Director: Erik Kristopher Myers
Cast: Seth Adam Kallick, Rachel Armiger, Reed Delisle
Production Company: Four-Fingered Films
Runtime: 91 minutes
The camera doesn’t lie, but what about the people behind it? Director Erik Kristopher Myers gives us a refreshing take on the found footage genre with his film Butterfly Kisses (2018).
In the movie, a documentary filmmaker discovers a box full of old video tapes that chronicle the search for the legendary Peeping Tom. This supernatural creature appears only if you’re able to stare down a certain tunnel without blinking for an hour. Nearly impossible to do, unless you’re a camera…
The film uses interviews, stills, vlogs, drawings, and a number of other techniques to tell the story. Quick cuts and a variety of angles makes this movie compelling to watch. The framing is great too. Most found footage films rely on shaky scenes and long takes, which aren’t as visually interesting.
The low-grade footage from the found clips are all in black and white. These moments are paired with high definition video from the documentary. The contrast between the two keeps the narrative clear, especially since two distinct stories are being told at the same time.
Seth Adam Kallick is perfect as Gavin York, the man who initiates the modern documentary. He can be arrogant at times, but he’s also very vulnerable. He’s at the end of his financial rope and very defensive about it. Basically, he’s a real person in a strange situation.
Rachel Armiger is persuasive as Sophia Crane, the director of the original footage. Her role is different than York’s, but she does face some similar problems.
The modern segments concentrate heavily on people considering the whole thing a hoax. Experts reject the footage as invalid and even the average person on the street is highly skeptical. This creates a real dilemma for the viewer, who is left to weigh both sides of the debate.
The most obvious movie to compare this one to is the mother of all found footage films, The Blair Witch Project (1999). So that makes it even more special when Eduardo Sánchez (the director of that film) makes a cameo appearance. It’s a great moment…
To be accurate though, this film’s concept has more in common with The Ring (2002) than any other movie. Both have a weird paranormal character that’s tied specifically to video technology. Don’t worry, there’s more than enough original material to make this a fresh and engaging work.
The effects are very well done too. The camera tricks and digital effects used to bring Peeping Tom to life are very convincing and pretty freaky at times. I also loved that the naysayers point out the very same tricks that were probably used to create the effects.
Butterfly Kisses is a found footage film that analyzes and dissects what it means to be a part of that particular genre. It creates a creepy supernatural entity, but shows that the real horror comes from the struggles we face in the real world…
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…