I was a little kid that spent a lot of time playing in the woods and, also, spent a lot of time reading about monsters. That combination led to a very real fear of encountering Bigfoot during my adventures through the forests. I've not had many "phobias" in life, but for a brief time I was afraid of the Sasquatch and that's led to a quest to find a good Bigfoot movie. One that's really yet to be truly satisfied. I'm not sure what it is that prohibits directors from being able to make a classic Bigfoot film.
This latest attempt from one of the minds behind BLAIR WITCH succeeds on a few small levels, but fails on many more. I'll start with the cast, who are unlikable, amateurish and cliché all at the same time. If there was a lesson to be carried from BLAIR, it's that part of the success of that film is how real those characters seemed to be and how much the viewer felt terrified for them. In EXISTS the cast is just another gang of teens straight from the horror movie blueprint of archetype characters, including the newer requisite of the stoner hero.
The biggest failure of the movie is its' use of found footage aspects. I am by no means a hater of found footage and if you'll look at any of my more than 100 reviews on this site, you'll see me often give fair love to many newer found footage horror films. The failure of this film, though, is that it's used so haphazardly as to almost feel tacked-on. There is no consistency in the seeming switches from found footage to standard third person. There are shots that could not possible make sense in terms of being from character POV. They needed so much to push past the limitations of found footage that they should have just abandoned the concept altogether rather than trying to present on inconsistent, illogical take on the genre.
What saves it, for me, though, is the monsters themselves. The film is a mess from a technical point of view and fails on several levels, but the monster itself works. There are some moments of real terror as the monster pursues its' victims. I like the gradual introduction of the beast, slowly teasing the audience with more glimpses of the monster as the movie proceeds until the final reveal. I was thankful, as a horror geek, to get that last great monster shot. Many movies would have robbed us altogether, more would have given us far too much badly crafted monster. This movie reveals just enough and it's an impressive makeup, crafting a monster that both adheres to traditional Bigfoot imagery while creating a new look not based on HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS.
If you want to get a bowl of popcorn and while away 90 minutes on a decent horror film, give it a shot. If you want to play amateur critic and take notes on a movie's failures, then you're going to find plenty here.
Review by TheRedDeath30 from the Internet Movie Database.