Found-footage horror flicks laboriously source the provenance of every shot, letting us know which camera each image comes from, but they demand that we never wonder who has edited those images together — and to what purpose. Let’s say you’re the person who “finds” the footage that becomes one of these films. And let’s say that that footage includes — as it does in Hangar 10, Europa Report, Alien Abduction, and a couple others — definitive proof that we earthlings are not alone in the universe.
Having lucked into the greatest discovery in human history, you could do the sensible thing and alert the world’s scientists. Or you could painstakingly assemble that footage into a narrative feature concerned with the backstories and group relations of the dopes wielding the video cameras. You could pad it out with many quick, queasy pans of trees and skies, and lots of shots of the film crew arguing over whether the foo lights they keep seeing are UFOs or experimental aircrafts. You could resist the urge to jump ahead to the good stuff, the world-changing stuff, the stuff that — in the case of Hangar 10 — is legitimately creepy and impressive once it finally comes.
You could do all that, but you wouldn’t, because that would be goddamn ridiculous.