I will admit to finding my heart sink and stomach curdle after reading the synopsis of Case 347. So many things about it seemed designed for me to hate it. Found footage? Check. Opening with the end of the movie negating any potential surprise in the finale? Check. Government conspiracies? Check. Aliens? Check!
Call it bad timing but having recently seen another found footage alien horror (2014’s Alien Abduction) there wasn’t a massive amount of hunger to experience Case 347. But when has that ever stopped us before?!
It turned out to be a very great decision as Case 347 is a really good movie. One that seems to have paid attention to the faults of found footage and tried to avoid a lot of the pitfalls. Not all of them, of course. After all some of them come with the found footage territory. However, Case 347 knocks it out of the park by being very watchable, surprising, clever and even a bit chilling at times.
The basic plot sees psychologist and UFO skeptic Dr. Mia Jansen joins forces with two documentary filmmakers to set out and prove alien abduction claims are a form of “mass hysteria”.
She reaches out to some of the people her father (who was heavily involved in researching UFO claims) was helping to prove her claims. However, as the trio begin to dig around they start to uncover things they can’t rationally explain and then get caught up in even stranger events. Is there actually some truth behind UFO sightings/abductions?
What really makes Case 347 such a thrilling watch is how it blurs the lines of paranormal horror and alien mystery. It draws from the same well that many other films relating to the former do but does so in a much more subtle way and always with an outer-world spin on things. Some of these scenes are downright creepy and/or chilling. Heightened by a far less intrusive and frustrating style of filming.
Yes, it has a lot of the found footage problems such as shaky camera work and darkness. However, whereas most movies employing this style do so to make it seem more real and fail, Case 347 uses it to enhance the mystery.
As the movie goes on it becomes clear just how helpless and out of their depth the characters are and that is portrayed through sold acting and believable behaviour. Who would or could believe the events that occur throughout the movie?
Case 347 is easy to dismiss, especially if you’re a found-footage regular but it’s well worth checking out. Writer/director Chris Wax has crafted a great story, utilised a good cast and worked hard to make found-footage a positive of the movie rather than a negative.
The Final Score - 7.5/10