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Evil Things (2009)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Evil Things (2009) This dvd came in a clever package, complete with a letter from the FBI. At first I thought, "Oh crap, they're finally on to me", but then realized it was the gimmick for EVIL THINGS. This dvd is supposed to be "The artifact"/evidence in a missing person's case.

The dvd begins with a group of five friends who drive out of New York City to Woodstock, in the Winter, to celebrate the 21st birthday of one of them, Miriam. She is driving. The entire story is told from the perspective from the camera, which is operated mostly by one person. On the road a black van passes them, then slows down, so they have to pass it. Then it does this again. In fact, when they all stop at a roadside diner to get a bite to eat they think they see the same van, which puts them all on edge. Then, they finally make it to the house they are staying at, which is isolated in the middle of the woods. But someone may have followed them....

The next day they decide to go hiking and get lost in a scene that's a bit too much like BLAIR WITCH. They all freak out and think someone is after them. Fortunately, they left on all the lights in the house and get back there safely. Once inside, the phone rings but no one answers when they pick up. Then there's a knock on the door. No one is there, though they left a wrapped package. It's a videotape. They play it and see themselves on camera, from the point-of-view of whoever was watching them inside the van. Then it shows footage of them all sleeping in their beds....

The challenging thing about these faux documentary movies is making it seem natural and not forced, with both the performances and the situations, and in this EVIL THINGS succeeds. I really felt as if I was watching some home movies and the acting was completely naturalistic. The bit when one of the women was impersonating the camera guy's mother and asking him if he was taking condoms on the trip is hilarious. The soundtrack is effective and creepy but if this was an actual tape, shot live, there would be no background music.

After the first hour the movie radically departs and goes to a whole new set of characters, students making a film in Central Park, which is entirely needless and didn't do anything for the story other than add a boring ten minute epilogue. Otherwise, the movie would have been only 60 minutes.

directed by Dominic Perez

read the interview with the director in the interview section

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