Evidence - Released on DVD

Four American friends go on camping trip in the hills. One of them, Brett (Brett Rosenberg), is making a documentary about the experience, little knowing what an horrific experience lies in store for them. Brett, Ryan (Ryan McCoy), Abi (Abigail Richie) and Ashley (Ashley Bracken) arrive at the foothills in a robust recreational vehicle, but then set out on foot to pitch their tents deeper in the country. Strange creature noises disrupt their relaxing break, but the fear really starts to kick in when they spy a bizarre ape-like beast lurking in a valley.

As we witness though Brett’s ‘found’ footage, his movie-making ambitions start to aggravate the other three, and his insistence on tracking the animal down naturally leads them into grave danger, drawing them to its attention. That night, scared out of their wits, they decide they will leave in the morning, but by then one of them has vanished and the search party uncovers horrors none of them expected and most likely will not survive. Some evidence is better left undiscovered...

Evidence comes to DVDFrom my perspective, the interest curve for “Evidence” would be like an italic ‘N’. Director Howie Askins gets the ball rolling very quickly and - unlike “The Blair Witch Project” - the scares start roughly 15 minutes into the film. The cast prove to be relatively likeable, other than Brett who gets on their wicks and ours by relentlessly thrusting the camera in people’s faces all the time, disregarding their angry or distressed pleas.

It looks like the endeavour is going pear-shaped when you wonder whether the movie has peaked too soon; perhaps twenty minutes are spent witnessing the hapless characters frantically and aimlessly rushing about, fleeing the creature and not really moving the plot along much. Fortunately things do pick up again after that, and it is at that point that the story and action go berserk, exciting and confusing the audience in equal parts. The confusion serves to heighten the sense of unease, though, so we will allow it on this occasion!

I cannot reveal the course the plot takes (assuming I understood it correctly) without spoiling the ending, though I would recommend that those who are potentially interested in watching “Evidence” avoid the trailer. It does not necessarily give the twist away but it does reveal more than I believe it needs to to draw horror fans in.

The movie is not the most frightening I have ever seen (and certainly does not inspire the final, crippling dread of TBWP), though the combination of a few good jump shocks, some false alarms and then the rampant chaos at the end serve to deliver an unusual and partially unsettling genre experience that I would recommend, even to those a little jaded by the current deluge of found-footage films.

The DVD includes a trailer for itself and also for half a dozen other independent horror movies, and that is your lot as far as special features go. It is a bit of a shame given the audience’s likely interest in what the makers were trying to achieve. As a result, the asking price is a little high but initial online discounts make it a much more tempting proposition.

“Evidence" (2011) is released on DVD on 12 March 2012, courtesy of Showbox Home Entertainment. The main feature has a running time of 76 minutes approx, carries a ‘15’ certificate and retails for £17.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

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