Exists (2014) – By Kirsten Walsh

“For five friends, it was a chance for a summer getaway- a weekend of camping in the Texas Big Thicket. But visions of a carefree vacation are shattered with an accident on a dark and desolate country road. In the wake of the accident, a bloodcurdling force of nature is unleashed-something not exactly human, but not completely animal- an urban legend come to terrifying life…and seeking murderous revenge.”

It doesn’t surprise me to see Eduardo Sanchez shooting a “found footage” film. It has an ambiance of his past films, including “Blair Witch”. While this is an all inclusive film about the four teens that we start the film with, and by that I mean no interviews with the town natives, it shows Sanchez’s improvement in filmmaking since his 1999 surprise hit. His characters in the film are not remarkably likeable from the first scene, and fall into the stereotypical tropes of characters, i.e. the black man who doesn’t want to go first, and the girl who sounds like a scaredy cat of nature, and the jokester friend without a date.

The first ten minutes go pretty quickly, as the audience is introduced to the characters through their journey to get to the cabin where everything will progressively unravel. This film seemed as if it was missing a voice throughout it though. “Blair Witch” was the type of film that could be considered applicable to a handful of generations. This film, however, calls out the generation of today with the constant gidgets and gadgets they use, from the GoPros to the memory cards. While it isn’t bad, it can definitely isolate some members of the audience.

The action really kicks off in the film at close to the half hour mark, when one of the group splits off to call 911. As if the film was a slasher film, the beast begins picking off the members of the group one by one. The creative ways of which Sanchez shows the creature pulls even more speculation out of it. The whole creature is show multiple times throughout the film, but in such a way that is completely veiled.

For a modern day film, I think it has what it takes to compete against the other horror fare out there, but it is not truly remarkable, as some of Sanchez’s works have been in the past. I would love to see another film like “Lovely Molly” come from Sanchez. Something other than found footage all at night. Anything other than that.

Would I watch this film again? Maybe. It sits on the fence as being a film I would put on to scare someone- the jump scares are pretty damn good.

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