Sunday, 8 February 2015

Horrors of 2014: Exists (2014)

Exists (2014)
Director: Eduardo Sánchez
Starring: Samuel Davis, Dora Madison Burge, and Roger Edwards
Running Time: 106 min

  There has been some many horror films about Bigfoot over the last 2 or three years that the sharks are getting jealous.  However, I'm feeling good about this one because it's from director Eduardo Sánchez, who also did the Blair Witch Project, Lovely Molly and an interesting & fun short on V/H/S 2.  So with Sánchez leading the way, I'm willing to venture into the dark woods in search for a good Sasquatch film.

  Brothers Matt and Brian are bringing their friends, Todd, Liz and Dora out to their Uncles' secluded cabin for a weekend of freedom and fun.  Of course, Brian has brought a dozen or more GoPro cameras to record the frivolities of the trip for a super awesome Youtube video!  
  It's night time and they are almost at the cabin, but as they drive on the dark deserted road way the car hits something.  After a driving a few more feet, Matt stops the car so the gang can get out and see what they hit.  The right side of the car is damaged but there is no deer carcass or any other signs of them hitting anything.  Suddenly, the hear a terrible wail in the forest and they all retreat back to the car in fear of what may be out there lurking in the woods.  Brian goes over the camera footage from the car and can't make out what they hit but he thinks it could be a....................................... Sasquatch!
  Unfortunately before they reach the cabin, they find the only road towards it blocked by some trees.  They get out and walk the rest of the way to the cabin and when they get there, the gang is not that  impressed with their accommodations.  The place is literally a pigsty and even has it's own pig, which they chase out of the cabin.  They all decide to sleep in the car that night and clean up the place tomorrow.  They head back to the car and go to sleep, but Matt and Brian can't sleep and quietly talk about the old stories about Bigfoot living in the area that their uncle used to tell them.  Brian decides that he is going to be the one to finally capture film footage of this elusive beast and goes to sleep, dreaming about the many many hits on Youtube  he's going to get. (zzz, one likes, two likes, three, three likes, hahaha! zzz)
  The next morning, I'm guessing the gang cleans up that cabin and then heads out to have some fun.  They head down to the old watering hole and do some impressive bike tricks off a jump into the water.  Brian gets really pervy and follows Todd and Liz into the forest for some alone time and starts recording them making out.  However while being a douche, he sees what he thinks may be a Bigfoot strolling by.  He freaks out and Todd and Liz run over to beat the crap out of him.  Fortunately, Matt calms everyone down and brings peace back to the group.  That night, Brian sets up cameras everywhere and awaits the Bigfoot on his hammock and getting high.  Then he hears a sound and follows it into the woods, quietly begging the Sasquatch to pop up so he can get the creature on film and become an internet sensation.  Sadly, it's just Todd and Matt messing with him but while they're clowning Brian, that unusual wail echoes through the dark forest again.  Terrified, the three of them run back to the cabin but it's too late.  When they arrive there, the beast from the forest has followed them and is banging on the cabin doors!  Can this group of friends survive the savage attack from a Bigfoot or are they destined to be lost in a cabin in the woods forever?

  I don't know about this film, I think I was expecting way more from this film because it was created by writer Jamie Nash (Altered, Lovely Molly) and director Eduardo Sánchez (The Blair Witch Project, Lovely Molly), who have created some impressive work in the past.  However, this film is a pretty pedestrian creature feature that falls into a thick forest of B-rated Sasquatch films.  I was hoping for some sort of monstrous twist at the end but it followed simple reasoning and there was no real surprises at all.  Which was disappointing at best.
  Also, I almost turned the film off when I was watching the opening credits.  It was a terrible cheap looking montage of the friends having fun on their way to the cabin during the day.  Fortunately, the look of the film improved vastly when the film got into the actual story but I couldn't believe how awful the opening montage was. 

  The saving grace to this lackluster film is the look of the Sasquatch and how well Sánchez utilizes the creature.  The make-up and effects team created a decent Bigfoot and able to creature some great wounds for it as it gets attacked, pummeled and shot.  The team does a fantastic job with the look of the creature and should be commended for their fantastic work.
  Also, Sánchez does use the less is more approach to showing the creature.  He gives tiny glimpses at first and as the film progresses you see more and more of what this group of friends are up against and how truly terrifying it is.  This is does well but unfortunately, one scary monster does not make a great film.

  This isn't a terrible film but from somebody who re-birthed a style and had such an impact with this found footage horror genre, I think that I was expecting a lot more than such a simple bare bones monster movie.  So if you're looking for the elusive awesome Bigfoot film, then your search will have to continue but if you're willing to sit through another film filled with screaming young adults and people who don't have the sense to put their cameras down, then you have the hairy beast in your hands. I mean the movie, not...


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