REVIEW // 'Fear Footage 2: Curse of the Tape' taps into your fears
In May of last year we were first made aware of the disappearance of Deputy Leo Cole of the Darkbluff, Maryland Sheriff's Department. His chilling bodycam footage was discovered, and what unfolded was a surreal descent into madness in a superb indie anthology horror film that set itself apart from many of the pitfalls of the found footage genre that's littered the horror genre since The Blair Witch Project.
Now, almost a year later, we're invited back into the world of The Fear Footage with it's sequel The Fear Footage 2: Curse of the Tape. Deputy Leo Cole is still missing, and two familiar faces from the original film stumble upon a copy of the infamous tape. The catch? The tape has footage of them in it, footage they don't recall filming. Events unfolding that they can't comprehend. Thus, the duo sets out on a maddening journey to find answers to what the tape is, and why they are on it.
The film reintroduces us to a couple characters from different segments of the original anthology, brought together by the need to understand how they can be in a film they don't recall being in. Together they set out to the mysterious and fog ridden Darkbluff, Maryland to unravel the mysteries of the cursed tape. When we saw the original film, we were captivated by the simplicity and effectiveness of the film. The sequel is no exception, adding layers to a bizarre mythology of the cursed tape and providing a masterful use of sound and imagery to induce tension and fear. There is a strength to the less is more approach. The darkness hides the film's horrors, but when we do get a peek of what goes bump in the night - it's jarring and truly frightening. There is a scene that involves a character being pushed into a pool by an unseen assailant. As the camera readjusts in the water we catch the glimpse of something sinister in the pool with him that made me jump out of my skin.
While part of me missed the anthology approach of the first film, I did appreciate delving deeper into the mythos of the cursed tape and joining the characters down the rabbit hole. The film provides some of it's best moments not always from the jump scares littered throughout but also in the moments of silence where we can see something's not quite right. Toys moving on their own, shadowy figures in corners that weren't there a moment ago.
The last 10 minutes is absolutely bonkers. The ending has clever camera tricks that add to the sense of dread and disorientation that our main character is feeling as he literally finds himself in a loop of rooms filled with callbacks to the original film. These last few moments felt the closest to the original film, and were a welcome surprise as the film overall feels very different from the first chapter.
While the sequel isn't as fun as the original anthology film, it adds a layer to the mythology touched upon in the original film and leaves plenty of mystery for subsequent trips to the world of "The Fear Footage".
Check out a trailer of The Fear Footage 2: Curse of the Tape - unleashing March 13th 2020 below. You can also order the bluray of the original film at www.thefearfootage.com