There is still some life in found footage horror. Anthony Cousins has delivered one of the best shaky cam offerings in many years. It helps to have an underappreciated new cryptid, the Frogman of Loveland Ohio. It’s a genuinely frightening film, in glorious low-res high-8 film. Anthony spent some time sharing his process with The Scariest Things.
Anthony Cousins is an up-and-coming director who has a firm grasp on the shaky cam horror requirements. Found footage horror films walk a tricky line. This is a lo-fi subgenre, and in order for it to work, it needs to feel authentic. Too often the end product ends up feeling cheap, for cheap’s sake. To be successful, you need to connect the protagonists with the audience in a way that feels real. Plausible. With Frogman, Cousins has hit the essential marks.
Typically, this format is a turn-off for me, but I found Frogman to be 100% compelling. Hunting for cryptids is a time-honored theme for shaky cam features. The hunt for local mythical legends will draw out your amateur filmmakers. It is a natural format to show the obsessive truth seeker’s point of view. The veteran horror-short director, Cousins tapped into this perspective using his cryptid-chasing lead Dallas (Nathan Tymoshuk) as his redemption-seeking filmmaker proxy.
For small indie directors, there is always a bit of autobiographical context in making a found footage film. It chronicles the process of zero-budget film creation but with the opportunity to script and populate the film with slices of the fantastic. In the case of Frogman, we do get glimpses of the titular creatures, in fleeting glimpses. In this film, the audio carries the day. Use all the tools available in the director’s toolbox.
Cousins and I met backstage in the green room at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, and I hadn’t yet seen his film. Having seen Frogman by the end of the festival I was convinced that I wanted to talk to him about this slice of Lovecraftian found footage madness. So, listen in to our conversation, where we discuss the creation of his first feature film.
Enjoy our conversation, where we talk about the storytelling, casting, filming techniques, and influences for making Frogman. In the meantime, perhaps I will need to make a trip to Loveland Ohio to see for myself. Is it real? I sure hope so! The Truth is out there. It has to be.