Lost and Found: The Found Footage Phenomenon and Southeast Asian Supernatural Horror Film

This article offers a brief historical and theoretical overview of found footage films and their contribution to the horror genre, and focuses in more detail on four Southeast Asian productions of the kind made between 2009-2012: Keramat/Sacred (Servia & Tiwa, 2009), Seru/Resurrection (Asraff, Pillai, Andre & Jin 2011), Haunted Changi (Kern, Woo & Lau, 2010), and Darkest Night (Tan, 2012), all of which can be viewed as an alternative to the mainstream local horror cinema. The paper argues that the two most common strategies used by found footage horror films (including the four films in question) are the techniques that effectively authenticate the horror experience: inducing a heightened perception of realism in the audience and a contradictory to it feeling of perceptive subjectivity.