Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Exists Review

This year has given us a bit of a resurgence in the "killer Bigfoot" genre, and I'm perfectly ok with that. The two standouts in question have been Bob Goldwaith's fantastic "Blair Witch-esque" Willow Creek, and ironically, Blair Witch co-director Eduardo Sanchez's Exists. Where as Willow Creek takes a less is more, suspenseful route, and ends up being a quite successful creepfest, Exists is a straight up creature feature. Not only do we get to see Bigfoot, but we get to see Bigfoot unchained, rage filled, and ready to wreck shit.

As with most creature flicks, Exists is fairly light on plot, which works just fine as the real reason we paid the money was to watch a big monster rip some people to shreds. The story follows a group of "extreme" twenty-somethings on their way to a secluded cabin owned by the uncle of one of the group. They plan a weekend of sex, drugs, and drinking, and the filming of bike tricks for their Youtube channel. Things get off to a bad start when they hit something with a car. At first they assume it was a deer, but before long they realize it may have been much more than that when they're running from their lives from a sasquatch on the rampage.

I admit, I dug Willow Creek a lot, but when I want to watch a Bigfoot movie, Exists is the kind of flick I want. The sasquatch was full on terrifying, especially during the chase scenes. His attacks are that of a wounded wild animal, Vicious, brutal, and merciless. He's not entirely without purpose though, as you learn at the end, which I won't spoil here. There's a reason the sasquatch is so dead set on getting to these kids, and honestly if you're like me, you'll be rooting for him. This is one of the most annoying group of kids in a horror flick in recent memory, and probably my least favorite part of the movie. There isn't a single one of them to root for. All your stereotypes are here in the ugly, groan inducing glory. The jock, the stoner, the slut, you get the idea. None of the actors are particularly bad, although they certainly aren't good either. On the other hand, Brian Steele is great as the sasquatch.

As a found footage flick, Exists works well enough, with minimal nausea inducing shaky effect. Thankfully Sanchez doesn't shy away from giving us plenty of good looks at the sasquatch. There isn't a ton of blood, but it's there. This is a sasquatch though, and not a werewolf, so that's to be expected. There is a good mixture of practical effects and cgi, but the computer generated stuff is done well enough that it doesn't  take you out of the film. If you hate found footage movies though, this one won't be changing your mind.

For fans of killer Bigfoot creature features, Exists is a more than worthy entry in the genre. It doesn't break the mold, or really do anything to set itself apart. It gets off to a bit of a slow start, but if you stick with it, you get a solid, fun monster movie with a cool looking creature, some good kills, and an annoying cast that will have you rooting for the bad guy. I don't know about anybody else, but for me, that's a recipe for success. Check this movie out.

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