That droning repetitive utterance you may be able to mildly hear seeping through your walls like the unsettling mantra of some kind of secret society being formed in the neighbouring house, is actually me reciting my usual lilt of “please don’t be a found-footage film, please don’t be a found-footage film”.
Alas, it seems that I may need to read up on the laws of attraction as, ironically enough, fate has dealt me a cruel hand and inevitably sent me a found-footage film. However, with this particular title it only took approximately twenty-five minutes to realise that I may need to consider a review of my indefinite ideologies as well as a review of the text.
Evidence follows four young adults who decide to camp in the wilderness for the first time (with no experience or knowledge of how to, I might add). One of the outdoorsy quartet decides to document the entire experience on his camera. Soon, what started off as a fun and exciting idea soon becomes a death wish as they find themselves hunted and systematically picked off by an unknown assailant.
Instantly, the concept seemed to stretch the peripheries of common sense a little, specifically the fact that it appears as if these camping novices chose to put themselves in this diabolical situation. I could never understand why one would think it a good idea to go all Bear Grylls when one has never before harboured a desire to do so. It seemed a little like the result of a drunken notion that may have been conceived from the phrase “wouldn’t it be funny if…”
Though a little like an amalgamation of Fernando Barreda Luna’s Atrocious and Cloverfield, It yields some genuinely frightening elements after a reasonably slow start. Typically with this subgenre, makers rely on the pragmatism of the common consumer handheld camera to supply authentication and believe that it will suffice as scary enough. Yet, Evidence, even with its fiscal limitations delivers an action packed shock till you drop film.
It is commendable just how much director Howie Askins achieved with this. I love that the entertainment maintains a steady gradient of escalation; it just rises and rises throughout. Between the juvenile mooning that takes place at the beginning and the SAS style search and rescue chopper that recovers the survivors at the end, Askins opts for the gross-outs of visceral entrails splattered amongst the forestry and highlighted by intelligent “amateur” camerawork.
Furthermore, though I detest the splitting headaches induced by the shaky angles of such films, Evidence executes this technique masterfully and with good intentions – so as not to reveal the hypothetical “zipper in the back”. What I mean is that it knows that its budget would affect how genuine certain elements may look if you afforded the audience a real good glance at them, so it offers just enough instead. Well played!
Here there are clearly more pros than cons, in fact, there are more pros than I can effectively point out in a short amount of time. I’ve tread quite lightly when reviewing this one because this is definitely a film in which the less you say about it, the more you’ll enjoy it.
Instead, I will just recommend… No… Implore you to take a chance on a little-known project. You will be amazed how a creepy moment involving a bush can spiral into absolute chaos.