The Lost Coast Tapes Movie Review
Directed by Corey Grant
Written by Bryan O'Cain, Brian Kelsey
2012, 76 minutes, Rated 18 (UK)
DVD released on 3rd September 2012
Drew Rausch as Sean Reynolds
Rich McDonald as Darryl Coleman
Ashley Wood as Robyn Conway
Noah Weisberg as Kevin Lancaster
Frank Ashmore as Carl Drybeck
Rowdy Kelley as LaRoche
It seems like movies are having a competition among themselves to see who can fit the stupidest monster in a found footage film. Hot on the heels of Tape 407's dinosaur is The Lost Coast Tapes, in which a gang of intrepid youths take to the woods in search of Bigfoot. Unfortunately for them (and the viewer) they find him.
The Lost Coast Tapes is virtually identical to at least three or four recent horror movies, differing only in its approach to found footage horror. Where most films in the subgenre strive for naturalism, The Lost Coast Tapes feels very scripted. Its actors give earnest but not at all believable performances, delivering silly speeches and dramatic soliloquies to no-one in particular. They're even considerate enough to record their own death throes (pointing the camera at themselves rather than their mysterious attacker), making The Lost Coast Tapes seem like a very silly Faces of Death movie.
To review the rest of the film would be repeating the same things I said about Tape 407, Evidence and (to a lesser extent) Apollo 18. There are only so many times I can write “it's a lot like The Blair Witch Project” without sounding like I'm repeating myself. To be fair though, I am really fed up of watching The Blair Witch Project template over and over again. These diminishing re-runs of old material have retroactively ruined old films and left audiences with no interest in watching new ones.
The plot has a gang of hilariously terrified youngsters head into the woods to make a television series about Bigfoot. Quite why they are all so scared of what they might find is beyond me – most of them seem to take it as granted that Bigfoot exists and is a malicious figure. But as anyone who has played Red Dead Redemption's Undead Nightmare (sorry, Sasquatch) or seen the Bigfoot episode of Futurama will attest, Bigfoot is an inherently unscary creature – particularly when you realise that they're looking for the blatant-man-in-a-monkey-suit version of the monster. The infamous picture is pulled out as the characters fawn over it, remarking that scientists have declared it 'definitely not just a man in a monkey outfit'. The only way The Lost Coast Tapes could be less daft is if they were looking for the Loch Ness Monster (I jest, but a Nessie found footage horror can't be all that far away). They are accompanied on their journey by a gruff old man who lends the whole thing a Troll Hunter sort of feel. Except that The Lost Coast Tapes is in no way as good as the brilliant Troll Hunter (one of the few found footage films since [REC] actually worth watching).
Inevitably, things take a turn for the worse and the youths soon find themselves separated in the woods, running around in circles being picked off one by one. Having multiple cameras confuses the issue, as it seems odd switching from perspective to perspective. Just who is the helpful editor who sorted this found footage into chronological order? It has all of the same pitfalls as its predecessors while digging some new ones of its own. Any tension or horror that it does manage to accrue feels unearned – the format is such that anything will seem creepy if you scream loud and long enough into the lens of a handheld camera.
In the case of The Lost Coast Tapes, some things are best left lost.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded as this was a screener.
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