Found Footage Flail: Real Cases of Shadow People, The Sarah McCormick Story

What’s the horror: shadow people, or ghosts, that hang around in dark corners and scare people silly while stalking them

Does the dog die? No animal cruelty

Gore factor: None

Re-watch scale: Only when I want to torment myself, or someone else

Honestly, reading this fake news report is way more exciting than watching the movie

I don’t normally write analyses of movies that I dislike, but this one is SO SPECTACULARLY BAD it deserves some mudslinging. I normally appreciate even the worst found footage for the effort involved, but this one is so bad it’s downright offensive, and there isn’t one redeeming character in the mix. It is INSANELY awful. Let’s dig in.

Things start off normally enough – we get a few talking heads of people who’ve seen and suffered with the shadow people phenomenon, then cut to a TV news report about the disappearance of three student filmmakers, one of whom is Sarah McCormick. Why the case is consistently called the “McCormick case” when there are also two missing young men is a bit of a mystery, and until we realize this is without a doubt the most entertaining section of the film we might have questions about this. Trust me, it’s not worth discussing as there’s absolutely no reason for this film to exist at all, so who cares about the details. Moving on.

Once the media reporting section is done, we cut right to the report that footage has been found that might help with the case. Then we cut to a “memory card #1” title, and right to the footage in question. And here, friends, is the opening line of the film, which I think sums up the entire movie nicely:

Indeed, movie. Indeed.

In true form, the individuals involved in filming this documentary start off right away by filming everything that happens as if it would ever be used in a real doc. It wouldn’t. Do we care that Sarah has packed a lot of stuff in her bag? No, we do not. Do we care that Sarah appears to have prepared for being an interviewer not at all? Well yeah, actually we do, and it’s not encouraging to watch her struggle to simply tell who she is and what she and her “crew” (and it’s not encouraging that the videographer of this crew doesn’t know what frame rate to shoot in, and Sarah has no idea what a frame rate even is, and that we’ve already heard 75 fucks and shits when we’re only four minutes and eleven seconds into this ordeal – cursing is the fallback position of any FF film that doesn’t know what else to do with itself, and we’ve already arrived at that milestone) are heading out to shoot. Sarah never does manage to cough and stutter out that they’re going to interview some individuals who claim to be haunted by shadow people, and they end up deciding that it might behoove her to write down what she’s going to say in advance (ya think, movie? YA THINK?).

Strap in folks. This is as good as the dialogue gets.

A few more shots of people cursing and putting bags into a trunk, and we’re off to what will turn out to be the MAJOR SET PIECE of this movie – the car. Folks, approximately 90% of the movie takes place in this vehicle, and at no time does anyone in said car discuss shadow people. No one in this car is haunted by shadow people – at least, not that we know of. No one in this car, at any time, sees a shadow person – at least, not that we get to see. Instead, we get endless stretches of time where these three sing, burp, fart, and convince themselves they’re amusing when mugging for the camera.

We’re six minutes in, people. SIX MINUTES IN.

Once when I was in college, I went with a group of friends to a big old cattle ranch that was owned by the grandfather of one of us, I forget who, I just know it wasn’t me. This was in the nineties, and I brought a huge-ass camcorder with me to record the event for posterity. Did we mug shamelessly for the camera while pretending that was how we acted all the time? Yes, we did. Did we laugh hysterically at every joke told on camera, no matter how dumb it was? Of course we did. Did we record hours upon hours of ourselves walking through forests or riding in trucks, commenting on the cows, the lakes, the grass all around us? Yep. Did we tell tons of private jokes that made no sense to anyone else? You betchya. And did we force others to watch this drivel when we got back home, simply because WE had such a fun time acting like fools that we were convinced anyone who watched that crap would be equally amused? Heck yes we did. The difference is, we didn’t turn that shit into a movie. And these people DID. This is every single person with a camera who ever thought they were so super-entertaining in life that they didn’t need to do anything except turn the fucker on and the world would be amused.

You know what no one has ever said about Real Cases of Shadow People: The Sarah McCormick Story? This.

Sarah doesn’t know how to use her iPhone’s GPS. Hilarious. The driver – I still don’t know his name – explains to Sarah what B-roll is. Hey, guess what B-roll is, Sarah? It’s this movie. Driver makes a joke about being psychologically scarred by the death of his mother. Heh. Little kids losing their parents. Hilarious. It’s not even true, as it turns out – but I would totally believe that the parents of all three of these dipshits went out for milk and cigarettes one day and never came back. Who could blame them? I say let the shadow people have these three.

You know what’s really funny? Beans. And people who eat beans.

You might be forgiven at this point for assuming all this nonsense is just character building, showing the dynamic between the characters before the action kicks in. I assumed that the first time I saw this also, so I wasn’t super-annoyed yet. I mean, we’re only nine minutes in, so spending some time getting to know these people and how they interact with each other isn’t an unexpected development. But we’ve already been made painfully aware that these three aren’t anywhere near as funny as they think they are. And at nine minutes in, we may already be hoping none of them survive, but still. The true horror of this film is not yet evident. And shortly after they film themselves eating beans and corn (with great difficulty, I might add) we get a scene or two that actually tricks us into thinking there is going to be a real movie here, and it’s about to get started.

But first, we have to film Sarah peeing along the side of the road for some reason, when they are clearly in a populated area with an abundance of bathrooms. We listen to Sarah as she sputters out the story of the first person they’re going to interview – y’all! They’re going to do something! – with a man whose daughter disappeared months ago, a man who claims to have seen shadow people right before the disappearance. Okay, this might get good.

But first, we have to film the driver peeing on the side of the road. And Sarah tells us she peed on her sandal. Then the driver says he stepped in Sarah’s pee. Sarah wonders what will happen if an animal comes along and smells her pee. Oh, I say we wait for that to happen, movie. I’d totally watch that.

Oh hey, the driver’s name is Joe.Thanks, movie. This may be the first useful piece of dialogue we’ve gotten so far.

Dude in the back seat wants to sell something he calls “nut art,” because he thinks his ejaculate comes out in pretty cool designs. He’d like to ejaculate onto canvas and sell that shit. Of course he would. And if you’re wondering why I’m subjecting you to this stupid dialogue, well reader, I had to sit through it, twice I might add – so you get to sit through it too. The backseat nut artist makes an incest joke. Classy.

Oh sure, leave the talking to the gal with pee on her sandals.

They’re out of the car! Hooray! It looks like there is going to be an actual interview of an actual person who has something to talk about other than human excretions. But not only did Sarah NOT change shoes, she’s totally dressed for a day at the beach here, which annoys the shit out of me. I mean, can you put on a blouse with a button or something? Would it be so hard to make yourself look somewhat professional for this important interview? Although, interestingly enough, Sarah does a pretty good of convincing the man, who has decided he doesn’t want to talk to them, to let them in for a quick couple of questions. She actually sounds sympathetic to his situation here, and her voice is – dare I say it – calming. This just serves to frustrate me more, since it appears Sarah could have been a much more compelling character, had she anything to do besides laugh at fart jokes. Oh well – this is about all that actually happens in this movie, so let’s pay attention.

Credit where credit is due, Sarah does a good job with this interview. She shows genuine empathy for the father’s plight and appears to be a good listener. She simply lets him tell his story, asking guiding questions as necessary. And his story is compelling, leading me to wonder why the movie had a good idea like this and then whiffed it so completely. Because the story he tells is one I would totally watch. He’d started seeing shadow people right after the birth of his daughter. They were usually around or in her room. They were always in shadow, but they were darker than shadows, more like an absence of all light, and they could still be seen in darkness. He’d turn the light on, however, and they would disappear. Later on, her daughter started talking about seeing these shadow people also, but Dad always pretended that he wasn’t seeing them even though he was – he wanted his daughter to feel safe and protected, and since he had no way to stop these shadow people from lurking about, he didn’t want his daughter to believe they were real. Then one night she came into her parent’s bedroom in the middle of the night, saying she woke up to a bunch of shadow people holding her down in her bed and telling her to go back to sleep and never wake up. They tried to comfort her, she went back to bed, and was gone in the morning. Again, why didn’t we get to see this movie? So much more interesting.

The movie tells us via title card that we’re now on Memory Card #2 and I don’t know why it’s bothering because we then cut to the trio in the car. Again. Sarah does a decent job telling the camera that they are going to interview a woman whose husband disappeared years ago, and again I wonder how much more likeable Sarah would have been if she’d never hooked up with these bozos. But now I understand why the only person the cops ever looked for was Sarah. I mean honestly, would you worry about the disappearance of a guy who thinks this is decent casual conversation?

And by the way, no she didn’t.

Interview #2 is up – the subject this time is Mae Montgomery, who, as Sarah already mentioned, lost her husband years ago when he just up and disappeared. She seems nervous, but much more welcoming and forthcoming than the previous subject, and she appears to really want to tell her story. Sarah is, once again, a good interviewer, asking questions in a gentle voice and expressing sympathy in appropriate places. Oh Sarah, how I wish you had better friends. Mae has some interesting things to say about the shadow people, how they compel people to look at them by feeding off their energy and then refusing to allow them to avert their eyes. It’s an interesting discussion, but it’s also clear the director told the actress to play this all kooky like the woman is some nutjob (not to be confused with nut art, let’s be clear). Which is a shame, because it cheapens all of the interesting things she says. She sees the shadow people as extensions of human beings, their “shadow side” so to speak. She has advice to give, having dealt with seeing them for so long – try not to fear them, as they will feed on it. Remember that if you are seeing a shadow person, they want something from you. And although most of them are evil, there are shadow people that are kind. Then her lamps start flickering, and the trio starts hearing weird labored breathing sounds, although Mae insists she doesn’t hear anything (it’s clear she’s lying because she’s lonely, and doesn’t want the trio to leave), and Sarah flips the fuck OUT.

See that lamp behind Mae? Yeah, it flickered.

I know that a big frustration with horror movies is how dumb the characters are, how instead of doing the logical thing and getting the hell OUT of any situation where lights flicker and growling sounds are heard they stick around out of curiosity. Well folks, Sarah is EXACTLY that person we all claim we’d like to see in a horror film, because she shuts it down and practically sprints out of poor Mae’s house. And guess what – it may be the logical reaction, but it’s boring as hell on film. How could someone so fascinated with shadow people just bolt when there’s evidence occurring right in front of her, while cameras are rolling? This should be exactly what Sarah wants to capture. She should have taken Mae up on her offer to stay and moved the fuck IN. Set up cameras all around the house and waited for the magic to happen. I mean, come ON, Sarah, we all know how this works. But no, Sarah does the smart thing and leaves, and we are terribly disappointed. Because now, we’re back to this:

At least Kyle – oh hey, backseat guy has a name now! – is saying something I can actually agree with.

Yep, we’re back in the car. Sarah is dashing my hopes for her to ever become an investigative reporter when she shows ZERO interest in investigating the very thing she’s supposed to be investigating. You know it’s bad when Backseat Kyle takes a more logical approach to anything than you do.

Oh look, it’s memory card #3, and we’re – in the car again. But this time it’s raining. They’re listening to some random song that must be someone’s cousin’s band because we hear way too much of it, and without dick jokes no less. Then the camera dips into this weird slow motion mode for no reason whatsoever, and then we’re in Georgia and a clock is chiming. And hey look – they’re out of the car! And they’re walking! Backseat Kyle is filming, Sarah is carrying a backpack, and Sloppy Beans has a bug on him. They want to smoke, but no one brought a lighter. They borrow one from a passerby. Sarah is on camera again, explaining that they are going to interview another woman whose daughter disappeared. She is not wearing anywhere near as much makeup as she has been so far, and she looks so much better. Thick blue eyeliner does not a good smoky eye make, Sarah. Keep that in mind for future reference. Oh wait, you don’t have a future because you’re missing.

Backseat Kyle raves about her “fucking fantastic” performance, which is high praise for someone who simply managed to explain what they were about to do without, I don’t know, squirting? Based on their previous conversation on the subject, I take it that the boys don’t like it. And I hate it that I know this. Then we take some time to walk around downtown somewhere in Georgia, because why the hell not? You in a hurry or something? It looks very quaint, wherever it is. Old stone streets that the trio struggles to master. “It’s like hiking,” says Sloppy Beans, and no, it is not. It’s like walking on a stone street, and nothing else. There are bugs, and it is hot. And then…

oh for fuck’s sake

We’re back in the car! Someone found a cheeto that looked like Harambe the gorilla and sold it for $100,000. And it’s hot. Sarah, for no explainable reason, is tired. She wants a nap. Seriously, why? You have done two interviews over the course of I don’t know how many days they’ve been driving now because it HAS to be more than one by now. How could you possibly need a nap, Sarah? Did all that running away from a good story that might have given you actually decent footage tucker you out?

We’re then treated to a time-lapse of the trio pitching a tent, yep, a TENT because apparently we’re going to camp now. Why? This adds nothing to the story of shadow people, but we do get to see Sarah in a bikini which I suspect is the real motive here. She looks good, and we’re treated to audio of Sarah explaining why this documentary means so much to her while she wanders around on the beach. It seems she’s had similar experiences, and that’s why this movie is SO important to her. So important that you bolted at the first evidence of shadow people you caught on film, important like that, Sarah? I can’t help but think this backstory would have been much more effective had we actually watched Sarah talking, but hey, bikini.

We watch Sloppy Beans and Backseat Kyle mug for the camera, and you gotta give it to these two for consistently coming up with unique ways not to be funny. It gets dark. The sunset is impressive. Sloppy Beans plans to imitate an Australian wilderness dude for the entire night. There’s a fire. And a raccoon? It’s hard to tell, because it’s dark. Sarah thinks they got some good footage. Whatever you say, Sarah. I want to like you but you make it hard sometimes. A plane flies overhead. Sloppy Beans entertains himself by repeating the word “Albequerque” over and over again in an Australian accent.

Yes, we’re still doing this. Just wait until he farts in the tent.

Now we’re in the tent, and you guessed it – the conversation is all about farts. Who farted, how they farted, what the fart smells like. Then they discuss each other’s stinky feet. Then Backseat Kyle shushes the other two and says, wait wait wait, did you hear that? And they all fall silent. And just when you think the movie’s gonna go all Blair Witch on you, Kyle farts loudly into the silence. Hilarious. Hey, wanna know what girl farts sound like? Because this movie wants to tell you. And tell you. And tell you.

It’s morning now. Everyone gets up, ready for another busy day of interviewing people who’ve seen shadow folks hanging out on the beach. Backseat Kyle zooms in on Sarah’s rack. It’s pretty good, not gonna lie. Oh Sarah, your rack deserves to get attention from far more decent men than these two. Oh wait – now we’re back in the car again. They’re going to see a Ms. Phillips, whose daughter disappeared quite recently. Turn right here, Sarah tells Sloppy Beans, who promptly turns left. Heh.

The trio gets to the Phillips house, and the aforementioned Ms. beckons them inside. As soon as she points out her little dog and is sure to tell them all that it doesn’t bite and is super-friendly, we are certain that said dog is going to make a meal out of Sloppy Beans. The dog stares into the camera and growls. I’m with you, dog. And also, heh.

Ms. Phillips is eager and outgoing, and ready to tell her story. Backseat Kyle actually does a decent job with the B-roll here, focusing in on little house details that inform us what Ms. Phillip’s life is like – a collection of little wooden angels playing musical instruments, a photo of a volunteer fire department that most likely includes her husband, a wedding picture, and a few of those wooden signs with sayings painted on them in whatever that half-cursive, half-print font is that wooden signs with sayings painted on them always use (I’m assuming the font is called “Hobby Lobby” or “Michael’s”). It looks like a cheery, soccer-mommy kind of place, and Ms. Phillips adds to the warmth with her welcoming personality. Again I am reminded of the ways in which this could have been an interesting documentary. Hey, maybe something else supernatural will happen, and Sarah won’t cut and run this time. But no. Instead, Mr. Phillips shows up, looking a hell of a lot like Wayne Newton, by the way, and he is not down with this interview shit. He chases the kids out of the house.

Yeah, now you know how we feel

They stop at a depressing-looking gas station and complain about bad smells and bugs. Guys, if bad smells and bugs appear everywhere you go, maybe you’re the problem. Just saying. Backseat Kyle entertains himself, and no one else, by performing racist imitations of other nationalities. It’s wildly uncomfortable. Hey Kyle, got any new poop jokes for us instead? For fuck’s sake – now he’s just making gurgling noises for no damn reason while Sarah and Sloppy Beans laugh. There’s no way they actually think this is funny. Or maybe they do, because a plastic bag floats over the car and they lose their shit like it’s the most hilarious thing that’s ever happened.

And now we’re lip-syncing.
Who screws up the lyrics to Row Row Row Your Boat? Jeebus.

Now Sloppy Beans is doing a terrible Redd Foxx imitation. God I wish Redd Foxx were still alive – can you imagine? He would destroy these idiots. He’d slap the Redd Foxx right out of Sloppy Beans’ stupid mouth. Sorry, I just checked the runtime, and we’re only halfway through this mess. It’s the big one, Elizabeth. I’m coming to join you.

Now they’re on the hunt for a random guy who wouldn’t give Sarah much information, not even his real name, but he does have a video he wants to show them. Sounds like a really bad idea, guys, so by all means full steam ahead this shit. They find themselves in a desolated area – old warehouses that are rusted and overgrown with weeds, abandoned cars, et cetera. Maybe, just maybe, this is where something scary actually happens? It’s the right place for it at least – no little wooden Hobby Lobby signs here. It really does look like a location where some spooky stuff could go down. In spite of myself, I feel a bit of anticipation. In the end, all we get is a jump scare by a grouchy old man who suddenly pops into view in Sarah’s passenger-side window. And this dude is pissed. He berates and insults the team, which is pretty enjoyable, I must say, claiming that they don’t know what they’re doing (true) and that others have tried to document shadow people before, and they all end up disappearing (if only). Then he says he has video of something to do with shadow people, but he won’t show it if the camera is running. Kyle does keep it running, but makes zero effort to actually film the video grouchy dude is showing Sarah on his phone. Sarah sees something that makes her react with shock, and cut. Then we’re BACK IN THE CAR.

Dear God, just make it stop

They pull over to pee, and yeah, Backseat Kyle films himself whipping it out. Then we cut to Sarah, who sings a few bars of some bluesy song I don’t know, and she has a really nice voice. I feel bad for this actress for being involved in this mess. She has some talent, but none of that has a chance in this mess of a movie. Not that it matters in the least, but Sloppy Beans, who apparently also saw Grouchy Guy’s video, tells Backseat that it’s security camera footage of a dude walking on some ledge and then getting swallowed up by a shadow and disappearing. Would have been nice to see it, but never mind. Backseat Kyle is too busy doing that found footage thing where one character refuses to believe anything that any other character says about supernatural events. So they bat that around for a while – that didn’t happen. I swear it happened. Come on you’re lying. I’m not lying. etc. etc.

They’re in Tennessee.


They’re back in the car. Now they’re filming a stream. Back in the car again. Now Sarah is walking along the side of the road, filming scenery with her iPhone. Back in the car again. Trees and more trees. This is like some backwater Skinamarink shit now – just images with occasional sounds. And annoying background music. Siri tells them to turn left, then Sarah is standing on a bridge. Is it possible a shadow person is going to snatch her away? Now she’s under the bridge, down by the river. She almost falls. They react as if this is funny, so whatever movie. Back in the car. Then back outside. Jesus, even for this movie this is some seriously confusing footage. Are they literally driving for half a mile and then pulling over only to get back in the car and drive another half mile and pull over again? Because if that’s not what you’re doing, movie, then for fuck’s sake put the driving footage together and the outdoors footage together and stop chopping this shit up. It’s ridiculous. Although I will say this much; I’ve never been to Tennessee, and it does look beautiful.

Well said, Sarah.

More car footage. The car pulls into the parking lot of a restaurant. Then they’re driving again. Then the car pulls into the parking lot of a hotel. Thank god we’re seeing all this parking or we’d never know that they ate dinner or how they got to a hotel! They check into a room. They shower. They review the day’s footage, and no one shows any concern that it’s all garbage, so I call foul. There’s a fly on the wall and no, I do NOT want to be that fly. They sleep. They’re back in the car. Then they’re outside the car loading luggage into the trunk. Wait, what? They already left the hotel, didn’t they? The movie is completely off the rails at this point. No one has the slightest idea what’s happening.

I swear to God, they’re now hiking. They’re hiking. The movie has officially become a travelogue, and a terrible one at that. We get a shot of Sarah peering over a cliff. She looks pretty, but we can clearly see her unfortunate tramp stamp. Goddamnit, Sarah. Make better choices. I want to like you! Now they’re eating again. I’ll spare you the shot of Sloppy Beans opening his mouth while it’s full of food and waggling his tongue at the camera. True to form, we cut from that scene of them eating their food to a scene of them – no lie I swear – STANDING IN LINE TO ORDER THAT FOOD. Who edited this mess? Now they’re touring a cave. There are thirty-three minutes left in this movie. THIRTY-THREE MINUTES. Remember when they were interviewing folks about shadow people? Yeah, those were fun times.

OMG – shadow people! We found them!

Now they’re riding a tram up a mountainside and we’re treated to the recorded tape spewing information for the tourists. Did you know there’s an eight-degree difference between Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain? Or that Lookout Mountain has the steepest railway in the world? Back in the car. Tunnels. More tunnels. I expect the movie at any moment to flash back to the day Sarah was born, but it doesn’t. Bridge. Tunnel. Train. Trees. After all of this Tennessee tourism shit we’ve been watching for twenty minutes, Sarah asks Backseat Kyle if the camera is rolling – come on, Sarah, do you really have to ask the man who filmed himself peeing if he’s rolling? – then she turns to it and says, “We’re in Tennessee right now.” No shit? Wild! I thought they were in a rain forest. Anyway, they are on their way to their last interview. Let’s hope something happens. Or nothing happens. Who cares. Sarah says they’re going to interview a Stephanie Yost and she really thinks it will be an interesting story. Backseat Kyle speaks for all of us at that moment:

MOST of them, though? They’ve filmed two.

The only thing keeping me going at this point is knowing that eventually, they are going to disappear.

Sarah does not take kindly to Kyle’s negativity, and Sloppy Beans chastises him for not being civil (ie, telling the truth). Then Sarah, bless her heart, takes responsibility for the entire, shitty endeavor by blaming herself for being a bad interviewer. This is ridiculous, seeing as she’s been a fine interviewer, aside from being too scared to stick around and film the flickering lights. And honestly none of them have sucked at their jobs – the sound is fine, the camera work is fine. The problem is that they’ve interviewed two people and been iced out by two others, and are instead filming themselves eating and peeing and farting and thinking it’s interesting. Kyle continues to speak truth to power, and as much as I hate to agree with this cretin about anything, he’s totally in the right here. They should have made the most of the interviews they did have, and the fact that they didn’t makes the fact that they’re still pursuing this shitty documentary a moot point. Even if this last interview is any good, it’s not enough to make a documentary out of, and they still don’t have any documented evidence that the phenomenon is real. He really hammers the other two about this, which Sarah again interprets as him being negative, when in reality he’s the only one making any sense. Sarah is far too sensitive to her subjects’ feelings and doesn’t want to push them, and while that’s nice and all, it doesn’t exactly bode well for her journalism career. So preach, Kyle.

Ok, so now we’re in much more familiar found footage territory. Kyle and Sloppy Beans think they’re lost, and Sarah insists they aren’t. Backseat Kyle starts complaining and Sarah starts getting snappy. It may be the first time I’ve ever been happy to see bickering in a found footage movie because at least it means the movie has remembered what it’s supposed to be. Oh hey – they found it! Stephanie Yost’s house is in sight. And ol’ Steffy is standing on her porch with her hands in her pockets, looking all sorts of unhappy. She’ll give the interview, but she’s not letting them in her house. Way to keep your home smelling fresh, Stef.

Turns out Stephanie lost both her sister and her brother to what she believes are shadow people. Man, that’s a hell of a bummer. Soon after the second disappearance, Stephanie and her mom fled the house, and she’s not seen any sinister shadows since. Sarah asks what happened to the house, which seems like a weird question, but it sets up Stephanie to say it’s just a few miles away. Sarah asks if they can go film it, and Stephanie reluctantly agrees, although she doesn’t recommend it and warns them that they shouldn’t go.

We’re one hour and twenty-two minutes in, folks, and we’re entering an abandoned house. I feel like this should have happened about one hour and twenty-one minutes ago, but whatever. They peer in the windows, but it’s too dark to see anything. Sloppy Beans tries the back door (I know that sounds like one of his awful sexual encounter tales, but in this case it’s literal) and eureka! It’s open. Then Sarah inexplicably exclaims that there’s no way they’re actually going inside. What the fuck, Sarah? I still want to like you, but this is ridiculous. First off, I am sure the woman knew you would go inside, why else would you go there? And secondly, what kind of documentary filmmaker are you? Why would you pass up an opportunity to film a creepy, abandoned house where two children were taken by shadow people? What do you need, a written invitation? A cookie? A lot of vocal haranguing by two obnoxious idiots? Oh wait – that’s what she actually gets, and it works. I really hate Sarah for making me agree with Backseat Kyle and Sloppy Beans. Not really, Sarah. Against all logic and reason I still like you. And I would totally respect your desire not to encroach upon the Yost’s privacy if you weren’t making a documentary that needs exactly this type of footage.

Backseat insists they spend the night in the house – which isn’t in nearly bad enough shape to be all that scary, but is definitely in good enough shape for them to sleep there without getting tetanus or something. And as Kyle points out, this is their best shot yet to catch a shadow person on film, seeing as Stephanie was convinced that the house itself had something to do with the supernatural weirdness she experienced as a child – she never saw another shadow person again after they moved out.

Come on, Beans. You have no best judgment.

And oh my god – this movie is FINALLY acting like the movie it’s supposed to be. Backseat is talking about putting security cameras all over the house. Yes! Why did this take so damn long? Stephanie Yost and your creepy, abandoned but still totally livable house, where have you been for the past hour and twenty-eight minutes? Just think gang, something might actually happen now. The last supernatural event we got was back at Mae’s house when the lamps flickered and growled, remember that? Good times. They discuss how there’s no electric or running water, but I’m so happy they’re finally DOING something that I’m not even gonna question how they’re gonna run all these cameras with no power. Or how they’re going to catch anything in the dark. Screw it – I’m taking what I can get.

My god, somebody pinch me, because Kyle is actually acting like someone who knows what he’s doing right now. It’s the first time he’s been even remotely tolerable. He even addresses the no power issue in a fairly plausible way. And thank God, because there are only 14 minutes left in this thing. They’re all very tired, so maybe next time don’t waste a day hiking and exploring caves? Just a thought. Sarah needs to pee. She makes Backseat go with her because she’s scared. He gives her shit because of course he does. While they’re back there, Beans sees something on one of the cameras.

We haven’t heard anything so far about shadow people acting like poltergeists and moving stuff around, but whatever movie. I’ll take what I can get.

And hey, we actually see it this time! One of the stuffed animals sitting on a couch bounces around a bit on its own. Sarah immediately wants to leave because of course she does. But it is pretty creepy to see. Even though they’re trying hard to make it look like it’s night when it’s clearly still daylight outside. Sarah is scared. She feels a presence. It’s clear the guys don’t feel what she is feeling, but you can’t blame them for not wanting to leave after days of getting nothing and finally having captured something, anything, supernatural on camera. Sarah comes clean, admitting to the guys that she did see shadow people when she was a kid, that one was tormenting her father to the point that he shot himself, and that she once woke up with a shadow being hovering over her bed. She’s telling this to explain why she’s so scared, but before the guys can react a clock starts chiming. It’s a clock that was clearly not working before, but now it’s somehow working again. And while this is all kinda fun, typical haunted house stuff, I can’t help but notice how it doesn’t fit with any story of shadow people we’ve heard up to this point. Nothing about things moving around or stuff starting to work or ceasing to work in its presence. So far we’ve only heard about the shadow people being seen and making other people disappear. So, this is all a bit weird as it doesn’t fit the story so far as we know it. It’s as if the director suddenly realized he only had ten minutes to get to the scary part so he just threw every horror trope he could think of into this house, even if it made no sense.

Five minutes left, and a door slams somewhere in the house. Now Beans wants to leave, too, but Backseat is holding out. He heads back into the hallway where they heard the door slamming. We see the camera fall, and just like that, Backseat Kyle is no more. I mean, we had a decent scary moment there, but we definitely did NOT see any shadow people, and the way Kyle got got doesn’t exactly mesh with the other stories we’ve heard so far. But we’ve only got a few minutes left, so we’ll have to take what we can get.


I mean, you can kinda see it

It takes about fifteen seconds for Beans to also poof into nothingness. We don’t see anything, he’s just there one minute and gone the next, and Sarah is left alone screaming his name. Now, Sarah has never once been carrying a camera throughout this disaster of a movie, and there’s no logical reason why she would be carrying one now, but a camera whirls around and sees what is almost, kinda sorta, a shadow of some sort, and then she screams and it’s all over. So, okay, I guess. At least Sarah gives us some good screams before she disappears. Wouldn’t you know the one time Beans and Backseat decide to be quiet is the one time it would have been cool to hear their voices?

And that, my friends, is the absolute worst found footage movie I have ever seen. And now you’ve more or less seen it too. You’re welcome.

3 thoughts on “Found Footage Flail: Real Cases of Shadow People, The Sarah McCormick Story

  1. Bwahaha! Your comments are GOLD, I laughed out loud.

    “And at nine minutes in, we may already be hoping none of them survive”

    “The only thing keeping me going at this point is knowing that eventually, they are going to disappear.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s