Short of the Day: First-Person Chills in ‘The Cop Cam’

You are the cop…and the vic.
By  · Published on August 16th, 2017

You are the cop…and the vic.

Police officers have been wearing body cams several years now, it’s a great way to both faithfully record the events of an arrest and hold the officers accountable to the rules of apprehension. In the news over the last year, we’ve seen several cases of police brutality solved or dismissed because of body cam footage, and recently we’ve seen two drug busts revealed as intentional plants, all thanks to the ever-recording eye of the body cam.

Naturally, someone was going to take this concept and turn it into a horror film, and that someone is director Isaac Rodriguez, who’s made The Cop Cam for short production company No Sleep.

On a dark, still night, an officer responds to a disturbance call at an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. The only light comes from his flashlight, and the only eye we have on the scene is the lens of his body cam. As he enters the house, weapon drawn, we move not just with him but as him, it’s a first-person shooter but drastically more realistic. This being a horror film, what he finds inside is anything but normal, and his camera is there to catch it all.

Clocking in at just over two minutes, The Cop Cam is nothing but tension from the first second to the last. And even though the inevitable is obvious – this doesn’t end well for anyone – Rodriguez does an excellent job at drawing out the suspense and keeping the revelation fresh, thanks to powerful, breath-stealing camerawork and innovative narrative perspective.

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