DailyView: Day 158, Movie 239
Found footage films are inconsistent. Some are really well done and others are just silly. With the success of The Blair Witch Project and the Paranormal Activity franchise, found footage became a big deal, especially in the horror genre. Recently, there have been fewer found footage films, which is a good thing because it was really becoming stale. However, the 2018 film Butterfly Kisses took the subgenre to another level.
Director Gavin York (Seth Adam Kallich) discovered a box full of tapes from a student film school project by Sophia Crane (Rachel Armiger) and her friend and cameraman Feldman (Reed DeLisle). They had been recording a local urban legend, The Peeping Tom, for a documentary. Gavin sets out to prove that the tapes were real, leading him to become lost in his project as nobody believed what he was saying. He was accused of creating a hoax.
This movie does an amazing job of blending the two stories together, from Sophia and Feldman in the past and the present with Gavin. The two stories work extremely well with each other.
The Peeping Tom is a cool design and the film uses the character in a proper manner. It does not over use the images of the creature and it keeps us wondering about what it is. In fact, there is a doubt from the movie whether or not the original tapes are real or were they just a pair of students who needed to make a splash.
Like many great found footage film, there were some times where I thought this might be a real story. When the director of The Blair Witch Project, Eduardo Sanchez, showed up it really crossed the real world with the fantasy. I knew this was not a true story, but with all of these people playing themselves in the film, it kept that little doubt inside.
Butterfly Kisses proves that the found footage subgenre is still alive. You just have to have a smart story with effective use of the footage that will create a mood. This movie does that in spades.