Before V/H/S (and V/H/S/2) there was Paranormal Activity, and before that was The Blair Witch Project. But there’s a film that pre-dates them all…
Most journalists cite Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick’s 1999 The Blair Witch Project as the first ever found-footage horror film. This may shock many of the younger readers here on Bloody, but there’s a horror film that pre-dates it by a decade.
Below we’ve added the rare, restored and uncut VHS rip of the 1989 “McPherson Tape,” which was a famous bootleg that circulated around the UFO community in the late 80’s and early 90’s.
Also known as UFO Abduction, Dean Alioto wrote, directed, filmed, and produced the film through IndieSyndicate Productions for a mere $6,500.
It was created to appear as a genuine 1983 home video recording, according to Wiki, and is believed (erroneously) by many to depict a real alien abduction of a Connecticut family named “the McPhersons” as they celebrate their relative’s 5th birthday.
While this movie is absolutely shit – I recommend watching until you see the UFO before fast-forwarding to the final seconds – it’s incredible to see how far ahead of its time it was. I mean, this pre-dated Blair Witch by 10 years, and has some really cool stuff hiding within. What’s hilarious, though, is the thought that anyone would believe it’s real. What you’re about to see below is some of the worst acting I’ve ever witnessed, not to mention how illogical all of the characters act (hey, we just saw a UFO and aliens, let’s open presents and play poker!).
Anyhow, if interested, Dean Alioto and Paul Chitlik remade the film in 1998, with a larger budget and professional actors, known as Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County. It’s also trash.