Plot: Thora (Lidia Szabo) is a teacher, but her passion is the pursuit of what could be considered a myth. The stories of the Mothman are numerous, but little proof seems to be available and to Thora, that is reason enough to investigate, as she wants to uncover the truth. After all, these mysterious appearances often happen just before some kind of tragic event, so the more about Mothman she can discover, perhaps it can be used to avert disaster. She has put in massive amounts of research and believes she knows where the next incident might occur, as the area has been home to over 20 recent Mothman sightings. She and her student Adam (Jozsef Gallai) venture to the remote countryside to look into the situation, only to run into what seems like an abandoned town. The cars have been left in the road and everyone seems to have vanished, with no sign of cause or reason. What have Thora and Adam stumbled upon and can they avoid the same mysterious fate?
Entertainment Value: I have to admit, I am not the biggest found footage fan out there, but I am open to the genre and with Moth, I think the tropes worked and while mostly predictable, it is a solid run. The movie opens with a more traditional narrative segment and also closes with one, but the bulk of the film is experienced via found footage style camera work. The story is fine, but likely to be of more interest to Mothman fans more than anyone else, of course. I like the Mothman lore, so perhaps that is why I responded more to this one than I do most found footage films, despite how closely it sticks with the usual genre conventions. Of course, if you’re a found footage fanatic to start with, you’ll likely get more out of Moth than I did, but even if you don’t normally like the genre, the Mothman lore might lure you in. The pace is brisk and the movie clocks in around 80 minutes, so there’s no real drawn out sequences, which is a relief, since found footage cinema is notorious for padding out run times. So if you’re a found footage fan or a Mothman devotee, give Moth a shot.
I don’t often praise the performances in this genre, as it usually feels like a bunch of friends trying to sound cool, but Moth has a couple solid lead efforts that are a cut above the usual found footage efforts. The leads here feel natural, like normal people on camera who happen to be in an odd situation. This leads to more natural tension and dynamics as well, since it isn’t just mugging for the camera. By traditional thespian standards, perhaps not masterworks of acting, but for found footage, the two leads are quite effective. Lidia Szabo has good screen presence and is sincere in her turn here, while co-director Jozsef Gallai has the other prominent role. He is understated, but it feels suited to the material and that’s what matters. The two have good chemistry and banter well back and forth, which is a big plus. The cast also includes Rob Oldfield, Daniel Szabo, and Balint Egri.
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