Unfortunately for me, I did not manage to get in to see Frazier Park Recut at the Telluride Horror Show. There were simply so many good films to choose from, and a girl has to eat (and drink herself into a blistering hangover). Fortunately, however, I was able to screen it after the event from the comfort of my own couch.
Disclaimer: Found footage films and I have had a complicated and very mixed relationship since I was working at a movie theater when people were puking in EVERY showing of The Blair Witch Project to when the style absolutely inundated the horror genre. I say all that to say that if I actually enjoy a found footage film, it means it is exceptional in its subgenre.
If I had to describe Frazier Park Recut in one word, it would be: clever.
The film begins as a found footage instance of filmmakers making a movie and adding behind the scenes footage. However, this whole film-within-a-film motif then expands to include multiple points of view. Found footage leading up to people getting attacked is not new (to the point of being exhausted), but this approach is very fresh and unique.
Frazier Park Recut hearkens back to its Blair Witch ancestor in that it is true shaky cam, unlike the more studio narratives that have taken over (most likely to reduce the vomit in theaters). It also includes the mundane details leading up to the climax, making it a relatively slow burn. Neither of these elements are particularly appealing to me, but they serve the higher purpose of enhancing the realism.
I appreciated the realism. I could believe that this footage was just recovered from real victims. The movie is very successful in that regard.
I think what works best for me in this film is the acting. The actors, though they are playing “themselves,” are so natural and convincing in the behind the scenes instances. I believe them; I like them. Then when the narrative switches to footage from the movie they are making, their acting skills are sloppier. So we can tell they are acting. I loved this subtlety. It is another thing that really contributed to the entire realism goal of the movie.
Despite being outside my usual horror movie preferences, Frazier Park Recut really was a fun ride. I loved the blended narrative approach of behind the scenes, movie footage, and character perspectives. The creepiness is also on point. I do not want to get into too much detail because I hate spoilers.
Had I been able to sneak in one more screening at Telluride Horror Show, I would have loved to check out Frazier Park Recut in the theater. I would have enjoyed hearing what it was like to make a movie about making a movie about a movie.