‘Frogman’ Review: A Gloriously Fun Found Footage Creature Feature

Frogman is the best found footage horror movie since 2023’s The Outwaters. Read on to find out why Frogman is so much fun.

Frogman streams on VOD beginning March 8th, 2024.

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Found footage has a bad rap within some sectors of the movie-going public, but a good found footage horror movie is a wondrous thing. There have been some great found footage horror movies over the past few decades, and Frogman joins that elite group of top-tier fright flicks.

At a high level, Frogman, directed by Anthony Cousins and co-written by Cousins and John Karsko, is kind of like a creature-feature version of The Blair Witch Project (1999). The plots are similar at a basic level, but instead of making a documentary about a fabled witch, the documentary and search in Frogman are for a giant, bipedal frog creature. Frogman is no mere Blair Witch clone though. Rather, it is a fun and funny lo-fi horror movie that feels authentic to its found-footage format in almost every way.

What is Frogman About?

Dallas looks into the camera in Frogman (2024).
Dallas (Nathan Tymoshuk) establishes his mission statement early in the movie.

As Frogman begins, we see home-video clips of a family on vacation. The time stamp on the footage tells us the year is 1999. The parents argue in front of a young boy and his sister, and the boy decides to take the camera and go somewhere, anywhere else. That’s when he sees it. Just within the woods at the side of a road, the boy sees something froggy standing among the trees. The boy only catches a glimpse of it on camera, but it’s enough. That is the beginning of the boy’s lifelong obsession with the legendary Frogman of Loveland, Ohio.

Jumping ahead to modern times, the boy, whose name is Dallas, is now a man. Dallas is a struggling no-budget filmmaker who is also struggling with life in general. Dallas is frustrated with his professional and personal lives, and he is beaten down by the fact that nobody believes that he actually encountered Frogman as a kid. Tired of the mockery he receives, Dallas decides to prove everyone wrong by creating a documentary in which he tracks down the Frogman and captures irrefutable proof of the creature’s existence. Dallas convinces his friends Scotty and Amy to join him in his project, and the three set off for the woods of Loveland where they will find much more than they were expecting.

Reviewing Frogman

Scotty and Dallas walk down a street in Frogman (2024).
Scotty (Benny Barrett), pictured on the left, is the reluctant cameraman for Dallas’s project.

The best thing about Frogman is how authentic it feels for most of its run time. A pet peeve of mine when watching found footage is when every shot is too perfect. Nothing is more fake than when every pivotal moment in a found footage horror movie is framed perfectly so that you see absolutely everything in the most cinematic way possible. That’s not real life. When tensions are high and people are scared, found footage should be rough and ragged. We should miss things on screen that are only heard off camera. The often-lambasted “shaky cam” should be in effect. Frogman, with very few exceptions, feels real in this regard. The camera captures glimpses of things (including some impressive makeup effects), and a lot is left to the viewer’s imagination. It’s really well done.

The look and feel of Frogman is also nicely authentic. Almost all of the movie is shot on a Sony Hi8 camcorder which gives it that Blair-Witch-era feeling. The movie is set in the present day, but Dallas chooses to shoot his documentary using the camera he was using in 1999 when he first encountered Frogman. That’s a fantastic touch that not only provides a perfect excuse to use an old-school camera, but it’s a decision that also says a lot about Dallas’s character.

Amy, wearing a cowboy hat, looks frightened in the dark in Frogman (2024).
Amy (Chelsey Grant) doesn’t take Dallas’s project seriously at first, but her attitude changes along the way.

Speaking of characters, there is a lot of good work done building up the relationships between the three main characters in Frogman. Dallas, Scotty, and Amy are old friends who have drifted apart for different reasons. Coinciding with Dallas’s need to prove that he didn’t fake his Frogman sighting is his urgent need to reconnect with his friends. Especially Amy. A lot of time in the first two-thirds of the movie is spent on establishing the trio’s connections and history together, and that pays off well when tensions rise later in the film’s final scenes.

Like a lot of the better found footage horror movies, Frogman builds tension up and up throughout its run time for a big payoff at the end. It’s not necessarily a slow burn, but it does take its time establishing the characters and the setting before getting to the scary stuff. That’s a good thing. The characters are engaging, and watching them reconnect as friends helps inform their decisions later in the movie when most people would just run far, far away.

Amy screams in Frogman (2024).
If you don’t enjoy shaky cam, then you might have issues with the final act of Frogman. But shaky cam is a staple of found footage, so it’s to be expected.

If there’s anything that doesn’t work as well as the rest of the movie, it’s the movie’s brief epilogue. After the main portion of the movie ends, there is a short scene that isn’t in the same found-footage format. The content of the scene is good and makes total sense, but the immersion of the movie is broken by changing to a cinematic style. Other than that though, Frogman is tons of fun.

Who Will Enjoy Frogman?

Frogman souvenirs in Frogman (2024).
Frogman may make you want to take a trip to Loveland, Ohio for some souvenirs.

If you enjoy found footage movies like The Blair Witch Project (1999), Willow Creek (2013), and even the “Storm Drain” segment of V/H/S/94 (2021, hail Raatma), then you will absolutely enjoy Frogman. The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, so it has fun with the concept while still delivering some superb spookiness. People who like monster movies will want to take a look too.

Fans of movies about cryptids will also want to check it out since the Loveland Frogman is a real thing! Well, real in the sense that it is a local legend in Loveland, Ohio. But before you book a trip to Loveland to find the Frogman for yourself, you should watch Frogman. I was fortunate enough to snag a copy on VHS from Lunchmeat before they sold out, and frankly, watching Frogman on VHS on a CRT TV is the best movie experience I’ve had so far in 2024.

You can currently watch Frogman as a digital rental or purchase on video-on-demand site such as Vudu. Frogman was released on streaming on March 8, 2024.

Further Reading

Meet The Author

Chris has a degree in film studies at Temple University’s campus in Tokyo, Japan. He is a renowned expert on horror cinema.