Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Eduardo Sanchez
Cast: Samuel Davis, Dora Madison Burge, Roger Edwards, Chris Osborn
What are the chances of stumbling upon an excellent found footage film about the mythical bigfoot? They’ve got to be slim… which makes Eduardo Sanchez’s (The Blair Witch Project) latest, Exists that much more remarkable. This is an absolutely amazing flick! It’s easily one of, if not the most impressive found footage flick to hit the market this year (for my money The Houses October Built deserves consideration), and even more shocking is the fact that it may just be the best bigfoot flick, ever.
The story follows a handful of friends who head out into the rural thicket of Texas to spend a weekend partying like lunatics. Bryan’s the big film aficionado, insistent on capturing everything, all in the quest to pump out some insanely popular youtube vids. His Go Pros and assorted gear immediately come in handy when his brother Matt, who’s driving, hits something en route to the cabin. Of course it’s filmed, and a revisit to that footage turns up something strange: a massive beast that looks an awful lot like a sasquatch. After arriving at the cabin the group immediately run into trouble, because it was a sasquatch they hit, and apparently, it’s pissed off at their lack of road courtesy. What ensues is a battle between man and beast, and if you’re familiar with the fabled bigfoot, and more importantly, its rumored dimensions, you can probably guess that man doesn’t fare too well in this encounter.
There are a few nice spins in the story, and a few decisions from Sanchez and screenwriter Jamie Nash that prove both surprising and gratifying. For the sake of an enthralling viewing experience those details will remain unmentioned, but trust this, you’re going to see a couple things you’ve never seen in a found footage flick, believe it or not. Those surprises elevate the film, but so does the energy in the production. And trust me, this one is damn near overflowing with energy. You want to see a charismatic flick? Perhaps to erase the memory of all the dull found footage movies you’ve seen? Then you should tune into Exists, you won’t be bored and you will remember what cinematic charisma looks and feels like.
The characters in the pic aren’t necessarily exclusive winners. Elizabeth is a bit of a cutout, and Todd makes a few preposterous decisions, but for the most part, this group holds their own. Matt’s a quality leader, Dora’s a likable lady with a lovely look and Bryan is a certified standout. Much like The Cabin in the Woods, the stoner really livens up the party and adds a very human element to the film. All in all, there are a few FF movies out there that showcase stronger ensembles, but not many. This little group ranks rather high in that department, and not because Bryan’s busy blowing smoke in everyone’s face.
The bottom line is this, Exists is a movie you want to see. It’s a found footage feature that gives viewers a very heavy dose of very real horror. This isn’t one of those stinkers that waits until the final three minutes to reveal the antagonist, we see plenty of the bigfoot in this one. And the savage series of events (and awesome look of the creature, by the way) that unravel from the midway point on will completely hold your attention. It’s just really well-paced, and really generous in regards to true shocks. Sanchez still has it as a filmmaker, and he proves that if anyone is going to tackle found footage, it ought to be him. There are an awful lot of directors out there who could take some helpful notes.
Watch it, the first chance you get!