Written & Directed by: Richard Anthony Dunford
Starring: Tom Clear, Karl Kennedy-Williams, Tuula Costelloe
After being dumped by his girlfriend, Zack’s big brother decides to throw him a house party in the derelict old retirement home he has been refurbishing. The building has a history; the previous owner believed the residents has become possessed by demons so locked all the doors and set the place on fire. During the party Zack’s friends start to fall victim to the same curse. –iMDB
With the controversial, yet nonetheless unstoppable force of found footage horror in the last decade giving us a taste of first-person terror, it only seems a natural progression to make a film that is ACTUALLY first person, that is, seen through the eyes of a character. In 2012, Elijah Wood starred in the ultra-stylish, ultra-violent remake of Maniac that was shot entirely from his character’s perspective. Other than this, the closest to first person horror I have come across is the likes of the spy-glasses sequences in the V/H/S movies.
A major reason for this lack of FPV horror is likely the incredible technical effort it takes to pull this camera trick off. Plenty of slashers have a first person sequence or two, but an entire movie is quite a feat, and Frank Khalfoun had $6 million for Maniac. Step in Richard Anthony Dunford, who has just released P.O.V. which, as the name suggests, is another foray into first person horror, albeit one made for under £10,000 (or in film-making terms, nothing).
The plot in P.O.V is quite straight-forward, and doesn’t offer any massive surprises but it’s nonetheless perfectly reasonable and features a wide cast of well-written characters, all of whom we either love or hate as intended, played by a cast that are pretty convincing across the board – something unusual for zero-budget movies. There were a few times I felt like the film was spending a lot of time heavy-handedly driving home a single point about one or two characters, but this is still better than the countless bigger-budget horrors that devote at least as much time to filler scenes developing nothing!
It appears that the first person view is pulled off with a GoPro or something along those lines. While that may sound crude to more technical-minded horror fans, it’s actually very efficient, allowing the camera to genuinely go wherever our characters does and permits some incredibly long single-shot sequences to take place. All this makes the film incredibly immersive, which is of course the primary purpose. As the main character starts to see strange things happening around him, there are some decent subtle visual effects that really make you double-take.
As the action ramps up, the first person element comes into its own, with a number of incredibly tense cat-and-mouse sequences and a few actually decent jump scares. Working with very little a great deal of effort has been put into creating an atmosphere; despite being set entirely in broad daylight there are some very creepy moments. In a strange way, the mundane location and daytime setting perhaps make the events more unsettling as it’s completely opposite to the standard horror setup.
There is no escaping the fact that this film was made for practically no money; it’s definitely best to have this fact in mind before watching it as the settings & events are unavoidably limited by the available resources. But that said, as a no-frills experiment in first-person horror it is very respectable and makes great use of the perspective in a number of different scenarios. 7/10.
POV is available to watch on TheHorrorShow.TV . Check it out and support indie UK horror !
Watch POV here – http://thehorrorshow.tv/movie-display/pov-2014