Found footage walks a very thin line. It either horribly disguises poor production as realism, or it creates a surreal and traumatizing setting that speak to our real fears. Unlisted Owner tries to create the realism from the very beginning. It drops a proper title sequence and opts for a series of Lawford County Sheriff’s Department evidence cards between cuts and other character’s cameras, which I found to be a rather creative way to present the ‘evidence’ from various sources for a good mix of realism and budget. Though, as the movie progresses, it gives a disjointed feeling throughout the film.
It begins with a family moving into a new house that has mysteriously stayed empty and was a good buy for their situation. With hardly a moment spared, it jumps into the horror aspect as a murder or home invasion scene. To pick up from here, the film then cuts to a camping party of teenagers that hears about the murders close to their planned site. They start to build the back story that suggests the urban legend associated with the house. Stemming from a tale of attempted arson on the house rooted in revenge, the house has been cursed ever since. Naturally, it follows the expectations of ‘let’s break into the house and see something creepy’ and this is where the film plays out in all the ways that we’ve seen before complete with police interrogations to fill in any missing moments.
The pace of the movie is very quick in the beginning, then give a long lull until the last portion of the movie where the ending comes to a predictable conclusion. All of the pieces are in play for this to happen. The family, which might have made for better character dynamics, died within the first fifteen minutes of the movie, only to shift focus on shallow teenagers.
In an attempt to tell a legend, each piece of the story smashes in to wherever someone thought it might fit. While Unlisted Owner had a few good ideas, the elements weren’t in the right place to make it memorable.
Unlisted owner is now available on DVD from TomCat Releasing as well as Amazon Prime Video.