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50 Greatest Found Footage Moments

Serenity (2005)

The Moment: Mal (Nathan Fillion) and his crew touch down on remote planet Miranda, where they discover much of the population is dead thanks to an airborne aggression suppressant.

Then they find a 3D recording of an Alliance worker who explains what happened – only for a Reaver to break in and kill her.

Why It's Great: It’s found footage in futuristic 3D!

It’s also blood-curdlingly horrible as the Alliance worker is killed off-screen.

Sinister (2012)

The Moment: Crime writer Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) watches a video on his laptop, pausing the screen on the creepy face of pagan deity Bughuul.

Then, when Ellison looks away, Bughuul comes to life on the screen, staring directly at him…

Why It's Great: Even though you sort of know it’s coming, that anticipation doesn’t diminish the chill factor.

Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

The Moment: All hell breaks loose as Katie (Chloe Csengery) screams like a demon before Dennis (Chris Smith) is snapped in two…

Why It's Great: The entire film’s been building up to this, and directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman don’t disappoint…

[REC] 2 (2009)

The Moment: In a reprise of the first film’s ending, we see Angela (Manuela Velasco) dragged into darkness, only to crawl back out again.

Caught in night vision, she’s assaulted by the Medeiros girl, who performs a little mouth-to-mouth that puts a worm into Angela’s throat…

Why It's Great: It’s a nifty rehash of the first film’s ending, which both explains how Angela became infected and plays around with audience expectations. Nicely done.

District 9 (2009)

The Moment: “We are here at MNU head office,” says Wikus van de Merwe (Sharlto Copley) at the opening of Neill Blomkamp’s awesome alien saga.

He’s in a knitted jumper, his hair freshly combed. How things are about to change…

Why It's Great: Only certain segments of Blomkamp’s film are presented as found footage, but that conceit works most effectively in D9 ’s opening moments.

Interview footage, news reports and surveillance video all catch us up on this world before we’re chucked headfirst into the adventure.

The Last Broadcast (1998)

The Moment: “Why don’t you do a show about the jersey devil?”

A creepy call comes in on the IRC, replete with bone-chilling inhuman voice. Shudder.

Why It's Great:
A few years after Scream (and over 24 after Black Christmas ), this is a suitably eerie phone voice.

Cloverfield (2008)

The Moment: The camera rests on a skyscraper, inadvertently picking up the monster that’s laying siege to New York as it juts out from behind a neighbouring building.

Why It's Great: It’s our first glimpse at Cloverfield ’s rampaging monster – and one that makes us realise just how huge this thing really is.

Megan Is Missing (2011)

The Moment: We get very graphic visual confirmation that missing teen Megan (Rachel Quinn) really is dead, and it’s enough to give you nightmares for weeks.

Why It's Great:
The final 20 minutes of the film sort of devolve into unnecessary, stomach-churning exploitation, but before that, this stinger really gets you where it hurts.

Wall-E (2008)

The Moment: In the year 2805, clean-up ‘bot Wall-E lives vicariously through found footage by playing and re-playing an old video tape of glitzy Hollywood movie Hello Dolly!

Which is probably the only happy ‘found footage’ moment on this list…

Why It's Great
: It's, in a word, adorable.

Troll Hunter (2010)

The Moment: Troll Hunter comes to a spectacular close as hunter Hans (Otto Jespersen) takes on a 200 foot monster known as a Jotnar.

First chasing it in his car, he launches a rocket at the creature which turns it to stone…

Why It's Great: Director André Øvredal delivers a Hollywood-style climax in a film made for Norwegian peanuts.