Countering Culture: Analog horror

Freddie Parker on 7 July 2023
Countering Culture: Analog horror

Just what is so spooky about grainy effects and compressed, glitchy voices? Let’s take a look.

You may have seen videos across the web made to look like a worn out VHS, or an early FMV (full motion video) game. There’s something super uncanny about outdated technology and a layer of authenticity from shaky cam or CCTV footage.

Where did analog horror come from?

There are two main influences in the formation of this genre: found footage and early creepypastas.

Found footage

This horror genre emerged in 1980 with the exploitation film Cannibal Holocaust, a film we don’t advise watching tbh. It comes with every content warning under the sun and a myriad of ethical issues. 

The Blair Witch Project, a film we do advise watching, was the first hugely popular example though. Since the wild success of Blair Witch, it has become a popular genre. The format of the genre, focused on camcorder and CCTV recordings, provides a mix of claustrophobia and authenticity.


If you’re unfamiliar with them, firstly we have a piece comparing creepypastas to folklore. But they’re scary stories copied and pasted around the internet. Ben Drowned, the story of a haunted Majora’s Mask cartridge, the eloquent Then Who Was Phone and the unforgettable Man Door Hand Hook Car Door.

What are some notable examples of analog horror?


Molly Moon


Meat date

♬ original sound - Molly Moon 🌙

This House Has People in It

Puppet Combo

The Backrooms (Found Footage)

What makes analog horror so effective?

As mentioned with found footage, there’s an element of claustrophobia. And much like with creepypastas, it feels like a personal perspective someone is sharing with you. The low quality of the video leaves things to the imagination, ready for our mind to insert details. The low quality sound then adds a grating ambience to the already present tension.

It could also be related to nostalgia. More specifically, it could be people wanting to see media formats associated with things from their childhood twisted into something spooky. After all there has always been an association between horror and childhood/innocence.

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Freddie Parker
Freddie Parker on 7 July 2023