Screamfest Review: Therapy Is A GoPro Nightmare

The director of Therapy is a 16-year-old French teenager. I didn’t like the movie but not because of any shortcomings on his part. It’s a found footage jump scare movie with a twist, so at 16 the director of Therapy could make a Blumhouse type movie on his own. It’s just not for me, a personal preference.

A family camping in the woods with a video camera and GoPros strapped to their heads go into a panic when one of the teenage girls goes missing. Meanwhile, police officers Jane (Nathalie Couturier) and Simon (Remy Jobert) are investigating the case beginning with the recovered footage.

Few found footage movies actually include the characters who found the footage. It gives the narrative a few twists due to the investigative discernment Jane employs, but ultimately it’s just a wraparound segment they can cut to. Sure, it’s nice to have a break from shakycam footage in low light, but it’s not redemptive.

Most of Therapy is the family walking through dark halls with a spotlight illuminating only part of the frame. Capturing the action from a helmet camera perspective must’ve been challenging, but it’s still just another found footage movie. It’s well done. I’m just not into what it’s doing.

The screen identifies when we’re looking at GoPro footage so that we know which character we’re following. That’s a clever way to identify the aesthetic perspective with a standard technical function. The on screen text saying “GoPro” also disappears after a few seconds every time so it’s not distracting.

And Therapy is relentlessly bleak. At a certain point, it is oppressive how much this family goes through. So that intensity is ballsy, if you can stand to see it all presented via a helmet camera.

The director of Therapy has a future in Hollywood. He has the tools and the skills, and Therapy got into film festivals. I would like to see him aim higher than found footage shakycam but maybe now that this is out of his system he’ll move on to his masterpiece.

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