Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Who Said Hand Held Horror Was Dead?!

***This is a follow up to the post directly under this one. Make sure you read that before you read this!***

Brilliant marketing and a pretty kickass movie to boot. Before I get into what I thought of Evil Things, lets learn a little backstory about it and check out the plot and trailer....

Evil Things is the brain child of Dominic Perez, a former Wall Street investment banker who was recently laid off from his job and decided to turn a negative into a positive and use the opportunity to fulfill his lifelong dream of being a filmmaker. So he started writing and three months later finished the script. After a mere seven days of shooting and one month of editing, Evil Things was fully realized. Although the film came to be in a matter of months, Perez states that it took him 41 years to finally believe that he could do it all. If that's not an inspiration to all the young filmmakers out there, then I don't know what is. Grab your camera and go make your dreams come true. That's exactly what Perez did.

Here's the plot for Evil Things along with the trailer .....

On January 9th 2009, 5 college students left New York City for a weekend in the country. 48 hours later they vanished without a trace. There were no leads and no evidence...until now.

It’s Miriam’s 21st Birthday. As a birthday gift, Miriam’s aunt Gail has decided to lend Miriam her beautiful country house for an entire weekend. Aunt Gail’s country house is amazing. It’s a four bedroom house surrounded by breathtaking mountains and miles and miles of woods. Miriam invites her young college friends Cassy, Mark, Tanya and Leo to join her at the country house for what looks to be the most amazing weekend ever. Of course they all jump at the chance to spend a free weekend in the country, in the middle of nowhere. Miriam’s friends are totally in the mood for a big time party weekend. They’re also anxious to escape the dark and gloomy concrete jungle known as Manhattan. Miriam, Cassy and Tanya bring the food. Mark brings the beer and Leo, the aspiring filmmaker, brings his new video camera. Leo hopes to produce a short movie by documenting every amazing moment of this weekend getaway. Unfortunately, what Leo ends up capturing on camera is not a weekend of peace and tranquility, but a nightmarish descent into pure terror.

I know, I know. Another found footage hand held camera horror flick. We're all getting kind of sick of them, aren't we? Well i'm happy to say that Evil Things is a hell of an effective use of this style of filmmaking and I absolutely loved it. I was hooked from minute one and although nothing much happens for a good portion of the movie, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. It's one of those slow burn genuinely creepy kind of movies where you just know bad things are set to go down at any given moment. It's totally engrossing and it feels a lot "realer" than a lot of the hand held horror movies i've seen of late. The dialogue is so realistic that i'd be completely surprised if any of it was even scripted. You really get the feeling that you're watching real footage of real people. As far as low budget indie horror flicks go, this is by far one of the better ones. And to think there's not even a drop of blood in the whole run time! Further proof that horror need not blood and gore to be effective. Halloween, anyone?

The only complaint whatsoever that I have about the movie is the use of 'scary' musical cues whenever danger is looming. In a movie that a lot of work was put into making it seem like real found footage, it just seemed counter productive. But it's a small complaint and like I said, it's the only one I have.

Perez is currently sending Evil Things out on the festival circuit and seeking distribution for it, which I have no doubt is a matter of time from happening. It just sickens me that out of all the shitty horror movies that get distributed by major companies every day, a movie like this one has no such luck. Unfortunatetly this means that there really aren't many places to see this movie, at least for the time being, but again I can pretty much guarantee that we'll see it popping up at least on DVD within the year. If you ever get the chance to see it, do not pass it up. Dominic Perez is a director to watch out for and I cannot wait to see what he unleashes next.

For more information on Evil Things, head over to the official website, which has all kinds of interesting stuff including videos made by the family members of the missing pleading for their safe returns. Perez really went all out to make this thing seem real and i've gotta give a big kudos to him for that. As I said in the below post, I only wish every filmmaker was this passionate about their work.


Wings said...

Sounds quite interesting! Hopefully it will make it to DVD, at least.

Jennie Boots said...

This sounds awesome! Is this the film that came with the FBI paperwork because that was pretty awesome! I can't wait to see this. Excellent job on the review BTW! =)

Wings said...

On your recommendation, I obtained and watched this movie. I liked it! You can check out my review here, with links back to your review as well!

Johnny said...

Awesome! Glad you liked it and thanks for the link! =)

MW said...

I was awfully glad to find out Netflix added this to their service finally. Just watched it today, and was pretty pleased. My main complaint was also the use of the creepy music bed that randomly starts halfway through the movie. It was much better without it, but if they could have seen Paranormal Activity before finishing the film, they would've seen how much better it could be without the flourish.

However, that's my only real knock.

The scenes in the house were really funny, with the random jokes, mainly from this great actress (when she puts on the wig and "mom voice", I was crying from laughing): Laurel Casillo. She was the most comfortable onscreen, and I'm so surprised her IMDb page is not overflowing (plus, she has that face that prompts those train of thought IMDb clicks to try and figure out what you saw her in before - and then it hit me... here's her twin from another mother).

I love the rare lighthearted moments in horror films, and this movie did that really well.