Video Deaths In ‘The Collingswood Story’ [Unnamed Footage Festival 2022]

The Collingswood Story is a movie from 2002 that unfolds over video calls and a few emailed videos. It follows Rebecca Miles (Stephanie Dees) and her long-distance boyfriend, Johnny (Johnny Burton). Johnny has gifted Rebecca a webcam for her 21st birthday so they can use this new technology to keep their romance alive. Rebecca recently moved to Collingswood, NJ, and is staying in a house that has a very gruesome history. Along with the webcam, Johnny has also found a psychic for Rebecca to video chat with as a gag. The psychic, Vera (Diane Behrens), has a scary message for Rebecca instead. This causes Johnny to become alarmed and sends Rebecca down a path to learn more about the history of the house she’s staying in. 

Also Read: ‘Deadware’ Is The Creepy Throwback We Needed [Unnamed Footage Festival 2022]

They had me in the first half. While I had a few notes, I was pretty invested in seeing where this was going. I was picking up on Johnny being much more into this relationship than Rebecca. I was also trying to figure out the real reason she uprooted her life to transfer to a school in the early-aughts New Jersey. Plus I’m a sucker for the vintage dial-up aesthetic and would write pages on just that if left to my own devices. We truly could’ve had it all here.

The movie seemed to struggle to fill the 80-minute run-time. A couple of video calls with one of Johnny’s friends that add nothing to the world could’ve been cut. The multiple calls with Vera could’ve easily been condensed so we’re not so over her during the last two calls. Also, Vera’s calls kept getting funnier and I’m not sure that was the intention. At one point she makes a reveal that made me laugh so hard I had to pause the movie. Even when things pick up at the end, I had more questions than scares. It felt like a lot of desperate grabs at things that could’ve been so scary. 

Rebecca also doesn’t make sense as a character. I followed her the whole film and I don’t know her or why she did anything she decided to do. I say that knowing the genre needs a few characters to make bad choices so someone decides to be alone and investigate an attic. However, none of her choices made sense or seemed based on any kind of thought process.

Also Read: How This Seriously Freaky Image Started An Internet Panic [Watch]

The Collingswood Story is worth a watch if you want to track the found footage films of this millennium. It’s definitely in the DNA of movies like Unfriended and Host. From a purely historical context, it has merit. But unfortunately, it’s not as effective as the found footage movies that came before and after it. It’s also a fine watch if you want to support indie horror filmmakers, which we should all be doing. It’s good for a couple of laughs and a little bit of tension.

Let me know if you’ve caught this one at @misssharai.

  • The Collingswood Story


Come for the horror, stay for the history. There’s not a lot of scares in this house of horrors.



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