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Evidence (2013)

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Plot Summary:
"A detective hunts down a killer using video footage shot by the victims of a massacre at an abandoned gas station."

Review by
John Townsend
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Review Date: 26 July 2013 My Rating: out of 5


As one of a dwindling group still hopeful that the found footage sub-genre will throw up some interesting films I approach any film of this type with a mixed sense of expectation and trepidation. Fortunately Evidence from director Olatunde Osunsanmi has enough intrigue and style to keep the audience interested.

The film opens with the discovery of the remains of a murder spree at a long abandoned filling station in the middle of nowhere. Recovered from the site are various devices showing partially fire damaged video footage. Tasked with putting the footage together and trying to figure out what happened are detectives Reese (Stephen Moyer) and Burquez (Radha Mitchell). As they delve into the remnants of cameras and mobile phones they discover a strange and complicated mystery.

The majority of the footage is shot by Rachel (Caitlin Stasey), an aspiring documentary filmmaker who is following her actor friend Leann (Torrey DeVitto) on her cross country bus journey to a new job. On the bus with them are various curious characters and Leann's boyfriend Tyler (Nolan Gerard Funk). As is the way of things the bus gets diverted to the filling station, crashes and leaves its human cargo stranded and lost. As tensions rise and arguments rage they realise that they are gradually being picked off by a serial killer and suspicion falls on each of them.

Evidence puts a different, if not completely original, slant on the found footage theme. To explain why would be to reveal too much but it would be fair to say that enjoyment of the film as whole would be determined on your enjoyment and appreciation of the ending. The majority of the film is the usual mix of inventive deaths, screaming and running interspersed with scenes of the detectives trying to work out what is going on. Different suspects are presented and then either killed or discounted and even then it isn't until the final scenes that the truth is revealed.

The performances are generally strong throughout with Stasey and DeVitto the stand outs, bringing a sense of desperation and fear to their roles. The direction is good but there are times when the action on screen becomes a little confusing and it takes a moment to catch up with what is going on, although as the film is primarily set at night this may also have something to do with it.

There are some issues but they can generally be ignored if you are enjoying the film. Some of the scenes are a little convoluted and contrived and when you do know the truth then you may question one or two plot points. But these are minor and if you approach Evidence with a certain amount of good will then it will return it.

This is a good, Saturday night horror / thriller that will keep you guessing and these days, that's no bad thing.

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