Apparently, the found-footage format is making a comeback in 2022. To date, Dashcam, Infrared, Incantation, and He’s Watching have all released onto VOD platforms. If we gloss over the fact that most of these movies have been pretty lacklustre, maybe we can believe found-footage is making a comeback. Too bad new release The Andy Baker Tape doesn’t do much to earn our confidence. Aside from the fact that it’s an under-the-radar release, nothing about the official synopsis or lack of any critical reaction suggests that this movie adds anything new to the subgenre.
Jeff Baker is an up-and-coming chef hoping to break onto The Food Network. While his YouTube show has followers, Jeff needs a new hook. When he connects with a half-brother, Andy, whom he’s never met, Jeff thinks he may finally have found that hook. But Andy isn’t all that he appears and as they continue on a road trip, Jeff soon learns that his newfound brother has ulterior motives.
The Andy Baker Tape is Dull Build-Up, Underwhelming Finish
There’s really not much to say about The Andy Baker Tape. If the goal was to make a rote found-footage movie – goal accomplished. In fact, the only thing surprising about this ‘thriller’ is that not one, but two writers, are credited for what ended up on screen. Bottom-line, nothing about The Andy Baker Tape distinguishes itself from just about any other found footage movie. Everything starts with the familiar text crawl reminding us that the movie is based on assembled footage. From that point onward, director Bret Lada dutifully treats audiences to about an hour of build up. Most of the movie devotes itself to establishing that half-brother Andy is odd and may have other motives. The Andy Baker Tape glosses over the fact that there wouldn’t be a movie if that wasn’t the case. It’s dull, predictable, and formulaic.
Bottom-line, nothing about The Andy Baker Tape distinguishes itself from just about any other found footage movie.
What’s worse is that Lada fails to compensate for the derivative story-telling. Despite a trim runtime of one hour and 10 minutes, The Andy Baker Tape plods and ultimately feels uneventful. Like the recent Infrared, this found-footage drags and drags before reaching a climax that ends abruptly. And what fills the movie’s final 10 minutes or so never approaches anything that be considered shocking or suspenseful. Audiences are likely to ask one question once the movie ends – ‘That’s it?’. To be fair, The Andy Baker Tape isn’t so much a bad movie as it is just lazy. Throw in just about every problem you could raise about found-footage and that just about sums up this movie.
This Lazy Found-Footage Can’t Drum Up a Single Original Beat
Wow – even low expectations aren’t going to help The Andy Baker Tape. While it’s technically not a ‘bad movie’ per se, it’s certainly a lazy effort that does nothing to set itself apart from any other found-footage horror movie. As a filmmaker, Lada perfectly demonstrates the idea of ‘knowing the beat, but not the lyrics.’ That is, The Andy Baker Tape follows the found-footage formula without ever deviating from expectation. Worst of all, Lada fails to build any tension or suspense – the movie goes from zero to 10 miles per hours. Simply put, the finale itself feels flat. Even if you haven’t see The Andy Baker Show, you’ve probably already seen it.