The Terror Level is High in “Evidence” (Film Review)

EVIDENCE poster art


Opening this week in select cities Evidence makes its way into Los Angeles on a very busy weekend of summer movies.  The crime film should have a pretty good shot at attracting the horror crowed with this razor sharp gore fest of cutting torch savagery.  The thriller has some realistic camera work with most sequences shot with hand held cameras.  If you like your crime films that are explicit with terror, than Evidence is a must see.

The movie opens with a freeze frame revolving motion picture of a mass murder crime scene somewhere in the desert at an abandoned garage.  Victims are lying all around with the police collecting evidence.  Switch to the exterior of police headquarters where Detective Alex Burquez (Radha Mitchell) is giving a press conference where she announces that they have no perpetrator, but will be going over video evidence to solve the crime.

Detective Burquez (Radha Mitchell) Reece (Stephen Moyer) are stunned as they watch the video

Detective Burquez (Radha Mitchell) Reece (Stephen Moyer) are stunned as they watch the video

Breaking away we find Detective Daniel Reece (Stephen Moyer) meeting with Burquez wanting to be on the team of forensic investigators for the case.  After an emotional chat she agrees and the two set out to find out who the killer. The dive into the film found at the scene of the crime that included video cards from the cameras and phones.  When the crack evidence team starts to get closer to the answer, Reece starts to question motive.

The movie gets played out showing footage from the found video cartridge that was partly damaged due to an explosion at the scene of the crime.  As we watch we see on the burnt and scratched film a documentary being shot by Rachel (Caitlin Stasey) a professional documentarian.  She’s making the film on Leann Hoodplat (Nolan Gerard) an aspiring thespian.  The footage moves on showing Leann getting on a bus that’s going to Las Vegas where she hopes to make some contacts.  As Rachel shoots the people getting onto the bus we are introduced to all the characters that will eventually be at the scene of the murders.  When the bus crashes on a desert road the group walks to a nearby deserted garage where we get a forensic view of what takes place.

Detective Reece (Stephen Moyer) interrogates a survivor in Evidence

Detective Reece (Stephen Moyer) interrogates a survivor in Evidence

Director Olatunde Osunsanmi treats us to some very good plot twists and fine acting by Moyer, Mitchell, De Vitto and Stasey who control their characters within the frantic situations at both the forensic lab and the abandoned garage.  While Moyer takes on most of the dialogue at the police station’s lab trying to piece together the mass murder through damaged video, Mitchell puts on a show for the press trying to keep them off balance while she investigates the crime.  Both keep their parts captivating as they struggle with the gruesome task. De Vitto and Stasey find their characters pursued by the killer at the garage with Rachel continuing to film the bloody scene and keeping the terror level in the red zone.

By using personal video to show the crime the cinematography provides a closer look at the crime pulling off a voyeuristic feast for horror fans.  The project is filmed with special cameras that look sometimes professional other scenes amateurish to give it the look of frenzied horror.  Much like the movie Cloverfield where the shaky personal cam was used to perfection, here we find a similar type of movie using the same technique to draw the audience into the chaos and terror of a crime in progress.  While I’m not a huge fan of this kind of filming, I did like this movie as it makes it more realistic than using professional cams with flashbacks to the crime.

Evidence has not been rated by the MPAA, but does contain extreme violence, language and gore.  The scenes of body parts and burned cadavers aren’t too pleasant either.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A nicely horror film with some cool twists.  (C+)  

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Stephen Moyer, Radha Mitchell, Torrey DeVitto, Nolan Gerard Funk, Dale Dickey, Caitlin Stasey, Albert Kuo, Harry Lennix
Directed by: Olatunde Osunsanmi
Genre: Crime, Horror, Thriller
MPAA Rating: Unrated    
Running Time: 1 hr 34 min
Opening Date: July 19, 2013
Distributed by: RLJ/Image Entertainment


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