Directed by Carl Sundström, who co-wrote it with Nathaniel P. Erlandsson, Reportage November is a found-footage/mockumentary horror that has a strong idea but predictably fails to stick the landing.
Starring Jonas Lundström, Signe Elvin-Nowak and Isabel Camacho, Reportage November’s has a near-perfect set-up. A mother and her child mysteriously disappeared while out taking a walk near a forest. Some time later, the mother reappeared but in a near-death state. She later died in hospital and the child has never been found. The police, having been criticised by their lacklustre investigation, have now given up on the case.
This is where journalist Linn comes into things. Believing that the police didn’t really try to find out what happened, she assembles a small team to go into the forest. Their goal is to try and find out what happened to the mother and child.
It’s a set-up that works because the start of movie makes it clear, through reporting, that the police are hiding something. It also makes it clear that Linn is hungry for the fame that such a report could bring. She’s not quite Heather from The Blair Witch Project but she’s not far off it either.
Get used to references to Blair Witch as Reportage November is certainly inspired by the 1999 found footage horror. Which means it also falls into many of the same pitfalls. Jumping between believability and nonsense in an instant. Tension replaced by screaming, running and vomit-inducing camera work. A mystery that when revealed elects a ‘is that it?’ response.
The found footage issues could have been forgiven if Reportage November had made the mockumentary part of its story the focal point. Alas, that aspect takes a major backseat to things once the group enter the forest. Instead of jumping back and forth between the survivors talking to the camera and the footage, we stay exclusively in the forest.
Yes, jumping between the two might have been jarring to some, maybe taking away from the tension and revealing who made it out. Yet, it can be done well if the desire to do so is there. It’s particularly galling as the film makes it clear just who lives by its opening. After all, some characters are missing when it comes to the mockumentary part at the start.
None of this means Reportage November is a bad movie. It’s not. The location is immense, the cast are good and some of the scares are really effective. It’s just a pity it doesn’t really go anywhere interesting and has far to many found footage tropes to overlook.
Reportage November (2022)
The Final Score - 6.5/10