Directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi
On DVD and TheHorrorShow.TV from 21st April 2014
EVIDENCE is an inventive spin on the modern found footage genre combined with forensic detective drama that wouldn’t look out of place in shows like CSI and the like. The blend of shaky cam from the footage found at the crime scene and fixed camera use at the police headquarters works well together. Convinced that the footage found on camcorders and mobile phones at the scene will provide them with the evidence they need, Detective Burquez and Detective Reese sit through the recorded footage, which shows events prior to the ultimate carnage. The footage plays out for both the detectives and the viewer, and every now and again, the camera switches to the police HQ, where Detective Reese wishes to zoom and highlight certain pieces of film, or ask for replays on sections he thinks contains valuable pieces of information that’ll lead to the killer. This is a fantastic way of engaging the viewer to keep watching, as I neither know what will happen next, in terms of the events leading up to the eventual deaths, nor which piece of evidence Reese thinks he’s found. Like the detectives, I felt that I too was piecing together a puzzle.
As to what happens in the found footage will please horror fans greatly. After a few personal pieces recorded prior to the main event, three friends decide to take a trip to Las Vegas on the bus, with Rachel recording the entire journey on her camera, destined to make the ‘before she was famous’ documentary for her budding actress friend Leann, who’s boyfriend Tyler is also along for the ride. Along the way, they meet other passengers who board the bus, who are visiting Las Vegas for various reasons. Whilst passing through an abandoned truck stop on their way to a final pick-up, the bus crashes leaving the passengers stranded but that’s not the least of their worries. One by one, the passengers are picked off with only the footage and a survivor in the questioning room left to tell the tale.
Stars Radha Mitchell and Stephen Moyer provide the serious backbone this found-footage horror thriller requires as the two detectives Burquez and Reese, respectively. Their presence is sharp and formal in contrast to the hysterical goings-on played out on the projector. Sandy, deserted landscapes, dry from the heat provide bleak hope for the passengers who run in and out of the dilapidated buildings, surrounded by broken down motors and rusty, sharp metal that could do just as good a job as killing the passengers as the mysterious murderer. A mix of young adults, played by Caitlin Stasey, Torrey DeVitto and Nolan Gerard Funk, and older passengers including money-grabbin’ Katrina player by Dale Dickey and The Matrix Reloaded star Harry Lennix as bus driver, Ben, makes for an interesting us and them scenario within the group.
The climax of the film is both surprising and clever, with the film unravelling like a game of pass the parcel. You think it’s ended one minute, then realise it hasn’t the next. I’d liken the ending to another film but I daren’t if I’m to remain unspoilerific.
Horror fans will love the stalk and ‘slash’, or rather ‘burn’, element to the film, with a few gory scenes for genre fans to chew on. Whilst the film can be slow moving at times, and the bloody kills few and far between, the execution is more than satisfying, if sometimes a little gratuitous.
An exciting, refreshing take on what is now an exhausted genre, EVIDENCE is a modern little horror that will get people talking.