Goth Chick News: Creepy “Found Footage” Pops Up on YouTube

Goth Chick News: Creepy “Found Footage” Pops Up on YouTube

The found-footage short Exposure, now available on YouTube

I dearly love guerilla marketing.

The formal definition of guerilla marketing is a marketing strategy that uses unconventional methods to attract interest in a brand or business through viral social media messaging, and the master of this approach in my opinion is J.J. Abrams. For his films Super 8 and Coverfield, Abrams sent fans on Easter egg hunts through fake commercials and misdirected websites. LinkedIn even wrote an article about it, and at the time I thought it was just about the coolest way to generate buzz for a film, which I had ever encountered.

Whether or not this is what writer/director Kris J. Cummins intends with his latest horror short is unknown, but he is definitely generating online buzz.

The one pic I found of Cummins on ScreamFest

At 4pm CST (or 9pm in Scotland) on Monday, a creepy “found footage” short appeared on YouTube clocking in at 9 minutes and 34 seconds. It opens with a black screen and a stark white title reading:

40% of UK homes now have cameras, largely from CCTV and smart devices. Many of these devices are susceptible to hacking, allowing intruders to watch residents in their own homes. This is becoming increasingly common. The following footage documents one such case, involving a mother and her 6 year old daughter.

Playing out like a home invasion movie through the lens of security cameras, Exposure begins with a mysterious creep speaking to a child through the camera installed in her bedroom. He convinces her that he’s trapped inside the camera and needs help getting out, baiting her into letting him inside her home.

Though Paranormal Activity has shown us horror through set-up cameras, Exposure gave me the willies for an entirely different reason – this wasn’t ghosts we were dealing with, but a flesh and blood predator, exploiting an all-too-common household weakness.

Watch it for yourself here, but be prepared to get the icks…

The short was uploaded by a new YouTube channel with the same name as the short itself, and the description provides no context, but the last 3 seconds of the film identifies Kris J. Cummins as the writer/director.

Because I love a mystery, I went on a hunt to learn more about Cummins and found very little. It turned out that he had starred in a different horror short called Steps, produced a short drama called Sláinte (Good-Health), and directed a three-episode Scottish TV miniseries called Chris McQueer’s Hings based on a 2023 novel.

The five-minute short Steps (2022)

Screamfest calls Cummins an “up and coming horror filmmaker,” from Scotland, but I also found him associated with comedy both as an actor and behind the scenes. Cummins has a YouTube channel with nine videos all created by him, but this list did not include Exposure, though all appear to be horror. I’ll definitely be tucking into all of these over the weekend.

I think Cummins has the markings of a brilliant filmmaker, but whether he is also a brilliant marketer, or simply strangled by nearly nonexistent microbudgets is yet to be seen.

I, for one, have decided I can do without the “puppy-cams” I have around the house…

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Thomas Parker

Looks pretty creepy. And I wouldn’t have any kind of “smart” camera in my house for a million dollars; I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night.

Thomas Parker

Yep – in the drawer where I threw it after I taught my last 4th grade Zoom class, four years ago. Never again, please.

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