This is the second movie I’ve covered that’s called Evidence and unsurprisingly it’s also another to add to the found-footage pile. It’s also the third Evidence in the last 3 years. I’m not sure if there’s another one in production for 2014, but come back next year to find out.
The conceit of this one is that we start on a crime scene in the aftermath of an event. The police try to reconstruct the events using cameras that one of the victims has left behind (She’s an aspiring director). We jump back a few days and get to meet our main characters. There’s the Australian wannabe Director, her friend the aspiring actress and her musician boyfriend. They head out on a road trip to Vegas, by bus, where they pick up other passengers along the way. Their last stop is a secluded location out in the desert where the bus crashes and the passengers start to get offed.
We jump back through two periods; between the footage that’s being shot and the efforts of the police as they’re piecing together the clues (Not that there’s a lot to piece together, everything is basically filmed). The movie gets a tad ridiculous in this regard, with so many scenes of people zooming in and applying filters that they become the equivalent of this scene from Super Troopers:
The movie, of course, still suffers from why are you filming this syndrome, though the movie tries to justify it. Even when characters are being attacked they still manage to hold onto the camera for maximum effect. That’s the way these things go though and it does lead to one or two neat moments, like a character being thrust through an explosion in first person mode.
Sadly the footage scenes themselves are either too dark or suffer from ‘damage’ to make it look like they were…well, damaged. It’s an effect which makes it a little harder to watch for prolonged periods of time. Add it to the aforementioned darkness and the fact that found-footage movies aren’t the best framed to start with and you get an oddly neutered effect instead of some admittedly unique kills. To note, there’s only four actual kills on screen, and one of those is shown twice.
The cast are largely dispensable, with some cheap characterisations to make you feel sad when they die. One is a sixteen year old amateur magician who has run away from home. The other is a woman who is estranged from her ten year old son. Your heart will bleed for them I’m sure.
A movie like this depends on the resolution and sadly this doesn’t have much of one. It already strains credulity to begin with but then it aims for some sort of meta-moment (That’s given away very early on by a particularly on the nose line) that it doesn’t really deliver on, and it only gives the most scant explanation while they’re trying to wow you with what you could call the Sixth Sense reveal. Wherein we get flashes of story given new context while intense music plays. They top this off with a final line so cloying and cute that my eyes rolled back so far in my head that I’m still looking at the wall behind me.
Let’s hope for more from next year’s effort.