Thursday, October 15, 2020

Nosferatu.Com – review

Director: Julien Dève

Release date: 2020

Contains spoilers

Found footage films are a strange beast. Not my favourite genre of film they are often an excuse for low quality photography and limited SFX. That’s not to say that they are all bad but, for every Rec (2007) there are several films that aren’t brilliant.

All of which introduces us to a French found footage vampire film.

brandishing the cross

So the film begins With footage from a camera, in a corridor. There is a noise, the camera operator raises a cross and then turns, there is a blur of face launching before the footage ends. Then we meet Jérémy (Anthony Lefebvre) in his home and he is talking to Marco (Julien Dève), who is filming him. He puts on some music and asks about equipment, he points out walkie talkies (charged), his go-pro and goes to get batteries for a torch saying that the memory cards should be blank for optimum storage, he suggests that they may actually get paid. Just then his guests arrive.

Anthony Lefebvre as Jérémy

So, there is Alex (Adrien Leboulanger) and his cameraman Mat (Emmanuel Gost) and Lemmy (Loïc Ménage) who is a friend of Stéph (Michel Anthunes), who will meet them the next day. Although there are interruptions Jérémy records an introduction piece. He runs a website called (it isn’t explained but I guess a fortean or true believer type website). He explains about a man called Franck Hammelin (Mathieu Farcy) who he used to speak to on the website. His wife contacted Jérémy, Franck had gone missing when he went to investigate an abandoned factory, the police found no evidence of foul play but later the footage from the head of the film showed up.

it's all fun and games...

So Jérémy has arranged an investigation and there will be three teams exploring the factory from different directions, each being filmed. He is certain they will find evidence of vampires in the factory – which of course is in the middle of the countryside and out of cell reception (not entirely true, he gets a bit of a signal part way through the film). However, given the aim of the expedition they are woefully under-equipped. I mean, seriously, if you were convinced you’d find vampires you’d be taking crosses, stakes etc. Not a consideration for our heroes. There is a grumble about timing – they have arrived with not much time till dark, another planning faux pas.

Stéph the ghoul

So having split up it is Jérémy and Marco who first find something, that being blood spatter up a sliding door. Inside the room they find occult symbols painted in blood. Meanwhile Alex and Mat discover the doors out have been locked. They meet up with Lemmy and Stéph and are attacked… Stéph is dragged off. Later Jérémy will see him and he looks weird and talks about having to do their will and being a slave – Jérémy will describe him as a ghoul.

TV Show

Just to complicate matters (but honestly not by much) a film crew arrive to record a TV shows where a couple are taken to a trying location, introduced for the first time and see if they hit it off. The couple are Karina (Justine Berg) and Janny (Stéphane Coubray) who are there with host Adeline (Leslie Fleutry) and an unnamed camera operator. As they came in to it I thought the film was going to offer us a clever change of perspective like Rec 2 (2009) did. Alas it seemed to be little more than padding for the short 65 minute running time.


So the vampires… a bite turns, they are animalistic, indeed you’d be forgiven for thinking zompire if it wasn’t for the odd flash of fang and the fact that Franck is dead and well and able to talk. They are fast and strong (and I assume can see in the dark) but run from bright light (and there is a suggestion it might burn them). They seem to have been created via ritual (at least for patient zero, as it were) and can be killed by stake to the heart and headshot/brain injury.

Franck the vamp

But there isn’t much to go on. The main leads are ok. They are a bunch of lads having a laugh. The camera work is as you would expect. There isn’t much call for effects but the vampires do seem to be greyed for pallor. There isn’t a huge amount of tension built up because, as often happens in found footage films, we have little sympathy for characters. A camera is switched off when all seems lost, which I liked as too often we think why did you keep recording, and that is when we move to the TV crew. But then it is switched back on with the go-to rationale of "record everything" – at least the go pro was strapped to Jérémy’s chest and he wasn’t waving it around whilst trying to survive. The short running time does seem a little stretched out, to be honest. If you like found footage then it’ll do more for you then if you don’t. Given the nature of the FF genre, 4.5 out of 10 seems fair but generous next to other more traditionally shot films.

The imdb page is here.

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