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DVD Review: Evil Things

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Evil Things from Inception Media Group starts out with five college friends getting ready for a trip to the mountains for Miriam’s (Elyssa Mersdorf) 21st birthday. Miriam’s Aunt Gayle (Gail Cadden) has provided the group with a cabin and after a slight misunderstanding, the group settles in for their wonderful weekend out of the city.

However, before the weekend ends, the five friends are in fear for their lives as someone unknown to them has followed them from the city and is playing a psychological game with their heads.

The first night they get drunk and have a great birthday celebration. The next day the five go on a hike to look for ancient Native cave drawings and they become lost in the woods. After hours and hours of searching, night has fallen, the group is getting scared and nervous, they are finally steered in the correct direction by the “animals” that they are hearing. Thankful to have “found” their way back to the cabin, they head inside to get warmth and food.

Later on in the night, the phone rings but no one is on the other end and there is a knock at the door. When they answer it, they find a package. The contents of the package freak the group out and they try to flee their surroundings and get back to civilization. However, it may be too late as each of the group go missing and there are no clues as to what or who is tormenting them.

The movie is shot Blair Witch Project style from the camera lens of Leo (Morgan Hooper), Miriam’s boyfriend. It contains all the jostling and bouncing and out-of-focus shots you would normally encounter with a home movie. The audio is sometimes muffled, often you can hear them breathing or rustling as they move throughout the picture, giving it an authentic home -movie feel.

I thought that the backstory of the characters portrayed was long, tiresome and without any real direction. I would have liked to have seen more creep involved in this aspect of the movie. I think the movie could have done without a majority of the beginning narrative; I found my attention drifting while the first thirty minutes of the movie played out. As well, the opening scenes did not give me any real like for the characters in that I didn’t learn anything about them that gave me a genuine interest in their adventure.

Laurel Castillo does bring a strong performance to the character of Cassy Crawford. She delivers it with as much finesse as she is able given the weak plot and poor direction. She is able to deliver a multi-character performance reaching into her depth and drawing out the fear and horror needed to give Evil Things a diversity to the characters involved, that would otherwise be lacking.

The interpretation of the antagonist in the story is definitely a creepy concept and it is outlined in a fashion that does bring the creep into you. In this, director, Dominic Perez, delivers the edge needed to make this picture worth watching.

However, we are given so little in the final outcome of the picture that you are left with more questions than answers. The added footage strewn throughout the end credits does not give any added significance to the overall movie, and I wasn’t left with the impression that I needed to have seen it in order to fully understand the movie.

Evil Things is a horror/psychological thriller and is rated R. Its running time is 86 minutes and comes in DVD and widescreen format only. The Evil Thingsmovie trailer is the only extra feature included on the DVD.

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