Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Film Review: Exists (2014)

Exists (Review)
United States/2014
Format Viewed For Review: Shudder
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"The first half of the film is difficult to get through—boring, annoying, unnecessary."

A group of douchebags friends visit a cabin in the woods for a vacation, but their party is interrupted by a massive, hairy creature...

Exists could have been an interesting movie. It's a horror movie about Bigfoot after all. Unfortunately, for the most part, this is just another found footage movie. The film follows your typical group of unbearable douchbags. I won't even bother naming them. This group head out to a cabin in the woods. Before arriving, they crash into a large hairy creature, which they end up ignoring as they proceed to the cabin. At the cabin, you basically have to watch this group's vacation videos. They go swimming, paintballing, and the gist—it's boring. It isn't until around the halfway mark where the story truly starts moving. The group is attacked by Bigfoot and they have to fight for survival. When they're not trying to fight, they're running. It leads to a decent climax and ending.

Exists is such a disappointing movie. This is especially evident as you watch the second half of the movie. The second half is filled with thrills, getting your adrenaline pumping through some very exciting chase sequences. It's not exactly a scary experience, but there are a few tense moments, too. And, like I said, I liked the ending—the reasoning for Bigfoot's rampage is interesting. The second half of the film can't fix the issues during the dreadfully boring first half, though. I mean, you essentially have to spend over thirty minutes with these generic, annoying characters before the plot goes anywhere. And, although I enjoyed the second half, it's not perfect, either. Its flaws ultimately boil down to the same old issues: annoying cardboard cutout characters, blatant plot contrivances, and typical found footage technical issues.

The acting isn't bad. Yes, there is some overacting here and there, but it's mostly natural. Natural, in this case, translates to obnoxious. Why are characters always so annoying in found footage horror movies? Aren't there any normal people out there? Speaking of found footage: yes, there is plenty of shaky cam and malfunctioning video here. It wouldn't be a found-footage movie without it, right? The film has some music in it—it's okay. Exists was written and directed by Eduardo Sanchez—part of the Blair Witch Project team. Eduardo Sanchez has a knack for creating annoying characters, which ultimately hurts the film. Also, vacation videos do not equal character development. That needs to stop in this genre. Sanchez knows how to craft some solid thrills, though.

Overall, Exists is a mediocre movie. The first half of the film is difficult to get through—boring, annoying, unnecessary. The second half of the film is a bit more exciting, focusing on a fight for survival, but it's just not enough to redeem itself. I can't really recommend it unless you're a big fan of found footage horror movies.

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

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