Thursday, June 5, 2014

Film Review: Evidence (2013)

Evidence (Review)
United States/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...surprisingly good until its surprisingly bad ending."

Investigators try to piece together a vicious massacre at an abandoned gas station using the victims' recovered cameras...

Beginning with a stylish introduction, Evidence continues to follow this group, led by Detective Reese (Stephen Moyer), as they shift through the evidence. The evidence shows a group traveling to Las Vegas, who retreat into an abandoned gas station after their bus flips; the group includes actor Leann (Torrey DeVitto) and director Rachel (Caitlin Stasey). The group is slowly picked off one by one by a welder. It moves a steady pace with an engaging mystery up to its very disappointing ending; in fact, if it had ended just a few minutes earlier, the film would've been at least good -- instead, it throws an unnecessary and bad twist that really hurt the film.

Evidence is an interesting blend of traditional and found-footage filmmaking. It seamlessly transitions from the investigation to the evidence, which is great. It's more of an investigative thriller than a horror film, though. And, it offers some moderate thrills and some gore to please. The mystery/investigation is interesting, although it may not be realistic. Also, it all moves at a fairly moderate pace. Unfortunately, it does adopt some found-footage flaws, like the irritating characters, the cliché dialogue, and the shaky cam. "Don't record me!" "We have to record this!" "(inaudible nagging at each other)" These flaws hurt the film, but the ending was the nail in the coffin. In fact, before the twist, I had considered rating this a solid 3 stars on Netflix -- the ending dropped it to a 2. I mean, it was surprisingly good until its surprisingly bad ending.

The acting was decent. Stephen Moyer is good, as is Caitlin Stasey. Torrey DeVitto was a dud -- came off as the most unbelievable character, didn't feel authentic at all. I think the cast of the found-footage segments has a harder time since they had the worst dialogue by far. I like the cinematography, the film looks good. The camerawork was decent, but the overwhelming spinning became nauseating towards the end. Director Olatunde Osunsanmi is merely decent; some of his direction is lively and distinct, but most of it falls flat.

Overall, Evidence is a mediocre film. It starts off very promising, and holds on to that promise for most of its runtime, but disappoints in the end. Everything was simply good -- I had complaints, but I was entertained -- until the ending. It's like running a steady marathon. You know you're not going to win, but you'll finish, which is an accomplishment. But, as you see the finish line, you trip over a microscopic pebble and snap your leg cause you got cocky -- and you don't finish.

Score: 4/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood.

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