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Evidence (2011)

Evidence (2011)Director: Howie Askins
Starring: Ryan McCoy, Brett Rosenberg, Abigail Richie, Ashley Bracken
Certificate: 15
Running Time: 76 minutes
Release Date: 12 March 2012

Another month, bringing with it another found footage movie. The good news is that Evidence is one of the decent attempts at this sub-genre. Not to be confused with another found footage film going by the same name which is based around a massacre at a gas station, this Evidence is an intriguing mix of ideas that does well enough to keep your attention whilst utilising all the usual tricks of the trade.

Ryan (McCoy – who also wrote the screenplay) is an amateur documentary film-maker who decides to film a camping trip with his girlfriend, Abi (Richie), another female friend, Ashley (Bracken) and his best friend Brett (Rosenberg), who has never been camping in his life. Inexplicably, they borrow a friend’s RV to drive to near where they will be staying and then hike the rest of the way. Why they couldn’t just take cars is unknown, but you can guess that it was where the cast crashed each night after filming.

On their first night they hear something screaming eerily in the dark but think it’s just the local wildlife and so fall asleep in their tents. The next day, they spot something big and quite hairy-looking moving in a ravine and it becomes clear that this is what made the noise during the night. Ryan comes across as a complete moron towards his friends, more interested in filming than the safety of the group. When the campsite is seemingly attacked, the group run back to the relative safety of the RV and decide to return to grab their things in the morning. When dawn breaks, the group realise that one of their number is missing and, after packing up the site, try to find their friend. When they fail, they return to the RV, and when another of them goes missing whilst going to get help, it’s left to the final two to find out what’s going on.

When the RV is then attacked, they make a break for it and it’s at this point that the film flies off at a completely different tangent. To advise more would ruin the surprise, but it’s fair to say that the creators of this piece have tried something new and, for the most part, have succeeded. Whereas other films take far too long to build any kind of tension or interesting plot points – see The Tapes – or induce motion sickness in viewers – see AtrociousEvidence wastes little time in setting everything up. There are genuine scares to be had here and, probably due to budget constraints but nice to see nonetheless, you are always prevented from seeing exactly what’s hunting the main protagonists.

As far as found footage films go, this is a decent entry that falls just short of the best examples like Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity, but it elicits enough scares to interest even the most jaded horror fan, as well as bringing in some fresh ideas to the mix. It is by no means a classic horror film, but it is worth your time if you find yourself picking a copy up.

JD GILLAM

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