Point-of-View (POV) and Found Footage Horror Movies

First-Person Films and Mockumentaries

Can't get enough of movies like The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield that throw you in the middle of the action? Check out these first-person, "found footage"/POV horror movies, sure to make you feel faint -- either from fear or​ dizziness.

Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

Cannibal Holocaust
© Grindhouse

This infamous Italian gore-fest is told partially in "found footage" format, as a rescue mission discovers a documentary film crew's missing tapes revealing its ghastly encounter with indigenous Amazonian cannibals.

U.F.O. Abduction (1989)

U.F.O. Abduction (The McPherson Tape)
© Axiom Films

Also known as The McPherson Tape, this essentially real-time early found footage film is presented as home video of an alien encounter that takes place during a birthday party at a rural house. It's hyper-realistic -- for better and worse (e.g., inane dialogue with multiple people speaking at once) -- and remarkably well done for a low-budget movie shot without the benefit of having a bunch of similar films to use as a template.

This realistic British documentary-styled film aired on BBC on Halloween 1992, purporting to be a live broadcast investigating a report of a haunted house. The (not really live) events shown on screen reportedly caused a mini War of the Worlds-type freakout amongst viewers, and the movie has never been shown again on British TV.

In this dark Belgian cult hit, a documentary film crew follows a serial killer who murders people on camera, nonchalantly explaining his approach.

Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County (1998)

Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County
© Dick Clark Productions

This made-for-TV movie that originally aired on the UPN television network is actually a remake of U.F.O. Abduction. In it, a teenager named Tommy is filming his family's Thanksgiving dinner when he captures aliens on his video camera.The aliens quickly follow him home and, well, do some "probing" around. It plays like Signs meets The Blair Witch Project (even including a tearful farewell from Tommy, a la Blair Witch's oft-parodied scene), although it predates both.

This intelligent faux documentary investigates the "Jersey Devil murders," the 1995 killings of two hosts of a local public access TV show called Fact or Fiction. The last half of the film consists largely of footage of the "last broadcast" of the show, an Internet transmission from the Pine Barrens in New Jersey, as the show's hosts attempted to uncover evidence of the legendary New Jersey Devil. Similarities to The Blair Witch Project brought the film a good deal of attention, along with theories that The Last Broadcast influenced Blair Witch's production.

This surprise hit set the standard for "POV" movies, delivering the chilling tale of a documentary crew filming the story of a legendary witch haunting the Maryland woods. Ad-libbed dialogue and disorienting camerawork heighten the realism. And the nausea.

In this British film, wedding photographer Max moonlights as a serial killer, making home movies of himself as he murders people. He supposedly has taped over the horror movie that we, the audience, has rented in order to make a point about the nature of violence and voyeurism. Good luck getting your $4 back from Blockbuster.

B-movie action director Albert Pyun (Cyborg) ventured into horror with this intriguing, ambitious tale of an alien invasion told in "real time" from the point of view of a small town police officer's dashboard camera. The film is essentially one continuous shot, showing police investigating a meteor that turns out to contain a contagious alien force that inhabits the town's citizens and turns them into zombie-like drones -- like being at ground zero of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Doug, a geeky high-tech stalker, uses hidden cameras to spy on Amy, the object of his obsession, in this thriller told from the point of view of Doug's cameras. He uses his technology to study Amy and learn her habits, tastes, and weaknesses in order to get close to her.

Taking place in a world in which slasher movie villains are real, this "mockumentary" traces the rise to fame of a serial killer named Leslie Vernon.The first half is told through the first-person lens of the documentary camera, while the second half jumps to a traditional third-person as the killer begins stalking the film crew.

During a virus-spawned zombie outbreak in England, three groups of survivors (including a TV news crew) document their gut-munching experiences with hand-held cameras. Although it was completed before similar POV zombie movie Diary of the Dead, The Zombie Diaries wasn't released in the US until after the more famous Romero film.

An enjoyable horror-comedy that plays like Spinal Tap for slasher fans, Brutal Massacre is the documentary of a washed-up B-movie director's attempt to make his big comeback with an incompetent cast and crew.

The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)

The Poughkeepsie Tapes

The titular tapes in this intense faux documentary are a collection of over 200 hours of videotape shot by a serial killer, found in a house in Poughkeepsie, New York.The bulk of the film consists of the footage he took of himself stalking, kidnapping, torturing and killing his victims. This grim, unsettling movie was to be released in the spring of 2009 but has yet to see the light of day beyond film festivals. Perhaps that's for the best.

REC (2007)

'Rec' movie poster
© Filmax

In this smash hit from Spain that inspired the American remake Quarantine, a TV reporter and her cameraman document a local fire department's late-night activities, including an emergency call to an apartment building that turns out to be the site of a viral outbreak that turns the inhabitants into violent zombie-like creatures.

Under the Raven's Wing (2007)

Under the Raven's Wing DVD
© Medicine Show Cinema

A documentary filmmaker shooting the tale of three young women who've formed a twisted murder cult bites off more than he can chew and finds his fate intertwined with his subjects.

This throwback to the Italian cannibal movies of the '70s and '80s follows a pair of couples documenting their trek to New Guinea to investigate the true-life 1961 disappearance of heir Michael Rockefeller. However, they run into a jungle full of cannibals who have a hankering for American.

John moves to a small Arizona town and discovers that most of the residents are under the influence of a religious cult of masked weirdos who worship a god named Bryan. The story is told through John's camera as he attempts to document the cult's activities, as well as security cameras that show the inner workings of the Bryanites.

The biggest hit POV film since The Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield purports to be "found" video footage of a giant creature attacking New York City. A young man videotaping a friend's going-away party documents their attempt to make it through the city to rescue a mutual friend trapped in a collapsed building.

Zombie master George Romero directed this tale of a film crew who are shooting a low-budget horror movie when a zombie outbreak occurs. They attempt to document the events, with varying rates of success and survival.

This "mockbuster" is a low-budget, thinly veiled rip-off of Cloverfield, featuring "found" footage shot by two American sisters filming a documentary in Tokyo as a giant squid-like sea creature attacks the city.

This straightforward American remake of REC moves the action to Los Angeles, with The Poughkeepsie Tapes director John Erick Dowdle at the helm.

Hanah's Gift (2008)

Hanah's Gift
© H.S.M. Entertainment

Unlike other POV movies, this low-budget film avoids the "video camera" approach altogether and uses a "gifted" little girl as the source of the first-person POV. Six-year-old Hanah doesn't speak but has the ability to mentally jump into other people's heads and see things through their eyes. Thus, we view the movie not only from her point of view but also through the other characters -- including the woman running an anger management group meeting who turns out to be a psychotic killer. (It's never clear why a six-year-old with autism is entrusted to a group of adults with anger management issues.)

Home movies of a seemingly perfect couple reveal that the two children are violent sociopaths who graduate from killing animals to people.

In this thriller, a series of stories are told from the viewpoint of security cameras, following plots involving sexual exploit, revenge, and murder.

Paranormal Activity
© DreamWorks

Security cameras and home video capture events that occurred to a pair of California sisters who are menaced by a demonic force. More »

A troubled minister agrees to let his last exorcism be filmed by a documentary crew.

Apollo 18 (2011)

'Apollo 18' movie poster.
© Dimension

This movie purports to be footage of a secret mission to the moon that ended with an alien encounter.

Atrocious (2011)

'Atrocious' movie poster.
© Bloody Disgusting Selects

Siblings in a vacationing family explore a local urban legend while staying in an old mansion.

A group of college friends is tormented by a mysterious stranger they encounter on their way to a birthday party getaway.

Grave Encounters (2011)

'Grave Encounters' movie poster.
© Darclight Films

The crew of a ghost-hunting reality TV show investigates the rumors of supernatural activity in an abandoned psychiatric hospital.

Troll Hunter (2011)

'The Troll Hunter' movie poster.
© Magnolia Pictures

In this Norwegian film, a group of college students accompanies a professional troll hunter while he performs his duties.

The Tunnel (2011)

The Tunnel
© House Lights Media

In this documentary-style Australian film, a news crew investigates reports of disappearances in abandoned subway tunnels beneath Sydney.

Vampires (2011)

© Left Field Ventures

This Belgian mockumentary explores the underground vampire scene in that country, following a vampire family of four around in their daily routine.

A faceless voyeur's twisted manipulation of a young couple escalates into a deadly cat-and-mouse game, as seen from the perspective of hidden cameras he's concealed throughout their house.

'Amber Alert' movie poster.
© Bluefields Entertainment

While filming their audition video for a popular reality television show, best friends Nate and Samantha notice several active Amber Alert signs. To their surprise, they recognize the car traveling in front of them as the vehicle described on the Amber Alert. Sam and Nate decide to follow the car, but with police slow to respond, their pursuit quickly turns into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse with a murderous child rapist. More »

Area 407 (2012)

'Area 407' movie poster

After taking off on a flight from New York to Los Angeles on New Year's Eve, the passengers of Flight 37A are soon sent into shock and alarm as the plane experiences severe turbulence. The relentless weather attack causes panic and terror amongst the passengers until the plane ultimately crashes in a remote government-testing reserve, Area 407. Through footage captured by two teenage sisters, the accident and crash lead to further events that should not be viewed by the faint of heart. As they continue to film, it becomes apparent that the remaining survivors of Flight 37A may not survive the night.

The Bay (2012)

'The Bay' movie poster.
© Lionsgate

The quaint seaside town of Claridge, Maryland thrives on water; it is the lifeblood of the community. When two biological researchers from France find a staggering level of toxicity in the water, they attempt to alert the mayor, but he refuses to create a panic in the docile town. As a result, a deadly plague is unleashed, turning the citizens into hosts for a mutant breed of parasites that take control of their minds, and eventually their bodies.

After a "Bigfoot Hunter" claims to possess the body of a dead Sasquatch, a disgraced investigative journalist stakes his comeback -- and the lives of his documentary film crew -- on proving the find to be a hoax.

The Devil Inside (2012)

The Devil Inside poster
© Paramount

A film crew documents a woman's attempts to investigate the circumstances behind the murders her mother committed while reportedly undergoing an exorcism.

Hollow (2012)

Hollow movie poster
© Tribeca

An old monastery in a small, remote village in Suffolk, England has been haunted by a local legend for centuries. Left in ruin and shrouded by the mystery of a dark spirit that wills young couples to suicide, the place has been avoided for years, marked only by a twisted, ancient tree with an ominous hollow said to be the home of great evil. When four friends on holiday explore the local folklore, they realize that belief in a myth can quickly materialize into reality, bringing horror to life for the town.

V/H/S (2012)

'V/H/S' movie poster.
© Magnet Releasing

When a group of petty criminals is hired by a mysterious party to retrieve a rare piece of found footage from a rundown house in the middle of nowhere, they soon realize that the job isn’t going to be as easy as they thought. In the living room, a lifeless body holds court before a hub of old television sets, surrounded by stacks upon stacks of VHS tapes. As they search for the right one, they are treated to a seemingly endless number of horrifying videos, each stranger than the last.