(2010, US, 81 min) Dir James Patrick Francis. Cast Ellen Moscovicz, Jim Beemer, Sal Jordan, Olive Merchant.
If ever there was a concept unsuited to the found footage fad its Baba Yaga, the fairy tale witch who lives in a shack that moves around on giant chicken’s feet and travels through the air by means of a flying pestle and mortar. If you had the money you could possibly do it, much like Cloverfield and Troll Hunter worked, but the producers of Baba Yaga haven’t that kind of coin. So how do they get it to work? Simple – by ignoring all existing literature and turning the titular hag into a generic spook. A quartet of American teens enter the woods of an ill-defined Eastern Europe (filmed in Canada) on the premise that they’re on the trail of the ‘truth behind the legend’. In no time they’re being picked off by a fast-moving crone when they’re not turning on each other, giving the film a ten to one ratio of annoying bickering to scares. And that’s it – beyond pointless with nothing to differentiate it from the million other found footage films that abound.