Terror Eyes (2021) [Shriekfest 2021] 

A famous online prankster goes on a trip with his girlfriend and a friend where he intents on proposing. As things go on, something definitely not right is going on. As things escalate, the party responsible may not be who they expect. 

Written and directed by Delaney Bishop, Terror Eyes is a found footage film that will feel familiar. Yes, there is a twist and it’s not necessarily the one expected, but the proceedings to get there feel familiar and are not all that engrossing. Of course, plenty of folx will love this story set-up, particularly fans of found footage, online pranks, and the idea that the dark web is there for entertainment for some. For this reviewer, it all came off generic as there are so many found footage films out there and for some reason, the story seemed too familiar and did not resonate. The way the film is put together is decently well done, with some great shots here and there and the “thank goodness they are using security cams” moments that gave a few minutes of respite from the regular found footage filming style.  

The cast here is where the best of the film resides. The performances are mostly really good with a few hiccups here and there, but overall, the work they put in works. The fact that the majority of them are not super familiar faces to horror watchers (besides Jennifer Blanc-Biehn) helps sell the found footage aspect of the film. Granted, some will be more familiar with everyone’s previous work if they watch different genres. The work of the cast here is what keeps the attention and it makes an easier to watch film.  

The cinematography by Richard Briglia is on point in terms of offering different styles for the different cameras in use from a handheld camera to phones to hidden cameras to webcams to security cameras, each has its own style and offers its own advantages and disadvantages. Briglia clearly understood this and gave them the exact right look and style. That being said, some of the mix of cameras can add a dynamic to the film at times, but it can also distract as there is no stability in image style. This is something that found footage fans will probably love, but others won’t be into after a while of watching the film. 

Terror Eyes is somehow familiar without fully being so and is definitely a film geared towards fans of the found footage genre. On the plus side, the cinematography is decent for most of the film and acting works pretty well. Overall though, it’s a film that loses the attention here and there when most of the characters are not people the viewer will care about in the grand scheme of things. It’s a found footage film with some good, some bad, and some bland, leaving it a bit more on the forgettable side of life unfortunately.