VIDEO Killer (2016)

A woman receives a VHS tape one morning from an anonymous source.  After watching the video and its odd, violent animation, she is puzzled and feels like she is being haunted.  She soon decides to look for answers. Directed by Richard Mansfield (and have no verifiable writing credits online to check who did what), the film takes the premise of a found tape leading to investigations by those who have found or received it and turn it into what can be described as mostly found footage with touches of first person POV and other filming styles.  The story is fairly basic with just a few characters and works as a found footage mystery for most of the film.  It uses many story telling techniques with varied degrees of success creating a film that feels disconnected in places.

The cast of VIDEO Killer is rather small (about a half a dozen) with Victoria Falls as the lead Amy.  Her performance is interesting and she does well at bringing the audience in and making them care about her.  Her character is not highly defined, not that much is known about her and her life, but she still manages to connect emotionally and through how she reacts to the situation she finds herself in here.  Also doing well at connecting without much information on his character is Darren Munn as Michael, the man Amy communicates with as they have both received tapes.  These two make up the bulk of the film’s time and are the most interesting to watch out of all the characters.

Also interesting to watch are the videos Amy receives and watches.  The videos have a rather crude animation style which gives them a creepy vibe and this adds to the film as a whole as they set up a mystery and create an atmosphere that is quite interesting.  The way these videos are done, almost child-like, makes one wonder about the identity of the sender.

The film itself, not the video, is show in a found footage style mostly where the characters are filming themselves and their environment by way of cell phones.  There are also shots in a different style/point of view that break up the found footage and give the cinematography by Richard Mansfield and the film a feeling that it doesn’t know what it wants to be.  As overdone as found footage is, this film actually works best during the “cell phone” shots than while shot in a more traditional way.

VIDEO Killer is a decent, yet not all that scary, entry in the low budget found footage style horror sub-genre.  The film has some creepy moments, particularly during the videos the lead watches, it also has a few really cool sequences and a few that will make viewers scratch their heads.  It’s a bit of a mixed bag, but still entertaining for a decent amount of its runtime.