"Savageland" Movie Review
Written by Angry Scholar
Found footage/POV/mockumentary films get a lot of hate. I can understand why: comparatively easy and inexpensive to make, POV films often seem to give filmmakers an excuse to churn out cheap garbage to make a quick buck. (I know nothing about film production, I should point out; that’s just the impression such films often leave me with.) There are also the inevitable comparisons to The Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity, which, depending on how one feels about those films, either set an impossibly high standard or make any new film look good by comparison.
Fortunately Savageland avoids most of the pitfalls associated with the greats of the found-footage subgenre—not by doing anything especially innovative or challenging, but by perfectly matching the conventions of real-world true crime and paranormal documentaries. In this it has much in common with Ghostwatch and the Blair Witch companion, Curse of the Blair Witch, both of which presented themselves as serious investigations into paranormal events. (It also uses the Curse of the Blair Witch font, or very close to it, for its title cards, which I like to think was deliberate.) If you like the procedural elements of investigative documentaries on basic cable, you’ll like Savageland.