Reviews: Exists

Shayne weighs in with his review of Exists. 

"Bigfoot listen to Van Halen.
Might as well jump."
As a mythical creature and the focus of countless folklore tales, the Bigfoot monster has gained quite a bit of fame in the film world recently. Good ol' Sasquatch was the star of Bobcat Goldthwait's lackluster Willow Creek. And now we have Eduardo Sanchez’s (The Blair Witch Project) take on the famous monster.

There are quite a few things I like about this film right from the get go. The characters blend well together. This creates a believable friendship dynamic within the group. While it’s a standard “group of friends go into the woods” storyline, our actors work so well with each other that it’s easy to brush aside that we’ve witnessed this story countless other times. 

The way Sanchez addresses how the characters go about filming their trip is also impressive. The piece doesn’t take the usual path in which one character in the group angers everyone by never putting the camera down. Multiple cameras are used, including a couple of GoPro's. When they’re all put together, the result is a beautiful and cohesive found footage package. Mr. Sanchez is a true pioneer in the genre and he certainly still knows how to work it. The Bigfoot action starts almost immediately which sets an eerie tone for the whole trip without having a long and often unnecessary backstory.

"Don''t be scared of squatchyface.
I'll protect you."
As with most found footage films, the sound design can make or break the entire project – here it’s neither terrible nor super impressive. Many of the sound effects, including our creatures vocals, lean a little bit on the cheesy side and don’t create that sense of dread you would expect to feel as a large mythical beast is terrorizing your vacation. Sanchez has also changed found footage up a little bit when it comes to the revealing of the creature. Here, audiences actually get large doses of the creature complete with a few close up shots. The makeup department succeeded in making the creature look menacing enough to put some terror into viewers.

My one true gripe with the film is that all around it’s just not really scary. After nearly wetting my pants during Blair Witch and Lovely Molly, I just can’t help being slightly disappointed here. That being said, Exists is a welcome return to the found footage genre for Eduardo Sanchez and it’s easy to tell that he feels at home here.

-Shayne McGuire