directed by Eduardo Sánchez
Five youths head up to their uncle’s abandoned cabin for a weekend of fishing, food and frolicking. Driving late at night, they bicker over where the turn off is and whether they are lost or not. The driver, not giving full attention to the road, hits something. He jams on the brakes and a few of the group get out to check the car. The front headlight is destroyed and part of the bumper is mangled. They look back into the darkness and conclude it was a deer. A few moments later they hear a strange howl and rush back to the car. Once at the cabin they experience strange events. Sightings of a dark animal in the woods, missing items and strange howls in the night.
I’d like to compare this briefly with Willows Creek which came out the year before this film. In Willows Creek we hear about Bigfoot being described in several ways, he’s this big, and he’s this strong, he don’t like anyone in these parts of the woods, and so many people have gone missing. Something about that foreshadowing amounts to great suspense and is effective in a found footage movie. In this film, the characters aren’t expecting Bigfoot so it’s a complete shocker to them that they are being stalked. But, what Exists lacks in early suspense-building, it sure makes up for it in climbing action that makes each new scene more tense than the last. Willows Creek had a soft ending which nearly ruined that film for me. Exists has a solid ending and a rather cool one at that.
For me, the film went from slightly creepy, to being nervous for the characters, to sh*tin’ bricks. This is one of the most effective horror films I’ve seen in a long time. We don’t get a good look at the Bigfoot until the end, but when we finally do, it is one nasty looking creature and it’s full of rage. The characters in the cabin act as I think any normal people would in that situation, there’s no ‘hero’ just reluctant volunteers to do what they think would be best. Nothing magically turns out to their spectacular advantage like some other hokey Hollywood films with youths stuck in cabins.
Bigfoot films lend themselves quite well to the found footage style. I find the only drawback to this film is one often sighted for FF films; the camera man just holds onto the camera too long without dropping it and hauling ass out of the situation. In this film it seems to bother me more than others. If you don’t care for found footage films, you probably won’t like this film all that much. It has the usual FF film set-up and informal banter. Aside from that, the film feels realistic enough with believable characters and circumstances. To me this is the best horror film about Bigfoot ever made.
Despite being a found footage film I found it to be a highly effective horror flick.
I’m giving it the rare 5.0 stars for making me yell at the TV screen in the middle of the night.