Every now and again the Found Footage genre takes a step back from general horror and tries something different. It doesn’t always work but when it does come through we normally end up with a pretty cool film.
The Upper Footage is a film based on a group of New York city socialites who end up in a rather sticky situation.
Tense, original and well put together – this film was a welcome addition to the Found Footage genre…
Standing Out From The Crowd
The astonishing success of the peerless no-budget The Blair Witch Project in 1999 has opened the door for many penniless directors. Some of these directors hit the jackpot but the majority of them hit the scrapheap.
In my opinion director Justin Cole has managed to create a genuine postmodern pop culture phenomenon with this film.
It starts off pretty slow and it’s hard to pinpoint a character that you actually like. Selfish and spoiled, they are all put on the big screen to irritate and sicken you.
They are scripted this way for a reason…
The Upper Footage recounts an infamous night in 2009 when a group of New York city socialites hit the town for a drink and drugs binge.
Halfway through the night they realize that their ‘powder’ reserves are running a bit low and they look into replenishing supplies. All of their regular dealers are dry so they end up in the more common area of the city to score.
This results in them frequenting a few lower-end bars where they end up picking up a young girl named Jackie. The group then head to an upscale NYC apartment for some cocaine and liquor-fueled fun.
Jackie is a pretty ‘green’ girl and she’s not really had any experience with cocaine before. The rich kids take it upon themselves to fill her with as much powder as possible – for their own amusement of course!
The only problem is Jackie has too much fun, and winds up dead as a result…
New York City Socialites
The film works so well due to the bold moves director Justin Cole makes throughout. He starts proceedings by trying to convince us that this is actual found footage of the crime that he has been allowed to edit for the big screen.
He sticks to this fabled theory throughout the film and it manages to create a solid foundation for the atmosphere. When you pair this atmosphere and realism with a group of talented actors you are almost certainly onto a winner.
Despite a few Found Footage hard logic gaps, this film really did come together quite well. For the first twenty minutes or so I was pretty bored and wished I’d chosen a horror to review instead.
But when things get going they really get going and the film starts to travel at breakneck speed to it’s conclusion.
The overall authenticity was helped by quite natural camera placement throughout the story. At times the camera was left for long periods on the floor of a room or pointing at a blank wall.
This meant that we only had the character’s distant voices to go on in certain scenes and that was a refreshing change. The film therefore managed to avoid most of those unnatural Found Footage moments where you are left wondering why the camera is still running.
Dark, suspenseful and original, I thoroughly enjoyed this one…