Another week, another found-footage* horror flick. But while the likes of Unfriended are at least trying to push the format in innovative new directions, this Irish-Brazilian effort is content to linger on the tired old tropes.
You see, a bunch of attractive teens are going on a boozy, sexy getaway to deepest, darkest Ireland, and are documenting every moment with their cameras. Frankly, they’re asking for trouble.
That’s not to say the set-up can’t still yield results – 2013’s In Fear proved there’s life in the old dog yet – but when Invoked’s shower of eejits start smoking weed, telling ghost stories, visiting graveyards and pissing around with homemade Ouija boards… you see where this is going. Oh, and it’s like, totally Halloween, lads.
While it’s derivative to the point of straight-faced spoof, the film does have something going for it; a couple of dead creepy blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments during the build-up, and there are chills to be had when hell finally does break loose.
Unfortunately, these sinister subtleties can’t save Invoked from being boring and boneheaded bobbins.
Found footage is a fictional film subgenre in which all or a substantial part of the work is presented as if it were discovered film or video recordings. The events on screen are typically seen through the camera of one or more of the characters involved, often accompanied by their real-time, off-camera commentary. For added realism, the cinematography may be done by the actors themselves as they perform, and shaky camera work and naturalistic acting are routinely employed. The footage may be presented as if it were “raw” and complete or as if it had been edited into a narrative by those who “found” it.
The most common use of the technique is in horror films (e.g., Cannibal Holocaust, The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, [REC], Cloverfield), where the footage is purported to be the only surviving record of the events, with the participants now missing or dead. It has also been used in science-fiction (e.g., Chronicle, Project Almanac, Europa Report), drama (e.g., Zero Day, Exhibit A), comedy (e.g., Project X) and family (e.g., Earth to Echo) films.
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