I finished watching "Evil Things", a film written and directed by Dominic Perez, about 2 hours ago now and I am still scratching my head about it. And not in a "perplexed over the multi-layered sociological implications of what this film had to say" kind of way, or anything like that. I'm scratching my head wondering just how the hell Mr. Perez thought he had a finished film here. I'll try to keep this review spoiler-free, but the truth is, I know about as much about this movie having seen the whole thing as any of you out there who haven't watched it yet.
"Evil Things" was obviously made, at least in part, to appeal to fans of the "Paranormal Activity" movies, and to the studios who make them. There are obvious grabs at setting up a franchise here. This is another "found amateur footage" movie and the film closes with the explicit suggestion that what happens to one group of unfortunate young people will certainly befall another. Which would have been a lot scarier to me if I had been able to work out exactly WHAT happened to the first group, who I spent the whole film watching. All I can ascertain is that they were followed, they got lost a lot, and then "bad stuff" happened to them. I get the whole idea of trying to leave a decent amount to the audience's imagination, so they can sort of scare themselves in their minds. It can be effective, and it can help each viewer have a slightly personalized experience with a film. But you really can't keep almost EVERYTHING vague. Why does this person want to terrorize people with cameras? We don't know. Is this person a human, alien, animal, vegetable or mineral? We don't know. Are principal characters dead or merely M.I.A.? We don't know. Why is everyone screaming? Oftentimes, we don't know. Why is the movie called "Evil Things"? By film's end, we STILL don't know!!!All this distracting vagueness is sad, because there are actually some pretty decent characters here. The only potive marks I can give this movie stem from the fact that the young men and women who comprise the cast are not despicable human beings, which can seem like a rare thing for us horror fans. They don't JUST party and have sex. They care about each other and display some bravery. That said, they also do some stupid things, like leaving public places where there is relative safety and returning to the dark, icy, secluded roads they already know they are being followed on. I feel for these mostly unknown actors, who really do give it their all, straining against a greatly underwritten script. But there is mply not enough here to add up to a satisfying film experience. A scattering of eerie moments never add up to any sort of payoff, there are long stretches of absolute boredom that more plot could have filled, and the whole thing just becomes irritating. I give "Evil Things" 2 out of 5 stars.