WNUF Halloween Special (2013) (Limited Edition VHS)

hqdefaultFrom Camp Motion Pictures comes one of the most niche found footage films ever made. While audiences can on some level connect with “V/H/S,” director Chris LaMartina dives head first in to nostalgia, with a horror movie very much for the eighties kids invested in the VHS resurgence. “WNUF Halloween Special” is very much a found footage film in the tradition of “Blair Witch Project” where all of what we see feels so genuine, the line between reality and fiction blurs.

“WNUF Halloween Special” doesn’t possess a narrative so much as it does a concept. The basic idea is that the recording we’re watching it a full one night recording of a local television station on Halloween. Director LaMartina goes so far to sell the idea that the entire recording even features commercials and local advertisements that seem as if they were ripped out of the eighties. There are even ads for the local primetime movie peppered during the broadcast. Director LaMartina takes us through a full news broadcast on Halloween 1987. LaMartina films news segments about the dangers of Halloween, and even some boring segments about politicians.

To make things feel even more realistic, the tape occasionally fast forwards through commercials, and even skims over the weather portion of the news. This all leads in to newscaster Frank Stewart who is intent on visiting a local haunted house where the deaths of two people took place at the hands of their son who claimed to be possessed by demons. Most of the film is interrupted with commercial breaks as director LaMartina cuts the tension while mounting it in to a pay off. Paul Fahrenkopf as reporter Frank Stewart is hilarious as this cynical reporter who wants to get his job done, but takes none of the paranormal hokum seriously.

He’s even accompanied by two paranormal investigators that he mocks every now and then. As the odd incidents become ever more creepy and violent, Stewart refuses to back off and end the broadcast, offering a tension that becomes more and more unnerving. Sadly, the commercial breaks that cut the middle of a moment do tend to get a bit irritating, but that becomes a mere caveat considering the pay off for the experience. Director Chris LaMartina really commits to creating a memorable and unique experience in to an eighties broadcast that went horribly wrong, and it’s a fun found footage entry that’s funny, creepy, and a great Halloween treat.