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For five friends, it was a chance for a summer getaway-- a weekend of camping in the Texas Big Thicket. But visions of a carefree vacation are shattered with an accident on a dark and desolate country road. In the wake of the accident, a bloodcurdling force of nature is unleashed--something not exactly human, but not completely animal-- an urban legend come to terrifying life...and seeking murderous revenge.
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Almost as soon as we push “play” things start getting weird for our protagonists after hitting “an animal of some sort” on their way to a cabin in east Texas. This film wastes absolutely no time (or tact) with subtlety. Just minutes deeper and we don’t just hear its howls, but we make frequent blurry sasquatch sightings.
Despite the abundant evidence of a sasquatch (or several?), this film starts out feeling rather boring. The characters aren’t interesting, the shaky shots of bigfoot aren’t really impressive (or effective), and I just don’t find myself caring about anything going on here.
One bearded vacationer, rather certain from the start of a cryptozoological presence, remains ever prepared, filming everything in hopes of capturing evidence of this large-extremitied hominid. Meanwhile, everyone else doesn’t care or believe—they just want to have a good time.
As things escalate in our opening act (i.e., the first 30-35 min) weak jump scares follow up lame pranks or party shenanigans, and the unsatisfying “action” is so abundant that no actual event ever really matters.
But hold on…is this film about to take a turn for the better?
Reminiscent of Ash’s twisted bridge marooning (Evil Dead 2), our bigfoot sabotages our survivors’ only way out—harpooning their car with a small tree. Bigfoot straight up Jason-Bourne-sprints through the woods in the most satisfying scene of the film so far! Later he gets a hold of one of the girls and it’s aggressively exciting and brutal, even if shaky and goreless, as he slams her ragdoll body around like Hulk whipping Loki. But what’s important to note here is that I think I’m beginning to forgive the boring first 30 minutes of this movie. After that stupid first act, this really picks up and becomes something fun! I’m not going out of my way to recommend this, but I must admit this ended up feeling quite worthwhile.
This film toes the line between horror and Tremors (1990). It’s not nearly as funny (nor does it try quite that hard for comedy), but it relies more on raw physicality than actual scares, terror or tension. Things started out a bit dodgy and the characters were all weak, but director Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project) pulled off an entertaining experience mixing feistiness and intensity.
Overall, if you're not a bigfoot fan, I'd check something else out because this is a little boring. Otherwise, its not the worst and you'll see more of the hairy ape than you want.
I really didn't find any of the characters likable due to the mediocre acting, so I didn't have a reason to root for anyone's survival. To be fair, though, sometimes the acting was decent but usually seemed way over the top. In general, the effects weren't bad, although I wasn't a big fan of the way Bigfoot looked. This was likely because I wasn't interested in the movie from the start, though. I found the film began so-so and progressed rather poorly. It was just too blah for me to care. I actually paused it several times to do other things, and was never in a big hurry to get back to watching the rest.
FYI, many people on here count this as a found footage style of film but there were quite a few parts of the movie that were filmed differently. I would say about 85% – 90% of the movie was done in the found footage style, but there were definitely some parts of the movie that were filmed more like an actual camera man was doing the work. Maybe this won’t bother anyone else, but, to me, it ruined the found footage vibe the movie was going for.
Overall, this movie just seemed like another "dumb friends go somewhere they shouldn't and end up in danger" scenario - one seen many times before, but done far, far better. So, I would say watch it if you are either a big fan of Bigfoot, or just really, really bored.
While there are elements of " Blair Witch" sprinkled in Exists, the movie is a whole different beast. The Bigfoot is shown a lot and there are some very intense action scenes. This Bigfoot looks and acts scary. Without question, Exists has the best Bigfoot creature design and Bigfoot scenes I've ever seen in a movie. You get your money's worth, if you want Bigfoot carnage.
As for the writing and acting...well, it definitely could've been better. There are some cliched horror things that the characters say and do, which is a little annoying ( I.e. They film a Bigfoot and don't think anything about it!?). The movie starts out rather slowly, but shifts gears as soon as the Bigfoot appears.
I'm giving this four stars, based on the Bigfoot scenes and the creature design, but not the writing and characters/acting.
The ending to Exists is pretty cool. Here's hoping for a sequel.