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Found Footage Dracula

average rating is 4 out of 5


Amber Jackson


Posted on:

Oct 16, 2022

Film Reviews
Found Footage Dracula
Directed by:
Hunter "Bueller" Farris
Written by:
Hunter "Bueller" Farris
Jonathan Harker, Alex Davis, Nikhil Clayton

Found Footage Dracula is an intense short film focusing on Jonathan Harker, adapting Bram Stoker’s psychological horror novel and modernizes his writing style into contemporary technology. Among other characters, Jonathan is being held against his will by someone called ‘The Count’. Supposedly able to stay of his own accord, Harker shares short TikTok videos and images captured on his phone to suggest otherwise. As other characters become worried about this footage and that they will also fall victim to vampires, this alternate-reality plays with warped ideas of social media, controlled images and what is and is not real.


Put together by someone called ‘The Compiler’, it sets itself up as found footage to encourage its viewers to remain vigilant. From the offset, it is clear that we cannot trust what we can and cannot see on screen. It is as though Jonathan Harker is seeing things, or has a false perception of reality, perhaps due to being controlled by a vampire villain. The plot is confusing as it is broken up like a social media snapshot of their current times. From other victims, to doctors, to content creators and podcasters, they provide an online map of the society that they are facing. Although the direction of the story is unclear, it certainly is intriguing to viewers to consider where each person is and what dark forces are attacking them.


Rough and darkened lighting in most scenes makes the footage more chilling, as it makes it unclear what is happening to Jonathan and other characters throughout the film. However, as it seems as though he has been taken prisoner, this cry for help feels authentic because all scenes are filmed on a phone. Grainy footage makes it feel more authentic with the quickly edited jump-cuts and bits of clips sliced together. The filming style on the phone is really effective but it does mean that the audio is a bit inconsistent at times. Yet, in considering that these clips are meant to have been taken from TikTok and Snapchat, this cannot be judged too harshly.


Funded and casted through TikTok, acting-wise, performances do remove it from reality a little bit and thereby spoil the intended effect. Suffice to say, parts of the film also take the style of a 2010s YouTube web series with content creators engaging with an audience and making the film feel more authentic. The series ‘True Horror with Charles Matheson’ uncovers and records a man, Renfield, who claims to be associated with vampires. Scenes containing him are incredibly unnerving as Renfield’s mannerisms make him appear disconnected with what is going on around him as we cannot see what he can. Like all other scenes and social media clips, this feels real and uncomfortable.


Despite falling short in parts, Found Footage Dracula deals impressively with issues and events on screen considering the constraints of just having a phone to record. The very experimental short film simply begins and ends without explanation. This grouped together investigation of whether or not vampires exist is intentionally muddled and has plenty of twist and turns and it feels as though the story does not end there. There is plenty more to consider in this short film and if you like mystery and suspense then this may be the film for you.

About the Film Critic
Amber Jackson
Amber Jackson
Short Film
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