In Memorium is a found footage movie released during the 1999-2010 found footage craze that ensued with the introduction of the Blair Witch Project. Blair Witch wasn’t the first found footage offering by far but it’s possible it led to the notoriety instrumental in making that style of movie making into it’s own genre. 2005 is over a decade ago so in movie terms it definitely qualifies as old. During it’s heyday however it was well into the growing stages and eventual craze of what found footage would eventually become.
Don’t know if it was the timing of the movies release which put it among the running’s of many other found footage greats. Cloverfield, REC/VHS/etc, Paranormal Activity, The Poughkeepsie Tapes and even Zero Day (maybe the worst in controversial subject matter that one is). Those would be released through the years and it’s possible it got lost in the shuffle. Maybe it was the controversial subject matter that 2005 audiences just weren’t ready for yet (aside; it’s never ready for it). Maybe it was the deliberately odd filming angles or the fact that it looked like a found footage movie about some people that are making a movie about a found footage film, if you can decipher that vague notion. These are all valid reasons why the movie didn’t gain much traction at the time. I actually watched the movie and was pleasantly entertained and surprised this time around. It’s funny how attention works when you pay it.
There’s an odd thing that happens when you go looking for some information on the movie. There’s surprisingly little information out on the internet about this movie or it’s weirdly difficult to find. The first place I look on of course is imdb.com and even there it’s a little difficult to find. One of the first things you might notice is the spelling. With some light research you’ll find that both are valid spellings with the ‘am’ version preferred. Oddly enough looking for etymological references to the word I find very little information other than a one line entry in Wikipedia to the affect, “From memoriam, with influence from the common Latin ending -ium.” It’s not mysterious or anything. I was just surprised at the dearth of material available for this movie.
I had seen the movie years ago but it had been so long ago I had thoroughly forgotten it. So much so that it took about 10 minutes of watching the movies opening scenes before I was convinced I HAD seen it. Slowly the basic plot points were coming back to me and the movie played with that for the next 30 minutes. Character development and a slowly and intelligently evolving plot plays out. Of course I had forgotten all the little things as one does when it’s a movie of not much import. Probably barely watched the first time through anyways. This however fleshed out the movie for what was to come.
Then comes the reveal. But it’s the false reveal toying with us, throwing us into an intermediate confusion. Oh no, the real reveal doesn’t come for a few more scenes yet. And when it does, I was completely blown away. It was the details that through the initial viewing I never got (probably cause I was stoned) that nonetheless was/is/are the most crucial details (lol) and plot points one must understand of the movie, to get the entirety of the story. With things in our main characters life slowly starting to literally deteriorate before our eyes, the narrative has become so gripping and so enthralling (well it’s not exactly Exorcist) that to me when things looked like they could get no worse it in facts gets worse, in the worse possible way for our tragic lead. When the reveal came to me like I said I was blown away. The subject matter is already touchy but the depravity of it all and the simplicity of it make it believable. It makes you think it could happen for that reason. Well, not really, but it worked.
Which is why through this second viewing I’m gonna give it a thumbs up. I actually sat, well laid, down and watched this movie paying attention to what was going on, not just writing down random points for some article. And when you understand the premise of the movie and the little details, it all the sudden becomes a much scarier story. A little more believable in the unbelievability. That’s why I think this found footage is good. Maybe the actual found footage elements aren’t the best, I liked them, but ‘In Memorium’ tells a good story in my opinion and that’s what I came for.
So Hurrah! for second viewings.
I’m going to tack on as extra content in 2021.09.12 @ 1042hrs as well as update the main picture above.
In Memorium was written and directed by Amanda Gusack. Featuring Erik McDowell, Johanna Watts, Levi Powell, Mary Portser and Doris Weldon. ikr 😉 Released in 2005 and is best described as a horror supernatural mockumentary with an IMDb rating of 4.7.
This was surprisingly good when I originally saw it in 2005, then again in 2021, New Years Day in fact, and was even better the second time through. Just amazing. Was a bad time for this movie when originally release, but then it’s always gonna be a touchy subject. But great as fictional horror shit your pants fare.