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August 10, 2011

Movie Review: Evil Things (2011)

"Evil Things," written and directed by Dominc Perez, is an interesting entry in the hand held "reality" fright genre created by "The Blair Witch Project" and carried on -- with varying degrees of success -- by movies like "Cloverfield," "Quarantine," "Paranormal Activity" and "Monsters." This one is slickly made and well-acted and manages, at times, to generate a good deal of suspense. It also feels padded, is episodic and structurally awkward.

Buy Evil Things on DVD

Like "The Evil Dead" and many other low budget horror films, a groups of friends are on a road trip when the weirdness begins to happen. Miriam and her four friends Cassy, Mark, Tanya and Leo, drive to a remote house for a 21st birthday celebration. Leo, the aspiring filmmaker, videotapes everything, providing us with a visual document of the whole weekend gone awry.

We soon realize that an unseen and never-explained presence, human or otherwise, is watching and stalking our protagonists. Ultimately the bodies begin to fall (though there are no overt kill scenes in the movie) and the voyeuristic eye of the ever-present camera watches the protagonists become victims.

The episodic movie plays like a collection of suspense sequences padded with mundane character scenes in between. When it works it works, but it is uneven. Generally, though, director Perez keeps the scare scenes moody and tense.

Ultimately, the movie exploits the fear of surveillance many of us feel today with the availability and proliferation of video recording devices. We can be watched at any time, anywhere. This movie's "Evil Thing" is a faceless, unexplained entity who watches, stalks and destroys us with complete anonymity and detachment. He is a psychotic Big Brother.

That's a powerful concept, but the movie fails to put in into any meaningful context. The characters, though believable, seem arbitrary. They wander through the events, but don't really affect them. Ultimately, "Evil Things" is desperately in need of a script.

1 comment:

  1. The most stupid shit i have ever seen! I would burn every copy put out!!!!!!!