Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 3rd, 2010
Release Date: USA, 2009
Approximate running time: 74 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Director: Dominic Perez
Writer: Dominic Perez
Cinematograpers: Laurel Casillo, Moran Hooper, Ryan Maslyn, Elyssa Mersdorf, Dominic Perez, Mario Valdez, Torrey Weiss
Cast: Gail Cadden, Laurel Casillo, Morgan Hooper, Ryan Maslyn, Zurab Matcharashvili, Elyssa Mersdorf, Torrey Weiss
Evil Things follows in the footsteps of films like The Blair Witch Project, The Last Broadcast and Paranormal Activity. The plot for Evil Things is made up of ‘footage’ which was primarily shot by a group of friends staying at a remote home in the middle of a winter storm. This ‘footage’ pieces together their story and what happened to them. Everything is going fine until they encounter a van with tinted windows that they end up pissing off.
At first this cat and mouse game between the unseen drive and the five friends works extremely well. Once the friends arrive at the remote home in the woods the film starts to fall off with the banter between the five friends not adding much to the story. If anything this section makes portrays them in a spoiled and obnoxious, which makes feeling for them when the shit really hits the fan very difficult.
Pacing wise Evil Things tends to drag for long stretches. The first half of the film does a good job setting things up and building tension. While everything after a scene where the five friends who are lost in the woods, surrounded by darkness and frantically looking for a landmark they recognize. Is where this film peaks and the moments which follow this scene never achieve the level of hysteria present in this scene.
The one area which this film works is the performances from the entire cast who all give credible performances in their respective roles. Considering that this film is set up to be uncovered ‘footage’ that was shot by the five friends who have since disappeared. The rawness of the performances lends themselves well to the documentary visual style of the film. Ultimately Evil Things has an interesting enough premise that in the end is never fully realized.