The Movie Waffler New Release Review - The Upper Footage | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - The Upper Footage

A group of upper class youths cover up the death of an overdose victim.

Directed by: Justin Cole
Starring: Undisclosed

The appeal of the found footage genre is obvious; filmmakers use the appearance of low budget means as a way to deliver a film that will be perceived as real footage, like something the viewer could have filmed.
Most of the time they rely on word of mouth and the general belief that the shocking or terrifying footage captured is real, but where the film’s success hinges is in how little the audience knows about what they are about to see. This is important to keep in mind before watching films of the genre because once you know the truth about the film's authenticity you lose a lot of the magic.
Enter The Upper Footage, a found footage film that had such an effective combination of hype and documentary-esque set up that I fell for everything hook, line and sinker. I found myself captivated by the idiotic, drug and alcohol-induced exploits of a group of rich young friends on the night that changes their lives forever. It begins with titles explaining the rumors and reputation of the socialites involved, especially regarding their excessive drug use, by way of videos that randomly appear and disappear online. Once the actual footage begins, we meet a group of rich friends who are trying to get some drugs. After stopping at a few clubs, one guy returns to the limo with a girl, Jackie, whose face, we're told, is blurred out to protect the identity of the girl's surviving family.
After they get what they wanted, they head back to one of their huge penthouse apartments where they drink and snort the night away. This is where the evening of ignorant, clichéd, douchebag behavior hits a high (or low, depending on your perspective) and the shit hits the fan after Jackie overdoses face down in the toilet.
Obviously, common sense should tell them to stop recording everything they say and do and destroy the tape, if they have any real expectations to get out of the situation without getting in any trouble. Apparently, cocaine alters your thought processes though, because they decide they have to keep recording everything so they can get their stories straight in case there is an investigation. Needless to say, they are not the brightest or moralistic of people.
This leads into the film's biggest problem, or perhaps its most believable asset: the fact that the characters are the same type of self absorbed, entitled and morally ambiguous people that have become "famous for being famous" on crappy reality television shows. While watching, I found that the more their personalities annoyed me, the more I was drawn into believing everything was real. After hearing the footage wasn’t real, I sort of felt like an idiot for believing everything like I did, but because of the hype and setup I was too invested to believe it wasn't real. Maybe I am more gullible than I thought, but the fact that I didn't care for or have anything in common with a single character and still felt compelled to see how far things would go is a testament to how effective the found footage genre can be.

Andy Comer