From Blair Witch to Archive 81: horror’s love affair with ‘found footage’

Netflix's new eight-part series is the latest of many in the genre to employ 'real' footage to chilling effect.
Found footage plays a key role in Archive 81 Image: Clifton Prescod/Netflix

Sarah Baker, Auckland University of Technology

In 1999, the low-budget The Blair Witch Project changed the way horror film was shot with its use of found footage: a technique that up until then was largely seen in cult films.

The innovative use of ‘real’ footage created a trend that continues to influence film and TV, with Netflix capitalising on the attractions of found footage horror with its critically acclaimed Archive 81.

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