Anyone who enjoys watching horror movies will agree that even among fans of the genre there are factions. There are people who enjoy the most graphic and bloody horror movies. Some are fans of Natural Horror, which are movies where nature turns against humans and throws out supernatural creatures and plants to kill and eat us. Some insist the movie should have a rock-solid plot, some like ghosts, and yet others love “Based on a True Story.” Every fan club insists that their type is the only one worth watching, but producers and studios still continue to populate each subgenre equally.
The scariest of all these subcategories is, for obvious reasons, movies that feel real. Movies where you can’t keep the “It’s just a movie” filter on and fully immerse yourself in the story. Many movies have done this genre justice.
The Blair Witch Project (1999) changed the game when it came to horror movies. It set many records at the time, including a Guinness World Record for Best Budget – Box Office Ratio, an unexpected success if there ever was one. Filmed over eight days, the film tells the story of three college students who wander into a forest to explore the legend of the Blair Witch and are never heard from again. Only the footage is found, which is the movie. There is nothing more real than that! The filmmakers worked very hard to make sure the movie felt authentic, keeping the actors in the dark about many things that were going to happen in the woods. This ensured that the reactions were genuine and much more credible. It also ensured that many people were afraid of approaching the forest for a long time!
The Japanese and the Koreans know horror like no one else. Some of the creepiest horror movies in Hollywood are versions of movies in those languages. Most fans of the genre would have at least heard of A Tale of Two Sisters (a Korean movie from 2003) and they definitely watched The Ring (the Japanese or Hollywood version). This movie is about a video that leads to the death of everyone who watches it a week after seeing it. While the actual movie has not been shot realistically, the story is told convincingly enough that you feel really doubtful about watching the video.
Paranormal Activity (2007) followed in the footsteps of these lurid yet brilliant films, taking the horror of “found footage” to the next level. It is filmed to look like CCTV footage of a suburban house, and of course that enhances the illusion of reality. This movie started something of a movement, with a multitude of sequels and similar movies in other languages, including Hindi (think Ragini MMS).