Found footage films are a real Love It Or Hate It category of movie, and making a good one takes a careful touch and a little innovation. The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan (2018) is a new film directed by the trio of Burt Grinstead (9-1-1 TV series), and Concession’s (2018) Paul Odgren and Anna Stromberg. The script was co-written by Stromberg and Ron Runyeon (Viva la Mariachi! 2008). It stars Grinstead and Stromberg, as well as Jimmy Driscoll (The Fence 2011), Maureen Keiller (Fever Pitch 2005), David Nash (Doomsday TV series), Denise Walker (Take 3 2016) and Matthew Pilieci (The Transcendents 2018).
A young journalism student decides to return to her hometown to investigate a brutal murder that took place 30 years prior… As the facts unravel, she begins to realize that this cold case murder, may not be so cold after all.
I am going to be honest… I am a HUGE found footage fan! Ever since I stood in a line that wrapped around the entire block of the Mayan Theater 20 years ago to see The Blair Witch Project, I was hooked on the genre. But not all films are created equal. The best ones do something special to stand out. In the case of The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan, there is a genuine sense of authenticity in the way the characters act and a witty humor that makes it feel real.
Leah Sullivan (Stromberg) is a sweet, smiling college student who decides that the perfect project for her film class is to shoot a story about a murder case that happened in her hometown. After a meet cute with local cop Patrick Rooke (Grinstead), the two continue her investigation together. The fact that Patrick helps Leah despite the fact he’s a cop (and breaking a few laws) seems plausible because sometimes guys do questionable things for cute girls. All of this natural interplay is a great credit to the actors involved. Burt Grinstead and Anna Stromberg are great together. Quick shout out to my favorite character, story teller Ryan (Pilieci). He is genius!
I liked the way that this film seemed so very “un”-edited. Every take, stutter, mess up, and long pause was left in, which somehow feels more like-life and unintentionally creepy. The storyline is interesting, and I love the addition of the crime scene photos, although I will say that there was not enough blood in the pictures, especially considering how much blood is actually in the human body. There’s no way those people bled out. Just a very petty detail, though. There are so many other fun details in the background of scenes just waiting to be picked out by sharp-eyed viewers that any small flaws can be overlooked.
Watch The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan right here!
With a realistic feel, a unique touch of wry humor, and an interesting storyline, The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan has enough to keep any horror film fan – especially found footage lovers – happy. A must see!