Evil Things (2009)
[Gail Cadden, Laurel Casillo, Morgan Hooper, Ryan Maslyn, Elyssa Mersdorf]
I heard about this film on another blog, Freddy in Space, by Johnny Boots. He loved it, so I took a chance on it.
First off, this film hasn't been released yet. Johnny received a 'screener copy', as I did. And it arrives in quite the interesting packaging. The yellow envelope has a return address of a USDOJ Agent. Inside is a plastic "evidence bag" containing the DVD and a business letter from the FBI, both with information concerning the events seen on the DVD included, which is supposed to have been sent to the FBI anonymously.
Written and directed by Dominic Perez, the movie is about five friends who are heading off together to one friend's aunt's home, a way-off-the-beaten-path house in the woods. They are going there to celebrate said friend's 21st birthday.
On the trip up, things get a bit creepy when they keep seeing the same van on their journey. Is he following them? Or are they being paranoid?
Once they finally arrive at the house, they put the van out of their thoughts and enjoy a night of partying. The next day they almost get lost in the woods, letting their impatience and fear get the better of them.
Back at the house, they feel safe once more. But are they?
The film dragged a little bit, in some of the overly long scenes between the 'action'. But, there is also something to be said for the build up of calm and normalcy, which is felt by the characters as well as the audience. Sort of the old "just when you thought it was safe" bit.
Sometimes, especially in the very dark, night scenes, the hand-held cam technique can be too much for me. I don't know what I am seeing (or not seeing) and it can be confusing. That said, it may be more an issue I have then other people do. And maybe the confusion is part of the whole experience. Feeling what the characters feel, the unknown and the fear.
All in all, this is a pretty good movie for a lower-budget indie production. My interest was held throughout most of the film, and I was anxious to see what was going to happen to the characters. The end could have lasted a bit longer, to me, but that is just a minor quibble.
When/if this is released in theaters or on DVD, it would be interesting to see what changes are made. As it is, it's a good little film, something different and worth a viewing. And hey, the promo-packaging material is pretty fun stuff!
Evil Things Official Site