Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"Exists" (2014) d/ Eduardo Sanchez

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Found footage horror movies are nearly as lassitudinous as zombie movies at this point, more played out than neckbeards and plaid button-downs, lazier than Forrest Whitaker's left eye ptosis, by God. Found footage zombie flicks? Oh, don't even get me started on those. Luckily, tonight's review isn't one of those, it's another found footage Bigfoot movie, from the director of the found footage Blair Witch movie years ago. Normally I'd be hitting the weak points of a movie like this with the precision of the Chan man on a Wing Chun wooden dummy, but to my surprise, it's actually well-executed and effective more often than not, one of the better Bigfoot movies I've seen of late, due in part to a rather nifty bit of suitage. Probably, my main gripe with a lot of these recent Squatchploitation flicks, is I can't seem to get past a cheap, shabby-looking Bigfoot costume in this age of high tech special effects and makeup. Luckily, that's not the case here.  I've actually got to step down (briefly) from my lofty elitist soapbox to review this.

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"Go ahead, light it on fire. He won't mind, so long as it doesn't catch on in the mainstream..."
Our five protagonists, Matt (Samuel Davis), Todd (Roger Edwards), Dora (Dora Madison), Brian (Chris Osborn) and Elizabeth (Denise Williamson) set out on a camping getaway to the wildnerness of Texas' Big Thicket, when their practical joke-filled night drive (they set the sleeping hipster's neckbeard on fire, nice one. Sharpie-ing your snoring buddy's grill into an unreasonable facsimile of Frank Gorshin's Bele from Star Trek is also cool.) is abruptly interrupted when they blindly swipe an unknown animal with their vehicle in the darkness. You know, I'll bet that faux pas to nature is gonna come back and bite all of you in your millenial asses. Just wait and see. The vacationing group hears the tortured wails of a wild beast in agony and after arriving at Uncle Bob's remote cabin which has fallen into a state of disrepair (and wild hog occupancy, forcing the brothers to rough it in the car that night), finds tell-tale signs of cryptid goings on in the form of blood on the fender and a tuft of unrecognizable hair in the camper's grille.

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Insert obligatory "black guy, oversized weapon" joke here.
While the others enjoy lake-based horror movie horseplay, Brian unwittingly films an enormous bipedal hominid rapidly covering ground over a ridge nearby, and is met with much understandable skepticism from his friends when he tries to relate his story to them. Convinced he can further document the monster for posterity, Brian strategically sets up enough Go Pro cameras to choke Jeff Meldrum around the perimeter of the cabin, and after they're haunted by more ungodly screams that night, and Brian's cameras pick up a hulking humanoid creature headed right for the cabin.Whatever it is, it bangs on the walls and makes a roaring good cameo at one of the windows, and that's enough for the partygoers, who decide to check out the following morning. Only something has destroyed their vehicle, and it turns out that the brothers never informed Uncle Bob they'd be using his cabin, so no one knows of their plans or current location, one without the luxury of adequate cell phone reception. And here you are, arriving at Shit Creek, your complimentary canoes do not come equipped with paddles. Appropriately nutty,  moderately violent hijinks follow. See for yourselves.

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"If I don't pick up the pace, Tripper's gonna make me participate in the three-legged race with Spaz..."
You'll recognize Samuel Davis from his work in Machete Kills (2013) and Sin City- A Dame to Kill For (2014), while Roger Edwards turns up in things like Circus of the Dead (2014) and 2012's Bad Kids Go to Hell. Interesting to note, Denise Williamson also appeared in 2010's Boggy Creek, which also deals with our favorite horrific hairy hominid. Cuban director Sanchez has taken the helm on the aofrementioned Blair Witch Project (1999), a segment in V/H/S/2 (2013), and several episodes of the From Dusk til Dawn tv series. I liked this effort a lot more than Blair Witch, to be honest with you. Like I said earlier, the excellent 'Squatch suit does it's part here, in elevating this one over its counterparts, with the help of a few well placed jump scares and admirable suspense sequences. You could do a lot worse, i.e. Bigfoot Wars (2014), Bigfoot The Movie (2015), Yeti (2008), Sasquatch Hunters (2005), et al. This one earns itself three solid Woppo's. Check it out, and see if you agree.

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"I'm gonna count to three, and you're gonna open this door so I can show you the dynamic cleaning capabilities of this Electrolux Ergorapido 2-in-1 stick/hand vacuum cleaner!!!"
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Aylmer said...

Been wondering whether to give this a go. I think you've convinced me. Sounds fun. Have you seen Willow Creek? Another FF squatch flick that owes a lot to blair witch. I liked it.

beedubelhue said...

I dug Willow Creek, too. A lot more money shots in this one, though. Give it a look, it's surprisingly fun.


mottikod said...

I'm hesitant on Bigfoot films because so many are bad. But I agree, this was well done. I dug it for all the same reasons.

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