Evidence is a film that blends elements of found footage with a more traditional style of filmmaking. I will be the first to admit that when the term found footage is mentioned I cringe. So many films over the past few years have made ill fated attempts at making a quick buck exploiting the genre. It's to the point that it is incredibly hard for me to even give one a chance anymore. Luckily I had no idea what Evidence was even about or how the story was going to be told. The film focuses on some evidence tapes of a group of people that are slain at an abandoned gas station. Stephen Moyer and Radha Mitchell are detectives that are viewing these tapes. Moyer has some sort of checkered past that is implied but never really comes to fruition. Radha is the lead investigator and gives Moyer a chance at helping her work this case.
The explanation of why they are filming this is simple enough and works well throughout the film. One of the hardest things for me to get past when it comes to the found footage aspect is the like ability of the characters. Oddly these characters I actually did care about to a certain extent. This is one of the main reasons the film worked for me. I was constantly entertained with what was happening on screen with the characters. It's so easy to want to turn off a movie like this for me. The fact that I was really intrigued was quite surprising. Many questions are laid before you during the film and just about everything gets explained to your liking or not.
Another one of my favorite aspects of the film was the switch between camera styles. Going from night vision to handheld camera and back to traditional camera on screen was flawless. One never took precedence over the other. This makes each section equally entertaining and purposefully done. This helped tremendously in the moments that made me jump a little and say "Oh Fuck". Not screwing up the overall tone of the film was key. Where most films of the genre ruin a film Evidence excels. Smart directing by Olatunde Osunsami who you may recognize his name from directing another similar film I enjoyed called "The Fourth Kind". If all films that wanted to mix the genre in creative and effective ways could mirror his style maybe we all wouldn't be so burnt out on them.
Our Killer is simply a person in a welding mask and a leather apron. Toting around a welder to torture the victims is the weapon of choice. Watching the killings in night vision is way better than I would expect. One of the scenes plays out brutally as you watch through the camera. Even though you don't see the blood you can feel the despair and horror. Most of the kills are actually shown in regular hand held camera style. When each victim is taken down the investigators go back and forth between the tapes to find different aspects of the killings. Once again the fluidity of these scenes is not jarring to the viewing experience.
In the end Evidence was a nice change of pace for an oversaturated genre. It does have its flaws but none of which bothered me too much except the sound from time to time bothered me when cameras switched. It would be super loud during intense moments and sometimes not. I guess I was so damn happy I didn't hate it that I didn't care. It probably helped that this film did have a budget to work with so it seems it was well spent. At the moment Evidence is a nice little gem in the sea of trash that is the found footage genre.