I have recently seen a number of found footage films. Although, I like the premise of it being a first person portrayal I have to say that I have found that it’s much harder for a found footage to stand alone. I recently watched the movie Project Almanac. To say the least it taught me one thing. Found footage as a lens needs to serve a purpose and when that purpose is not strong the film can fall apart.
In Project Almanac the found footage lens does not serve the movie in anyway other than a plot device. The camera itself is used as a way to wrap of the story in the end. Other films like Chronicle use the found footage aspect much more creatively. The camera belongs to one of the films main characters and whenever he is alone with it we really get to see his development between interactions with the other characters. In a way it’s almost used as a way to give an inner monologue to this character without having him talk.
To me found footage just like any type of shooting style needs to serve a purpose and without any compelling reason to use it then it should not be used.