is apparently buried somewhere on the island in an unmarked grave.

All this sounds like perfect material for their documentary so they set out for a short camping trip in an attempt to locate the ghosts of the dead miners or even Kanaka Pete himself!

What could go wrong…

We’ve Been Here Before!

Yeah…originality isn’t really this film’s strongest point – it sort of borders on a poor man’s Blair Witch Project.

I suppose there’s a few original elements due to the fact that Kanaka Pete is a ‘real life’ legend in that area of Canada but I still couldn’t shake the lack of something unique.

The film did manage to create an atmosphere but again it failed to turn out as a unique atmosphere – how many times are we going to be subjected to the ‘noises outside the tent’ scene in this genre?


Sometimes the characters and the level of acting can save a Found Footage film but unfortunately this was not the case here.

The acting was extremely unnatural leading to the main characters being more or less unlikable.

Don’t get me wrong – they tried to inject some persona into the characters but the humor and direction seemed all wrong at the best of times.

Story was alright – after all it is based on a real legend, but still the film plodded along at a pedestrian pace.

I suppose a half decent budget may have saved the film but that failed to materialize – the only money spent was on the camcorder and hiring the kayaks!

I will always give indie horror directors credit for trying and this lot certainly did try – they just missed the mark by some distance!

If you hate Found Footage then this is the sort of film that will reinforce your opinions…

Not dreadful but not that good either!



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