Exhibit A is a different kind of horror movie. A horror that deals with the psychological issues that come from life’s increasing pressures. A found-footage movie that promises an original take on the sub-genre. However, it ends up being just like every other…except this is easier to watch.
The plot surrounds the King family. Husband & wife, Andy (Bradley Cole) & Sheila (Angela Forrest) & their two teenage children Judith (Brittany Ashworth) & Joe (Oliver Lee). Judith has just received a replacement handheld camera so uses it to document her family’s life as well as spying on the next-door neighbour.
The family seem happy, even more so when Andy gets a promotion at work. This means their planned move to the seaside can finally take place. We see all this through the lens of the camera & instantly something appears off about Andy. He’s hiding a secret, a terrible secret that when revealed threatens to tear the family apart.
The less said about the story, the better although the idiotic DVD cover gives way too much away effectively neutering the ending. This is a movie all about building tension towards it’s gripping finale & it does it so well, mostly.
The King family are a mixed bunch of actors. Bradley Cole as Andy is the standout of the bunch & it is depressing to see him slip further & further as the movie goes on. One particular scene at a neighbourhood party sees him dancing like a crazy person after an uncomfortable confrontation. The camera holds on him for such a long time as everyone awkwardly stares.
Another scene sees him getting angrier & angrier at Joe who fails to set up an embarrassing fall correctly for the camera. Why? So, they can submit the tape to a clip show & earn some money. It’s all very uncomfortable to watch even though Andy’s secret isn’t fully revealed until near the end. Although it does becomes fairly obvious once Judith discovers a bag full of scratch cards hidden in the shed.
It’s an original idea wrapped up in an un-original format (found-footage) & rarely bores. The only time it doesn’t quite hit is with scenes revolving around Judith & her obsession with the next-door neighbour. It’s not a revelation when she is outed as being gay as the film goes to great lengths to make it so obvious!
The indie style of the movie works well with the story content. The gloomy British weather casting a constant dark feel to proceedings. Those hoping for a happy ending would be best looking elsewhere. Exhibit A is a harrowing watch, one that will leave you feeling quite despondent afterwards.
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