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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Exists (2014) Horror Bigfoot

Exists (2014) -  A weird mix of stupidity and contrivance works to make this poorly shot Bigfoot movie less than enjoyable at times. Okay that is a bit harsh but this viewer is tired of the shitty camera work as a way save money, pretending it is a do it yourself  film while disregarding the contrivance whenever convenient. GoPro cameras,  a camera centric fifth wheel make for the filming all the time and shaky views of the monster. Structurally the script is so well worn that most of the beats can be predicted with ease.starting with the stupid opening fact that "Since 1967, there have been over 3,000 Bigfoot encounters in the U.S. alone." which is ridiculous since Bigfoot has never and will never exist. Still tell yourself to suspend disbelief and the fact still seems completely wacko. It was nice to here when listening to the commentary by Director Eduardo Sanchez and screenwriter Jamie Nash that this was completely made up. So silly but this is what you get from a monster movie like this. Like Nash I grew up in the 70's and I did spend my share of time as a junior High student reading about the urban legends of the United States. Bigfoot was a big part of that but critical thinking and education can make anyone acknowledge the poor basis for the myth. Suspend disbelief...This is going to be a weird review because although I was not thrilled with the well trod story or the filming technique, I do like a monster movie so I was left with mixed feelings.
  Five friends head to uncle Bob's hunting cabin in east Texas, off the grid and without anyone knowing they are going.  The slow motion opening scenes with the friends on a road trip works to establish them as out to have some fun. Little do they know the hunting is not done by the people visiting the cabin but instead by the Bigfoot that lives in the area. The two brothers Camera guy Brian (Chris Osborn) and Matt (Samuel Davis) know the stories of the cabin but being dangerous but just don't believe the stories. So Matt with his brother and girlfriend Dora (Dora Madison Burge) as well as couple Todd (Roger Edwards) and Elizabeth (Denise Williamson) drive out to the remote place for a weekend of fun. Recording it all is Brian with his multiple cameras which we have to guess is the footage the film is put together from.
  After hitting a creature on the drive in, they are terrorized by one throughout the movie. The normal setup of playing with toys, swimming and being amorous set up the spotting of the monster and then the couple nights of terror when Bigfoot decides a house won't stop it from getting the group. Escape plans are tried and in the end we have watch as the members make a desperate attempt to flee the area. The film feels inevitable throughout with the group seemingly over matched by the creature. The poor decision making alone almost dooms the group as they fumble through the nights with the Monster hot on their heels. Then there is the fact that an over 6 foot creature is a borrowing animal with a dug out lair? That does not really make a lot of sense. Still this film is about a monster coming after people and creating a body count. It accomplishes that and there is some taught thrilling scenes.
  Not an enjoyable viewing experience there is way too much night vision shaky cam. The viewing is just not very good. Directed by Eduardo Sanchez who also is responsible for the Blair Witch Project is improved in the quality of camera and the editing of the handhelds and mounted units but fifteen years and still using a really tired technique that is past its time. In the commentary he says that it was not going to be so but they felt because how people have reported sighting of Bigfoot it made sense. Not a lot of the film is actual GoPro footage but the impression that it is is used throughout the film. So they could have made a good looking well filmed film with the equipment they had but chose to make it look cheap and unprofessional. That is even more disappointing to know.  So it is a movie shot by the characters but it is not a Blair Witch, the classic found footage. There is a score that actually adds some depth to the film.
  On the positive side if you can get past the film making you do have a Monster movie where the monster is seen and active throughout the film. My prediction early on in the viewing was correct and that was a bit disappointing. Brian's filming his friends death instead of helping was particularly tired. How many times since Sanchez's first hit have we seen this? As well as the surrender scene fuck that bullshit. The film somewhat passable in it ridiculousness will probably be cool to some youngsters. This jaded viewer is left feeling like this kind of movie is really no longer something I enjoy viewing.
The film as a whole is not bad it builds nicely from the car strike, to finding footprints, to the monster closing in on the characters. It goes somewhat quickly to action which saves it and gets it a recommendation from this blog.

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