DVD Review – Tape 407
Has found footage horror had its day or does Tape 407 add something new into the equation? Tom braved a look at the latest take on the genre to see if it could compare with the classics
I have lost count of the times I’ve written the line ‘yet another found footage film’ but if they keep making them I’ll keep watching them, as amongst the more derivative offerings there are occasional scares and moments of inspired genius, with some of the better films of the genre instilling pure terror into their audiences. I was hoping Tape 407 would fall into the latter camp and as it is the best way to approach these types of films I purposely avoided reading anything about the story beforehand so that any unexpected shocks would have a greater impact.
We are introduced to two sprightly young girls boarding a half empty plane and it is the younger of the pair who enjoys documenting everything on her video camera much to the annoyance of her older sister. There is a brief introduction to some of the other passengers before the plane hits turbulence and spirals out of control towards the ground. This is probably the most effective scene in the film as the build up to the crash is pretty intense, with solid direction that gives the audience brief glimpses of the carnage whilst still leaving much to the imagination.
Once back on solid ground the film’s direction takes a turn for the worse with a scene highly reminiscent of the Lost characters first encounter with a strange creäture moving through the dense jungle. However, Tape 407 has none of the tension or suspense that made the audience come back to Lost time and time again. There are occasional moments of terror but after our first glimpse of the creäture which is stalking the survivors the film quickly turns into a farce due to the implausibility of the situation and the lack of an explanation behind the story. A disappointing denouement attempts to wrap up obvious gripes the audience will have with the script but this feels rushed and is unsatisfying, leaving the viewer with a bitter taste as Tape 407 had the potential to be something so much better.
Criticisms aside, the camerawork was fairly impressive for a found footage horror and the cast did a commendable job of portraying people under the severe strain of trauma from a crash who are thrown into a new and even more deadly environment soon after. As always in these films poor decisions are made by the characters but at least the events in Tape 407 go some way towards explaining why they probably haven’t got their heads screwed on, with everyone suffering injuries from the initial crash that undoubtedly impede their later judgement.
As far as found footage horrors go it is unlikely that Tape 407 will be remembered in years to come, when it is revealed what has been stalking the survivors it is a huge disappointment, almost laughable in fact, and the avid horror fan will have seen countless similar films that are far superior in recent years. With the interest in found footage horror waning, Tape 407 is unfortunately nothing other than another nail in what some may believe is a long overdue coffin.
About The Author – Tom Bielby
Long time film fan and aspiring film writer, Tom is a horror fanatic who wasted far too much time at University sitting through every film in the IMDB Top 250. He is partial to foreign films and cult cinema and would love to rid the world of people who rustle their popcorn during important scenes. He can be found on Twitter under the alias @filmbantha
Do you like found footage horror films or does too much shakey cam leave you nauseous? We will look forward to hearing your thoughts below.