The feature film debut of writer/producer/director Dominic Perez, Evil Things is a movie of moments. Moments where you might get the creeping chill going down your spine. However, those moments are few and far between. So the overly dull and familiar elements of the movie end up dominating.
A found footage horror, we’re watching the recovered footage of five college students to disappeared while on a trip to the Catskills.
The trip is to celebrate one of the group’s birthday who has been given the use of her Aunt’s country home for the weekend. She invites four friends, one who wants to be a film-maker so brings his camera along to film everything.
On route in heavy snow, the group are bothered on the road by a van that constantly honks its horn at them. When they allow it to overtake, it purposely slows down and so on. Eventually they get away from it but run into it again at a gas station and later at a diner.
Having had enough and suitably scared, one gets out to confront the driver, but the van drives off quickly. That seems to be the end of it as the group arrive at the house and settle in for a weekend of partying.
Of course, that’s not actually the case though as strange events begin to occur around the house. Culminating in a video tape being left on the doorstep for them. What do they see when they watch it? Themselves. Being filmed first from the interior of the van that was following them all the way up to them being filmed as they slept.
Whoever this person is, they have been inside, and they’re not done yet.
What Evil Things does well is ramp up the tension, deliver the feeling of isolation the group have at the house and the feeling of no control. Put yourself in their shoes? What would you do?
On that front it’s a realistic found-footage tale. However, that can’t forgive what is a far too familiar story, unconvincing acting and even worse dialogue. Many of the character’s interactions can best be described as painful. Taking you out of the realism of the movie every single time. You’ll beg for them to shut up just so you can revel in the tension.
Then we have the common issues that surround found footage, most prominent in the latter parts of the movie. Expected as that’s when things get more frantic but not enjoyable to watch at all. It’s not the worst culprit of these tropes and early on, it’s actually quite competently filmed but you’ll be sick of it by the end. Especially as the film does begin to drag on and on.
The Final Score - 5/10