Cameraman for hire, Aaron (Patrick Brice), takes a mysterious job with a guy called Josef (Mark Duplass) for $1,000 for a full day's work. He drives up to a cabin in the woods and meets Josef there. Josef is a strange, uncomfortably overly-familiar man who explains that he is dying from a brain tumour and would like Aaron to help him film a video for his unborn child. Josef is weird, but he seems sincere, and $1,000 is a lot of money for just a little bit of weirdness, so Aaron takes the job.
Josef asks Aaron to film him doing some pretty nutty stuff, but nothing so serious that Aaron runs off. Then Josef insists that Aaron come in for a drink before setting off, you know since they're besties now. Aaron unwillingly agrees and soon finds that Josef is even stranger than he first envisaged. He cannot shake his new friend, the police will not take him seriously and it seems like Josef is getting more and more intense.... But is he truly dangerous? Or just slightly unhinged?
Although slow burning, this found footage film manages to be engaging and uncomfortable to watch. Duplass gives a stellar and unsettling performance as the creepy, compulsive liar and I found myself really feeling for the confused and frightened Aaron. I'm not really a fan of found footage films, but this one does well as it maintains a linear viewpoint and perspective: we don't go jumping from medium to medium.
A surprisingly effective amount of tension is successfully built through the film as Josef becomes more and more creepy. And, despite not being a gory film, it manages to have a chilling and memorable quality.
I also appreciated that this film was centred around masculine characters instead of the old damsel in distress chestnut. I think it really made for a different kind of film than I went in expecting.
[Image: Blumhouse Productions, et al]