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Movie Review: Evil Things

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The found-footage genre has been greatly overused as of recently. While it’s been used since as early as 1980s Cannibal Holocaust, it’s currently in a state of overabundance. Surely we can thank The Blair Witch Project for this. But where that film succeeded so greatly was in telling a simple story of a group of filmmakers stranded in the woods tormented by what may or may not be a benevolent spooky specter. While there’s been some great use of it along the way to now (okay, only [REC], Cloverfield, and Blair Witch) it hasn’t taken long to run it into the ground. Which seems to be the only thing the new Evil Things seems hell-bent on achieving.

Five friends are venturing out to a house in the middle of nowhere for Miriam’s (Elyssa Mersdorf) 21st birthday. Leo (Ryan Maslyn) has just bought himself a brand new camera and refuses to turn it off much to everyone’s chagrin. Along for the weekend are Cassy (Laurel Casillo), the pretentious one; Mark (Morgan Hooper), the aggressive one; and Tanya (Torrey Weiss), the hot one. Traveling the icy roads to Miriam’s aunt Gail’s (Gail Cadden) house, Tanya quickly gets sick while they all start getting harassed by someone in a van that probably uses the handle “Rusty Nail.” Being stalked by someone in a van is one thing but it’s another when you get to your destination and the power hasn’t been turned on. Aunt Gail shows up to give the kids a fake scare and then everyone has a wonderful evening of booze and pasta.

The following morning everyone is forced to head out to the wintry wonderland and it’s not too long before they lose their bearings and start blaming each other in a rather familiar fashion. Eventually they find their way back but not before they all start hearing noises in the woods and start screaming at each other and running for their lives against unseen forces lurking just beyond the camera light. Back at home they start receiving anonymous phone calls right before The Ring’s Samara leaves a wrapped video tape on the door step featuring footage making everyone stand in front of big open windows with the lights on. Now they’re under house attack by someone who thinks he’s the second coming of The Silence of the Lambs’ “Buffalo Bill” lurking around the house with his own video camera using night vision.

When the viewer’s main focus while watching your film becomes making a checklist of all the films being ripped off you have much bigger problems; even more so than the inappropriate “spooky” music playing over the footage. A note to writer/director/editor Dominic Perez, when you feel the need to add eerie music over the proceedings something isn’t working. You can cut a lot of slack when it comes to low budget films and first time filmmakers that wear their inspirations on their sleeves. But it’s another thing altogether when every scene feels like it’s been copied and pasted from far better films over the years. Let alone when one of them has won Best Picture.

Referencing films is another route you can always go, something Eli Roth, Kevin Williamson, and more recently Rubin Fleischer have been mining to great acclaim. For every section of the film that happens to work it drags itself out to a breaking point which shows that Perez was in desperate need of someone else in the editing booth. We know that everyone wants to have their 15 minutes of fame. In all honesty, had the film been cut down to that length, maybe Perez could have achieved his own. However, as it stands, Evil Things only plays out like a been-there/done-that greatest hits collection without one ounce of originality or even any flare of its own.

Photos courtesy Inception Media Group

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About Cinenerd

A Utah based writer, born and raised in Salt Lake City, UT for better and worse. Cinenerd has had an obsession with film his entire life, finally able to write about them since 2009, and the only thing he loves more are his wife and their two wiener dogs (Beatrix Kiddo and Pixar Animation). He is accredited with the Sundance Film Festival and a member of the Utah Film Critics Association.
  • mrmichaeld4

    terrible…is all i can say!

  • Without afraid

    Why??? this is a terrible movie, don’t spend time watching this movie, it’s terrible, is better read a bad book than watch this movie

  • brdlysanger

    What the hell?! A total waste of money! Worse than Blair witch!

  • kris-T

    this is the most terrible movie EVER. Im glad I only rented it for a dollar. even a dollar was too much to spend on it.

  • Charles

    Setup was okay. Horrible finish. Did he actually kill anyone? Shows everything but that. And what was with that sound he made? Credits repeat the whole movie. Trash

  • Chenille

    LOL!! I didn’t get it!!!

  • L

    HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank god i used a free promo code at redbox now im mad i wasted it on this movie!

  • DMJ

    Has to be, by far, the biggest set of crap to ever be produced besides th Blair Witch Project and its sequel. This was a bad movie from the start, and to make a person sit and watch this movie for so long gets the crap award for the crappiest movie ever created, You, Dominic, should be very proud that so many people want to kill you for this work of crap!

  • Rafael

    This is a biggg Crap!!! Es una porqueria de movie jamas en mi vida pense q la gente gastara tiempo y dinero eb esa mierda.. Porque no usaron el dinero q gastaron en donarlo.. La verdad me desepciona q el director tenga un apellido hispano… Q mierda.

  • Aly

    I kinda liked it. Lol.

  • mjh\

    whta’s the point of the movie? what was the noise the stacker,person,anmial was making stupid ending i want my money back…………………………………….

  • Luisa Cordova

    Sucked!! I get scared easily and even I can say it’s horrible.

  • yesica Chavez

    my name is yessi and i survived this movie… me watching this was a terror movie 😛 .. and btw there were no animals in this movie.. idk why they said there was a dog ….

  • Elguapo

    Apparently any retard with a camera can make a movie with no point and make it to red box. Please God don’t let any of these people ever have anything to do with another movie ever again!!! I can’t even call this a movie. Quick tip… You can’t try and shoot a “found tape” movie and try to add spooky music to highlight your lame ass attempts at scaring the audience. Did they even try? Was this a joke? I literally hope this Perez guy rots in hell. Seriously…. Go away forever

  • Presh

    WTF! Two hours of my life wasted on this s**t!

  • Frankk

    This movie makes me want to wash my mouth out with buckshot… WORST MOVIE EVER!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!???????! WTF!!!

  • Johnny