6 Found Footage Movies Almost Lost To Time

found footage

The allure of found footage horror is the idea of discovering something you shouldn’t be watching. These films are often framed as police evidence, footage found on the depths of the dark web, or cameras found in trashcans. Found footage is supposed to feel lost. But some films were almost actually lost to time, adding to their mystique. Reddit threads would fill up with people looking for links or ways to get their hands on these movies. But now, thanks to services such as Shudder and distributors like Vinegar Syndrome and Cauldron Films, they’ve been able to finally see the light of day.

Hopefully, more films like those listed below get the same treatment. I’m manifesting a proper release for The Black Door.

The Collingswood Story

found footage

This movie was my own personal white whale. I searched for it online for almost a year, vacillating between paying almost $75 for a Blu-ray and resigning myself to never seeing it. But, then came Cauldron Films. They released The Collingswood Story, along with another film on this list, on Blu-ray in 2021. The film was originally released in 2002 and we here at Dread Central actually presented an exclusive online screening with filmmaker Michael Costanza. It follows Rebecca, who goes away to college and uses video chat to talk to her boyfriend John. But then Rebecca and John video chat with Vera Madeline, an online psychic, who initiates a deadly reign of terror over their lives. It’s considered one of the first second-screen horror films, paving the way for films such as The Den, Unfriended, and Host.

1974: La Posesíon de Altair

found footage

This is the other film Cauldron Films was able to snag distribution rights to last year. Released in 2016, 1974: La Posesíon de Altair is a Mexican found footage film that supposedly captures the most terrifying events in the country’s history. Thank god this film is more readily available to the public because it’s terrifying. Newlywed Altair claims to have found a way of communicating with God. So, she builds a black brick door in her bedroom but her increasingly erratic behavior points to something more sinister. Her husband films her downward spiral on 8mm, giving the film a more vintage and textured feel. I won’t spoil the ending, but just get ready for something out of this world.   

The McPherson Tape

Dean Alioto‘s The McPherson Tape has quite a wild history. The film, first released in 1989, was albeit buried—until UFO enthusiasts got their hands on it. The footage documents a family birthday party that quickly implodes as aliens land on their family farm. People actually thought it was real and circulated it through UFO conventions. It even appeared on Unsolved Mysteries as a legitimate unsolved mystery. When Alioto discovered the new life his film had taken on, he was taken aback. This small indie film convinced people aliens were real. Now, the film is no longer floating on message boards and got a proper release from Vinegar Syndrome. It’s also streaming on Shudder.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes

John Erick Dowdle’s found footage film was initially slated for release in 2008. It premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and was set to hit theaters in 2008. But, it was suddenly pulled from release, but not after horrifying trailers and clips peppered the internet, teasing a sadistic film not for the faint of heart. The film disappeared for a few years and resurfaced in 2014 when it was made available on-demand through DirecTV. But, again, it was quickly pulled down. In 2017 the film finally got what it deserves and was distributed via Blu-ray by Scream Factory. The film, which documents the depraved acts of a horrifying serial killer, is difficult to watch, to say the least. It’s an unflinching look at the mind of a psychopath and how he plays with his victims.


found footage

Leslie Manning’s made-for-TV special aired in the UK on Halloween night in 1992. The kicker: no one except the crew knew it was fake. Well-known newscasters and reporters even played themselves, making it an incredibly believable broadcast. The special follows a reporter who visits a family supposedly plagued by paranormal activity. She and her crew are determined to discover the truth and set up cameras all around the house. As the night progresses, the activity only gets worse and more destructive. Viewers actually thought this was happening and there was an all-out panic. Since this was made for TV, Ghostwatch didn’t get a lot of love after the fact except as a piece of urban legendry. It was released in the UK in 2002, but when Shudder finally got distribution rights a few years ago, more of us could experience its terror.

Wekufe: Origins of Evil


After a successful festival run in 2016, Chile’s first found footage movie Wekufe: Origins of Evil seemingly disappeared. Redditors banded together to try and find a cut, but to no avail. The film follows a journalism student and her boyfriend traveling to a remote island in southern Chile to investigate the connection between the large number of sexual crimes and the legends surrounding the mysterious place. After five years of waiting, it finally came to streaming platforms in 2021 thanks to distribution company POV Horror.



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