Evidence (2012) – By Baron Craze

Budding filmmakers director Howie Askins and screenwriter and actor Ryan McCoy both in their first feature horror film bring a new powerful twist into the found-footage sub-genre, which increasing presents itself as difficult task, especially for those so new to the genre, yet they both admirable accomplish the task. Although one must inform the readers that this film in no way connects to the film of the same name but released in 2013, which starred Rhada Mitchell and Steven Moyer, even that film also deals with the found-footage premise.  Ryan shows his basic writing skills and limitations of budget with using the actor’s real first names as the character names, which sometimes perceives to the fans of cinema as a lazy style, unless those names have a significant connection such as, Michael referencing Michael Myers, sadly though that is not the case with this script.

The first 30-minutes of this production, plod aimless, leaving the viewers, in a quandary of whether to waste more time and viewing the film, as it starts very flat, and struggles to holds one’s attention, especially when the documentary has truly no motivation, no actual discovery, and simply plod aimless, adds only frustrations to the audience. Ryan, and three friends set out to a wooded area, and park in a clearly marked no trespassing area, for a film of his friend Brett Rosenberg first camping trip, a dull and misguided film. It feels empty and false, and leaves everyone with the feeling of confusion, from the characters and the audience standpoint. Brett believes the film concept is vastly dumb, however Ryan insists he has a ‘plan’, accompanying them their girlfriends who start happy, and engage in a bit of kissing antics, but animalistic sounds and yells stop that portion and lead to everyone have anger issues, at about the 20-minute mark of the film. The sense of paranoia sets into the group affecting everyone except Ryan, as the Ashley Bracken and Abigail Richie accusing him of creating the situations of terrorizing behaviors. The biggest issue with the found-footage surrounds the commonsense item, when running for your life, why do you keep the camera on, and looking through the viewfinder, herein they address that item, and use the camera’s light though limited in scope allowing side scares to occur from the darkness.

After Brett vanishes in the middle of the night, and their RV is damage, the film significantly changes in mood and tempo, with Ryan becoming agitated and showing sociopathic tendencies that become his apparent emotional detachment from everything around. Though in this second half, the change start subtle, as if a light breeze spirals into a tornado and this film does the exact same thing, bizarre images caught camera in distance comes suddenly, closer without warning. A complete twist, well constructed, and thoroughly disguise tripwire, as the audience discover with never ending tension arising from all directions. The scenes project in a rapid-fire sequence, creating breathless moments, bizarre moments, with some scares occurring just beyond the light of the camera and others are right in one’s face. Ryan’s script completely avoids the pitfalls of stopping to explain the horrors of what is happening, leaving them and the viewers in the dark. Howie continues to over the area, with very vicious critters and hostile to their surroundings, then enter in with military commandos, discovering vehicle chases, and machine-gun firing. The intensity level keeps generating with a hint to the horror film The Mist; as the creatures, take blurring shapes of aliens, diseased animals, crazed individuals, zombies figures, shrouded phantoms, join in on the attack, leaving no one safe, and in doing so convey sheer panic, and confused judgments.   

The survivors find a secretary, Risdon Roberts (best known for her Bite Me TV Series) and veteran of the horror genre with 15 horror films, hiding at an outlying building, resulting in a shrieking moment. She without question joins them in terrorizing landscaping of full-blown insanity with no hesitant to reduce or quiet the noise, and definitely, no quenching of the pace, if anything more elements thrown into the survivor’s path. Evidence, makes an unapologetic attack on one’s senses, and continues a thrilling scary ride of after the camera because static and finally the battery dies extinguishing the light but not the onslaught of terror.

A final note, a part two, confirmed for this film, with a larger budget and with the title of Evidence: Ground Zero