Evidence (2012) follows a young man and his friends as they set out to film a documentary in the woods around their friend Brett's first experience camping. Good times quickly deteriorate as odd sounds and suspicious figures become more and more prevalent. It becomes apparent that they must escape the woods and survive the being stalking them in the night.
If it wasn't clear from the synopsis, Evidence is another dime-a-dozen found footage film set in the woods with a malevolent figure stalking a group of people. Or is it? Does Evidence offer anything unique to a genre crammed with bland plots, forgettable characters and weak action?
At first, Evidence sulks along like any other found footage piece. The first 45 minutes or so is irritatingly predictable and droll. The flaws inherent in most found footage films rear their ugly heads in nearly every scene; the convenient camera-wielder inexcusably refusing to put it down, the incessant bickering, the stubborn peripheral scares. It's all here. If there's anything unusual in the first 45 minutes, it's the group of friends' disturbingly fast turn of sentiment towards the camera-wielding wannabe director. It takes them virtually no time at all to lose their patience and turn on him, which only escalates the bickering early and often.
So I can go on and on about the first 45 minutes of repetitive bull you've seen before a hundred times...or talk about the last 20 minutes and it's awesome turn into a refusal to quit, leaving you absorbing the chaotic mess of creatures and government conspiracies and utter nonsense of horror tropes right along with the survivors. It's like a long, elaborate intro into a horror/scifi/survival game (Half-Life 3 confirmed?).
I thoroughly enjoyed the final act, so much so that it did make the first acts worth sitting through. And that's saying something because they are very poorly scripted and rotting of unoriginal junk.
There were several visuals that I found very well done. The shaky-cam technique is used to full effect here to mask the limitations in the effects work, but the snippets caught on camera are much more believable and fluid than I would've expected. I'm not blown away by the creature design, but I want to give kudos to the creature movement, which felt real (due primarily to its similarity to a known animal, but nonetheless, it was pulled off well).
I laughed at the ridiculousness of the final act, but on several occasions it felt like it was pulling off moments of Cloverfield just as good if not better, by simply embracing its out-of-bounds plot roasting. I mean, what was that first 45 minutes when this is what they had in store? It's like Vin Diesel hitting the NOS in the last seconds of a race. It comes out of nowhere and it goes way faster.
And I can't recall a movie I've seen that had viewer interaction and substance through the entirety of the credits. I must say I appreciated it, though it makes you wonder how much more fun the movie would've been had it skipped to the final act as the beginning and had the credits scenes be the main story. But, considering the budget stretching it probably took to do what it did, I can come to terms with it.
Horror Rating SystemHorror Qualifier: 8/10
Horror Quality: 7/10
Film Quality: 3/10