Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Sloppy, unused potential
I don’t get it, ladies and gentlemen. I am a huge fan of True Blood. Everyone in the show is magnificent, the direction is off the charts…it’s really something else generally speaking. Obviously, when I heard a movie coming out had not one, but two cast members from True Blood in a movie (Stephen Moyer, Dale Dickey), everything I knew about the show had my expectations running high. At the same time, Moyer also played in The Barrens, which is also a film I really did not like. It seems apart from True Blood, the man either can’t act or can’t find a decent role. So, the question becomes, what was so bad about Evidence?
First of all, let me try my hardest to explain the plot. Basically, the film opens up right after a big massacre goes down at an abandoned gas station. Cool? Well Detective Reese (Moyer) is skilled in video evidence, also referred to as “the unblinking eye”. Turns out, this massacre turned up a number of video cameras at the scene that captured the grisly day on footage. So the cops press play and watch the footage, hoping it will help track down a killer. By the way, them sitting there watching the footage is about the extent to what they actually do in the film. Tantalizing.
I am getting close to having a degree in Criminal Justice, believe it or not, and my current class in school has actually spoken about video evidence, and how crucial it is to a case. Believe it or not, that was my main interest to see this film. Yes, it was more or less a found-footage film, and we’ll get to that in a second, but I watched this solely on the fact that it just sounded great. In reality, video evidence can truly be a fascinating and thrilling experience, at least in my opinion. Forensic science intrigues me…but there was no evidence to really see in this film. I guess the video footage itself can be considered evidence, but the case shown was so cheesy and poorly written; it wasn’t even remotely believable.
To escape your typical found-footage genre, Director Olatunde Osunsanmi borrowed an idea from his earlier film, The Fourth Kind, and blended typical Hollywood cheese with the found footage. Now, I liked The Fourth Kind more, because it did more than blend these two ideas together. It actually tried to convince the audience that the found footage was case files and the Hollywood stuff was only reenactments…unique idea. Evidence did something closer to V/H/S and just had the Hollywood actors watch the videos. Then, it tried to push the idea of a stereotypical madman going after a group of people for no apparent reason other than to kill them. I have never been so bored in my life watching a horror/thriller.
Now, on a technical level, it gets worse. Like practically any other found-footage film out there, the video always messes up at the most opportune times. I can appreciate the fact that they explained this through the use of fire damage, but no one is being fooled here. Next…the use of “night vision”. No one, and I mean no one, is going to believe the night vision is really night vision. In fact, most people will be able to immediately explain what it was. It was a regular scene in black and white, but with the colors of the picture inverted (black is white, white is black, etc)…if anyone even understands what night vision is, will know how fake that looks. If I can mimic the effect at home in a matter of seconds, someone was terrible at their job.
These characters are just terrible. Not a single soul watching this film will likely care about anyone in the movie, or even care about the “crimes” being committed at this gas station. I only give the film 13% because I truly love the idea of realistically going through video footage for markers that help solve a crime. They butchered that idea in Evidence, and it just came off as a disappointment.