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directed by Dominic Perez
USA 2009

 

It's Miriam's (Elyssa Mersdorf) 21st birthday and her four friends Tanya (Torrey Weiss), Cassy (Laurel Casillo), Mark (Morgan Hooper), and aspiring filmmaker Leo (Ryan Maslyn) are joining her for a week at her vacationing aunt's snowbound country home. As if traveling for hours in a snowstorm were bad enough, they are also stalked by a tinted van which nearly drives them off the road and then follows them through town. Frazzled, they arrive at the house only to find that the power is not working, fortunately Miriam's Aunt Gail (Gail Cadden) drops by to provide a false scare and turn on the juice. The next day they go exploring and get lost in the woods, not making it back to the house until well after nightfall. Their dinner is disturbed by constant phone calls (with no one on the other side of the line) and a videotape that turns up on the doorstep. The tape appears to be photographed from inside the van that has been following them. The group are even more disturbed when the video not only shows that their stalker has been peeking in through the windows, but has also been in the house when they were asleep. They decide to be smart and hightail it out of their only to discover that their car is missing. When the phone goes dead and the power goes out, they realize that barricading themselves in the house may not sufficiently protect them from their unseen assailant. For the most part, EVIL THINGS is a well-made film. Comparisons to PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (seemingly self-slamming doors) and QUARANTINE (night vision ending) are rather facile (it's pretty obvious that THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT is the film's main inspiration, along with perhaps ILS/THEM). The actors seem to improvise well (except for the usual half-hearted "enough with the camera" comments to the aspiring filmmaker character who views everything through a video camera that does not seem to require recharging), none of the characters have "victim" stamped across their foreheads, and their sometimes jerky behavior is mostly well-motivated. After a nice build-up, the film stagnates a little with the long sequence in the snowy woods, but picks up once they get back to the house. The film next stumbles with the interjection of distracting underscore at the point where the group view the videotape that appears on their doorstep (it seems odd to have music on found footage, but there is a reason). While it gets some good mileage out of the darting flashlights and frantic, roaming POV camera, the film's stalk and chase climactic sequence is cut short (wasting the opportunity to wring suspense out of the fates of three of the five victims). The film runs 86 minutes but the end credits start at roughly 75 minutes and are intercut with the stalker's camera footage. This is an interesting concept, and it would have been great had the footage offered any new clues, but all of the footage during this sequence is the stuff we've already seen on the videotape. The five minutes sequence before the end credits of the stalker apparently surreptitiously photographing other student filmmakers in Central Park is atmospheric but feels like padding. While not the sleeper pic it would like to be, it is an interesting if not successful debut.

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release: 11 July 2011 (USA)

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DVD Review: Inception Media Group (screener) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Inception Media Group

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:26:06
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.83 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Inception Media Group

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Trailer (16:9; 1:50)

DVD Release Date: August 9th, 2011
screener

Chapters 1

 

Comments

Inception Media's screener features the trailer and the feature only. I am unsure of how representative the watermarked, interlaced presentation is of this HD production. The audio is 2.0 stereo, but the press release says the final disc will feature 5.1 audio. No extras are confirmed at this point.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Inception Media Group

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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