THE LOST FOOTAGE OF LEAH SULLIVAN is one of the best found footage movies ever. The production has no missteps and the story just works. Also, it’s charming and fun while being extremely creepy. Read more in our full The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan review here!
The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan is one of the best found-footage movies I can remember having watched. Co-stars and co-creators Anna Stromberg and Burt Grinstead have created something very unique in many ways. For one, this is a found footage movie that never loses sight of its niche and works within this framework.
The movie even begins with a simple introduction that sets the tone and background. Be sure to keep your eyes open and be alert. There is often something lurking in the background. Those scenes certainly made the little hairs on the back on my neck rise. Honestly, I watch horror movies almost every day and this one made me want to cover my eyes a few times.
That only happens a few times a year now, so it’s definitely a good sign! Continue reading our The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan review below.
The perfect simplicity
Part of what works so well for The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan is the fact that the concept is very simple. Leah Sullivan has returned to her hometown for a school assignment. She’s doing a documentary about a cold case that involves a family being murdered when she was a small child herself.
Obviously, this is the kind of thing that sticks with you if you grow up in a cutesy countryside home. I mean, who wouldn’t want to make a documentary about that if they were working to become a documentary filmmaker. It just makes sense and as such, you should be onboard with the plot from the beginning.
Another simple element that just works is the fact that The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan doesn’t rely on CGI or elaborate effects to make things scary. It really isn’t necessary with the backdrop of a family being killed and the house being abandoned all these years later. Especially when you have filmmakers that know how to squeeze all the creepy juice (eew, I know) out of this!
Anna Stromberg is a scene-stealer
The one thing that makes The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan work from the very beginning is the cast. Specifically, Anna Stromberg as Leah Sullivan. She is charming and sweet but also has a drive that I can only be impressed by. Also, a lack of fear that is dangerous, but hey, that’s what makes this movie so creepy to watch.
Anna Stromberg is both endearing and goofy which is exactly what you need for a movie like this. The audience has to relax and feel comfortable with the person telling the story. Especially when it comes to horror where the goal is to punch you in the gut with fear once you became too relaxed. She is in every scene (with at least her voice) and it still wasn’t enough!
Along with Anna Stromberg, we have various smaller supporting characters. These are the people Leah is interviewing for her documentary and since we’re watching something unedited, we get all the “behind the scenes” stuff as well. I absolutely love it!
All the interview scenes work to bring the story forward while introducing us to various facts. Also, the actors in these small roles all deliver unique and interesting character portrayals that feel organic and real.
Finally, we have Burt Grinstead as police officer, Patrick Rooke. Since Leah has returned to her childhood hometown, she knows many people there and Patrick is one of them. He helps her with this documentary and their interactions make this movie work because it all feels very real. Despite us knowing that this isn’t actually a documentary.
Don’t miss The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan
Since The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan is a low-budget indie production, we see a lot of people working on several elements of this movie. The star of this movie is Anna Stromberg who plays the title role and is the co-writer along with being the camera operator. Afterall, this is a found footage. Still, there is also a director of photography, which means it works perfectly.
The director, Burt Grinstead, also wrote on the story and script for this movie and he’s the co-star as Officer Patrick Rooke. Scenes with Anna Stromberg and Burt Grinstead work extremely well due to their chemistry and overall charm. Also, I might be deluding myself, but I feel like their passion for this project does come across rather clearly.
Originally, this found-footage horror mystery premiered at the Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival which also has a feature film section. Here, the movie won the “Best Feature Film” category and I can certainly understand why. Since then, The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan has been screening at various film festivals in the US and UK.
The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan will be screening in Los Angeles with the cast and crew on December 11, 2019. Further theatrical screenings will be announced later on.
Director: Burt Grinstead
Writer: Burt Grinstead and Anna Stromberg
Stars: Anna Stromberg, Burt Grinstead, David Nash, Maureen Keiller, Denise Walker, Jimmy Driscoll, and Matthew Pelieci
A young journalism student decides to return to her hometown to investigate a brutal murder that took place 30 years prior. Without much hope of finding any real answers, she interviews a series of local characters, all of whom leave their own bewildering take on the legendary Mulcahy Murders in her student film. As the facts unravel, she begins to realize that this cold case murder, may not be so cold after all. Along with the help of a deputy police officer, Patrick Rooke, she begins to uncover the horrifying truth of what really happened that night thirty years ago. As she gets closer to discovering the truth, she edges even closer to her own demise. Will her blind ambition overtake her desire to survive?