Found footage remains one of the most popular areas of modern genre cinema. Spurred by the success of The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, this century has seen a raft of films vying for the attention of horror fans. Filmmakers drawn by the relatively low production costs. In the majority of cases, they’ve fallen way below. However, there are a few exceptions to the rule, such as Lake Mungo, Creep and REC. Malibu Horror Story is another impressive entrant into the sub-genre.
When a group of teenagers go missing during a camping trip, there’s initial shock. However, after a brief search and some damning video footage, it’s presumed that they died due to misadventure and the case is closed. A team of paranormal investigators arrive to uncover the truth. They concentrate on the cave where the friends were last seen, which just happens to be on ancient Native American burial grounds.
Malibu Horror Story has a lot of fun playing with the notion of a found footage film. It is essentially two movies wrapped up in one. With different sets of actors but ultimately the same outcome. While he doesn’t quite fully land the ending, director Scott Slone has a basket of shocks and tricks up his sleeve. Malibu Horror Story works best when it concentrates on suggestion. Creating a creepy and tense atmosphere. It’s a clever premise, skilfully executed.
Malibu Horror Story screened at Grimmfest.