Bringing you more found footage and POV horror than you can shake a stick at, Unnamed Footage Festival is back at it once again with an incredible lineup for 2023. Along with a whole host of feature-length productions from all over the globe, a number of shorter films will be screened to accompany their bigger siblings, enticing fans with their unique premise and lack of budget restriction. Come take a gander at our thoughts on what’s on offer at Unnamed Footage Festival 666.
Annihilator (2023) Dir. Kyle Mangione-Smith
A young man at the end of his rope seeks to experience transcendence through the ultimate act of submission.
Incredibly reminiscent of Abel Ferrara’s Driller Killer (1979), this short begins with a message telling the audience to “PLAY THIS FILM LOUD” as a wave of indescribable industrial noise crashes over them in an assault on the senses. The short’s kinetic visuals continue in this chaotic fashion, featuring frantic cuts and dramatic cinematography. The fast-paced, foreboding story of torture and masochistic self-destruction culminates in an effortlessly stylish piece of bite-sized extreme cinema that’s sure to leave you wanting more annihilation.
Aunt Linda (2022) Dir. Jason Carl Kluytman
A boy hides in the back of his mother’s car and films an unwanted hitchhiker’s torturous occupation.
Employing the use of a night vision camera and a claustrophobic setting to help ramp up the tension, Aunt Linda plays with well-loved tropes of the found footage subgenre. For a short that’s only 5 minutes 27 seconds in length it characterises the titular Aunt Linda effectively, and she’s never even shown on screen. It’s clear that she’s a mischievous and energetic character who supports her nephew Zack as an aspiring filmmaker. However, together they’re intent on giving his Mum the shock of his life. What’s interesting about this short is that the audience isn’t privy to the reveal at the end, leaving the revelation shocking to Zack’s mother and the viewer!
Catalog (2022) Dir. Craig S. Renfroe
A son cataloging his missing father’s occult book collection for auction discovers a key to a mysterious shed in his dad’s journal. There the son finds out more than he wanted to know about his father’s disappearance.
What begins as a benign tale of inventory management for an auction soon devolves into an extremely twisting narrative of unexplained disappearances and satanic undertones, implementing an impressive level of environmental storytelling to relay this story progression in a simplistically effective manner. With a restrained yet authentic performance from the film’s single actor, played by director S. Craig Renfroe Jr., his brief rendition maintains a great pace throughout, perpetuating a momentum slightly above mundane conforms to the film’s laborious premise but avoids dragging in a similar fashion and leads to a fantastic finale.
Content: The Lo-Fi Man (2022) Dir. Brian Lonano & Blake Meyers
“Filmmaker” Brian Lonano tries to talk about a beloved cult film. What happens next will shock you!
A Youtube review show discussing Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo The Iron Man (1989) soon deteriorates into a self-reflective mockery of content creation, the platforms that host their work, and the derogatory personalities that have become associated with the medium. Additionally, the apocalyptic setting, simplistic but effective practical special effects, and a goofy, tongue-in-cheek story played entirely straight are certainly reminiscent of Tsukamoto’s cult classic. Yet the short still retains its own unique premise and sentiments on the modernisation of the arts in a completely original way. A blood-stained love letter to the experimental cyber-punk tokusatsu classic, Content: The Lo-Fi Man captures the low-budget intensity of its inspiration in full earnest and delivers an incredible thrill ride that’s sure to resonate with those that love cult cinema.
Shadowban (2022) Dir. Shane W. Brennan
Late on Halloween night, Fiona is out delivering products from her “side hustle”, but never missing an opportunity for content, she is live-streaming the journey.
Set on the dark country roads of the Republic of Ireland, Shadow Ban is a contemporary take on the killer is in the backseat cliche of yesteryear. Featuring a mix of live-stream footage, beautifully framed cinematography, and an innate light design, the short builds an impressive atmosphere of rising tension that culminates into a remarkable reimagining of this trope. These banal scenarios are beginning to come full circle on a fresh generation of horror lovers, ready to work their magic again on an audience not so acutely aware of how repetitious they had become in previous eras.
Dark Visitors (2022) Dir. Dylan Roberts
An intruder gets more than he bargained for upon the discovery of a mummified extraterrestrial.
Not wasting any time on introductions, Dark Visitors jumps straight into the action in the middle of a break-in. Containing minimal dialog, the short, instead, suffers from an over-reliance on environmental storytelling at the sacrifice of the overall narrative. However, the alien prop used is incredibly well-made, featuring amazing detail that certainly skyrockets the overall quality of the short as a whole.
Forgotten Fountains (2022) Dir. Ellie Vanderlip
An experimental documentary that harnesses Super 8mm and found 16mm footage to explore drinking fountains as a lens on the broader infrastructure crisis in the United States.
Casting a scrupulous eye at the state of American infrastructure, this short looks at the origins of public access to clean drinking water as well as the deterioration of this necessary access to a human right through disrepair and purposeful restriction, forcing citizens to take matters into their own hands by illegal means. The unique blend of retro stock footage and documentary segments in addition to the modern footage filmed on 8mm film fluidly blend the past and present together, starkly contrasting the difference in attitude to the creation and maintenance of the framework to a functional society. Furthermore, the addition of unwarranted comedy splashed in unobtrusively works well for the overtly serious nature of the documentary, adding an irregular sense of comedy reminiscent of Adult Swim shorts. That notwithstanding, this element lacks any intrusive nature, not detracting from the documentary’s important message.
Glitch (2021) Dir. Rebecca Sonia Berrih
While FaceTiming her daughter, a mother spots something scary on the video feed that can’t be seen with the naked eye…
An incredibly well-polished short, Glitch delivers an astoundingly well-realised concept that would be a perfect fit in a similarly themed anthology, while providing some fantastic visual effects and great performances. In spite of this, the film’s biggest flaw is its abrupt length at barely over 3 minutes of runtime. Hardly able to create an oppressive atmosphere, the short would have surely benefited from an extended runtime of a few minutes to give breathing room for essential tension-building and allow its ending to successfully leave an impact on the audience. Instead, Glitch feels like it wastes its full potential, laying all its cards on the table before the game can even start.
The Christmas Miracle (2023) Dir. Harry McDonough
On the night of Christ’s birth, Mary and Joseph are visited by three wise angels bearing gifts.
Delivering tidings of existential horror to all, The Christmas Miracle is a macabre retelling of the birth of Jesus relayed through rudimentary stop-motion animation. However, instead of three wise men visiting with gifts of precious metals, incense, and holistic medicine, three abominable angels. They instead bestow the sights of their child’s unavoidable fate as well as a world that has squandered such sacrifice unto the two newly formed parents, leaving them to decide if their saviour’s destiny is worth his suffering. Additionally, inter-spliced into this morbid tale are the live-action recordings of a deranged homeless man in a Santa mask as he stalks his unsuspecting victims, adding a welcome break to the overwhelming pessimism delivered in the main story.
The Ocxioru Cult Tape (2022) Dir. Jacopo Orlandin
An experimental short analog horror story with Lovecraftian vibes, inspired by the true stories of cult tragedies.
An incredibly unsettling mix of modern-day cults and H.P Lovecraft mythos; The Ucxioru Cult Tape is a concise instructional video on how to offer your life in oblation to the dark one, Ucxioru, and gain cosmic immortality. The clear inspiration from real-life events undoubtedly enforces an uncomfortable recognition in those over a certain age (or just morbidly curious), with a similar theme to the well-documented events of the doomsday cult Heaven’s Gate and mass suicide suffered in Jim Jones’ People’s Temple. However, with the inclusion of elements of H.P Lovecraft and cosmic horror, the film’s sense of nihilism is softened over that of its real-world counterparts.
We watched these shorts as part of Unnamed Footage Festival 666.
More Film Festival Coverage
Self-described as a metalhead for life, Chilean filmmaker Patricio Valladares makes some noise in this year’s version of Unnamed Footage Festival. Taking place in San Francisco, this event is proud… Japan seems to have nailed the absurdist comedy, whether that’s big budget to small indie features, no other country is comparable in wit at embracing the peculiar. Available at Japan… After a hard day of work, 36-year-old Yuko Sawamatsu returns to her apartment for an evening to unwind. However, her memories of a recent affair with a married man keep… Noted as the only found footage horror film playing at 2021 FrightFest, Followers combines comedy that pokes at the modern social influencer landscape and supernatural horror. As the found footage… Fishmonger is a 2023 Irish supernatural horror comedy, written and directed by Neil Ferron with additional writing from Alexandra Dennis-Renner. Not his first time behind the camera, Neil is known… Content Warning: This film contains depictions of ne***philia. Bad Candy takes place in the town of New Salem during Halloween, where two radio DJ’s invite callers to share local myths….
Self-described as a metalhead for life, Chilean filmmaker Patricio Valladares makes some noise in this year’s version of Unnamed Footage Festival. Taking place in San Francisco, this event is proud…
Japan seems to have nailed the absurdist comedy, whether that’s big budget to small indie features, no other country is comparable in wit at embracing the peculiar. Available at Japan…
After a hard day of work, 36-year-old Yuko Sawamatsu returns to her apartment for an evening to unwind. However, her memories of a recent affair with a married man keep…
Noted as the only found footage horror film playing at 2021 FrightFest, Followers combines comedy that pokes at the modern social influencer landscape and supernatural horror. As the found footage…
Fishmonger is a 2023 Irish supernatural horror comedy, written and directed by Neil Ferron with additional writing from Alexandra Dennis-Renner. Not his first time behind the camera, Neil is known…
Content Warning: This film contains depictions of ne***philia. Bad Candy takes place in the town of New Salem during Halloween, where two radio DJ’s invite callers to share local myths….