The shaky camerawork that plagues found-footage horror movies has been known to make people queasy, but dodgy sound design may be even worse.
Sure, it’s annoying that the wobbly handhelds of Taylor Ri’chard’s The Final Project never keep anyone in frame, but it’s downright infuriating that you can barely make heads or tails of who’s saying what — that is, until you piece together enough to realize you’re not missing much.
The plot fits comfortably in this nutshell: A handful of college kids go to a supposedly haunted Louisiana plantation to film a documentary for extra credit (they all seem to be failing their film class; given the results, it’s no mystery why). They’re killed off one by one by a vengeful ghost — but not before they strap on their head-mounted action cams to catch every Blair Witch—cribbed bump and jostle as their lives are snuffed out.
Slipshod in every way, The Final Project can’t even be bothered to show the important stuff: An old portrait is found that we’re told looks just like one of the students, but whoever’s holding the camera just lingers on the fireplace below it; we never get a good look for ourselves. Maybe the props department flaked on the likeness?
The Final Project
Directed by Taylor Ri’chard
Opens March 4, Village East Cinema