Director: Dominic Perez
Starring: Gail Cadden, Laurel Casillo, Morgan Hooper, Ryan Maslyn and Elyssa Mersdorf
Evil Things (2009)
If you combine Ils (Them), The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity with a really bad movie, what do you get? I don’t know. What do you usually get upon sprinkling chocolate chips all over elephant shit? If you answered “a sophisticated chocolate pudding” you, sir, are incorrect. This is, however, more or less the recipe for making Evil Things, which isn’t delicious and is two parts things and only one part evil.
Evil Things is every mock documentary ever made. A group of five friends head out to a remote country house to celebrate a 21st birthday. So remote is this house that there is no cell phone reception. So remote that they still use VHS machines. En route a mysterious black rape-van starts following them, honking and driving by diners slowly and menacingly like a Celine Dion song. One of the friends is an aspiring film maker and has recently bought a brand spanking new camera, which he constantly shoves in the faces of his friends. He captures everything on film, and it is his footage that is later mysteriously mailed to the FBI, whose missing person evidence tape we are supposedly watching.
After much merriment the two boys and three girls decide to go for a hike in the local snow-filled woods. They get lost, and are unable to figure out where they came from, in spite of the thick layer of snow adorning the ground on a sunny and wind still day. Finally, after being frightened by breaking sticks and other scary sounds, they find their way back to the house in the dark of night, freezing their balls off. I guess pills that fix stupidity still haven’t been invented. Later a mysterious knock delivers a VHS tape to their door, and, to their horror, it’s from the guy in the rape van earlier. Holy stalker, Batman, could their adventure just be beginning?
Evil Things is written, directed and produced by first time film maker Dominic Perez, and it shows. There was plenty of opportunity for creepiness in this movie and they blew it. Hard. All over the place. And this movie isn’t even called Deep Throat. The dialogue is terrible, and feels forced, and the film-maker friend angle is unrealistically overplayed. This guy keeps filming no matter what happens and annoyingly focuses on his friends’ faces when other more interesting things are happening. The found footage also features some eerie feature film type music, which I guess the stalker(s) could have edited in, but just makes the whole thing seem silly. There is not a single proper scare to be had. As a horror movie Evil Things is a failure. All the movies that Evil Things tries so hard to be are vastly superior to it.
If you want to watch a creepy home invasion movie where the invaders make funny noises, watch Ils instead. If you want to watch a boring movie about people getting lost in the woods and swearing, watch The Blair Witch Project. If you want a movie about weird things happening on hand held cameras try Paranormal Activity. I can only recommend Evil Things for people who think The Ils Witch Activity would make a good movie, and then only if you liked the worst parts of each of those movies.
I give Evil Things 3 out of 10 signal strength bars… and a weird clicking noise in this review.