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On the hunt for an intriguing news story, a small-town news team follows a crew inspecting repossessed houses. Inside a particularly strange house, the news team discovers a box of video tapes inside a locked closet. Sensing a story, they decide to take them back to their studio. From the tapes, they learn that the family who had lived in the house was not pushed out by the banks, but fled the house in fear for their lives. Trying to decode the story, the crew keeps seeing a faceless figure dressed in a dark suit appear in the footage that causes the videotape to scramble. Their fear mounts when this figure, The Operator as he is deemed, starts to appear in their real lives, standing quietly and always watching them. Tortured and terrorized, the three crew members must track down the mystery of The Operator before it's too late.
When a news team documenting mortgage foreclosures stumbles across the mysterious disappearance of a family, they take videotapes from the abandoned home, unaware that by watching the tapes they invite into their lives a creepy stalker who can only be seen through the camera lens.
Another found footage horror with shaky cam that is a little overdone, especially when the framing veers wide of the centre. The establishment of the characters is not great, the acting is OK - although the best performance comes in the aftermath - and the pacing doesn't settle down until the last act. The second act is mostly a poorly judged single-hander as the camera man figures out the stalker is present in his unfeasibly large home, at which point he does lots of stupid things that blew away my suspension of disbelief. Yes, I was cursing at the screen.
Another complaint is over the reliance on shouting and fighting to generate tension, which was just annoying. Also I question the judgement of having the dog in the movie, or at least this dog, because his tail is always wagging merrily!
However, when the characterisation sets in this turns out to be a good story, with something to say about the darkness within us. Each of the three leads has a weakness that can't be controlled, and the stalker probably reflects that part of the human condition. Lots of mirror images are used, along with screens within the screen, and that really helps to fill out the concept of a mysterious entity that is coming to get us all. A bleak message, but well delivered in the end.
There's no music, just background hiss and static.
Overall - all's well that ends well, except when they make me curse.
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