Select Page

Movie Review: “It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This” Is Found Footage At Its Most Raw

Saturday, April 6, 2024 | Indie Films, Reviews


Starring Rachel, Nick and Christian
Written by Rachel, Nick and Christian
Directed by Rachel Kempf and Nick Toti

Currently having its biggest moment since the early 2000s, found footage horror is an endlessly adaptable sub-genre that lends itself to experimental filmmaking of the very best kind. Following in the footsteps of recent radical releases like Host, Skinamarink and The Outwaters, IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS is a familiar yet completely unique iteration of the found-footage tale that crosses the boundaries between reality and fiction, the past and present, and our world and the next. Accepted, honored and awarded at film festivals across the country, IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS employs an unusual distribution method, showing only on the big screen – never to be streamed online. By creating a live and in-person-only viewing experience, IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS is able to maintain its exclusive, analog charm and eerie sense of authenticity.

Directed by Rachel Kempf and Nick Toti, IDGABTT is nearly twenty years in the making, containing archival footage of the couple earlier in their relationship, as well as footage created by Rachel and her best friend Christian over a period of many years. Blurring the lines between home video, candid shots, and scripted/staged scenes, IDGABTT is at its most disturbing when it is also at its most realistic. As Nick says of the shooting process, “Sometimes Rachel and I would be talking and I’d just start recording, and then some of that footage ended up in the movie. In fact, there’s a lot of stuff in the movie that we never really intended to include, but that’s also part of the fun of watching it. By the time we finished making it, nothing was off-limits and we just pilfered our actual lives for anything–no matter how embarrassing–that we thought could be useful.”

Portrayed from Nick’s point of view, the contemporary storyline begins with the couple purchasing a rundown – if not trashed – duplex in which to shoot an indie horror feature. Complete with occult graffiti, hypodermic needles, and no shortage of creepy and/or gross artifacts, the house becomes a character of its own, exerting an otherworldly influence on the people who live nearby. As strangers stare through the windows in the dead of night, Rachel and Christian conduct seances in the attic, and a portal to a hell dimension opens up in the decrepit living room.

By walking the line between horror film and documentary, IDGABTT takes cues from found footage greats like The Blair Witch Project and Lake Mungo. Blending supernatural scares, with true moments of vulnerability and fear, IDGABTT follows its central trio on a nightmarish descent into hell, rendered with scant but effective practical effects and incredibly unnerving editing. With its stark realism, IDGABTT points to what is scariest about our real lives: our fears of ourselves and our fears about the people we love. Not unlike its predecessors, IDGABTT’s true horror springs from the tragic conclusion of the relationships between Nick and Rachel, and Rachel and Christian.

Likely to be divisive, but undoubtedly impactful, IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS is a one-of-a-kind cinematic experiment that uses its DIY origins to their most unsettling potential. From its first unflinching moments to the unanswered questions of its conclusion, Kempf and Toti’s film is the kind of horror that leaves you feeling immersed, unsafe, and afraid to be left in the dark.

IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS will never be widely digitally released and can only be viewed live. The film has upcoming screenings at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO on Thursday, April 11, and during Weekend 1 of Salem Horror Fest, April 26-28, 2024.


Grace Detwiler
Grace Detwiler (@finalgirlgrace) is a freelance film journalist and law student. Her original work can be found on her blog, FinalGirlGrace, as well as in Rue Morgue's print and online publications.