Exists DVD Review
DVD Review- Exists
Street Date: February 3rd 2015
Technical Specifications: 480P Video, Color, 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio, 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio
Runtime: 81 Minutes
If there is one mythical creature that has yet to be properly translated to celluloid, Bigfoot is certainly it. There is a great Sasquatch movie out there just waiting to be made, trust me, and someday someone will come up with an ingenious way to transfer the legend to the screen. The only one (for me at least) that has ever come close was Hammer Films’ 1957 production of The Abominable Snowman. But Bigfoot aficionados would rightfully argue that the creature depicted in that film is not the same North American Bigfoot creature that myth hunters are craving to be utilized on the big screen.
With Exists, Eduardo Sanchez (co-director of The Blair Witch Project) has crafted yet another (sigh) found footage film, and much like last year’s Willow Creek, it fails to draw the viewer into the story in any way, shape, or form. You know these characters because you’ve seen them time and time again in other (often better) Horror films; a couple of jocks, the stoner videographer, and the free-spirit girls who venture deep into the woods for a weekend of fun, sex, and drugs. Of course almost immediately our little crew is in trouble, having hit some kind of animal on the road to their Uncle’s cabin. They’re not sure what exactly it is at first, but the subsequent nights of terror that follow not so subtly indicate it was a Bigfoot. The ensuing terror is captured via go-pro cameras and handheld camcorders…leaving the viewer to wonder on several occasions why the pursued twenty-something’s keep turning around to get a better look at the beast that follows. The gang is endlessly stalked by the creature, and when it smashes their car to pieces, it appears they’ll be on their own to battle the fearsome Sasquatch.
Exists isn’t completely devoid of memorable moments, with a go-pro tracked chase between the creature and one of our protagonists on a bike standing out as a tense and exciting sequence. The creature effects and makeup are a bit on the cheap side, but decent enough for a film in this budget range. I, for one, am simply tired of the found footage genre and the repetitive tedious formula they seem to follow, and Exists simply doesn’t impress enough to warrant any repeat viewings (some may argue a single viewing would be too much). It doesn’t help that the acting and dialogue is near laughable at times, in addition to the aforementioned fact that us Horror fans have seen this film before: just swap out the creature with (insert generic monster here) and you’ve experienced Exists.
This DVD edition from Lionsgate features decent video quality for a DVD presentation that I’m not sure would have benefitted all that much from an HD upgrade (given the shaky cam found footage style). Like any standard definition experience, the clarity isn’t top notch, but the colors are accurately portrayed and it’s a clean enough print.
The 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track included herein is likely the standout aspect on this release. You may be fooled enough into thinking this was a lossless HD experience as it simply sounds wonderful on your home theater setup. The Sasquatch’s cries in the night and surrounding crackling footsteps in the woods work very well to enhance the jump-scare experience (in the handful of moments this film has).
Lionsgate has provided potential buyers of Exists with select bonus features to accompany this DVD release. Here’s a breakdown of what’s included:
- Audio Commentary- This audio commentary features Director Eduardo Sanchez and Writer Jamie Nash and offers viewers some insight into the making of the film.
- Deleted Scenes– Six deleted scenes are presented here for fans of the film, though beware, you may feel slightly betrayed by the misleading titles. The “alternate ending” is nothing more than the same ending of the film with a different font style for the film’s title…not sure that counts guys! The only one worth watching here is the end of credits Easter egg, which is interesting enough.
- 21 Days in the Woods: Behind the Scenes of Exists– This 30 minute documentary is split into three parts and features the cast and crew in various behind-the-scenes moments from the film. From setting up stunt shots and makeup effects, this half hour is more engaging than the movie itself unfortunately.
- Bringing Bigfoot to Life- A roughly 10 minute featurette detailing the concept design of the creature himself. The original WETA concept drawings are insanely cool, which is a slight bummer as the final product doesn’t quite resemble anything we’re shown (I’m guessing for budgetary reasons).
As you can see from the “Unboxing” pictures below, this DVD edition of Exists from Lionsgate features some very atmospheric artwork featuring Bigfoot, the blue moonlit fog, and the smashed-up car from the film. I’ll give it to Lionsgate, the poster art here really made me interested in seeing the film. On the reverse of the packaging you’ll find a brief plot synopsis, a list of special features, cast and crew credits, and some technical specifications. The interior of the case features artwork on the disc that mimics the cover art as well as a Digital HD copy code insert.
There is certainly a great Bigfoot movie out there just waiting to be made…unfortunately, Exists isn’t it. I’ve grown quite tired of the found footage genre and the repetitive, tedious formula they all seem to follow. Between the laughable acting and dialogue, unimpressive creature design, and a 90-minute show that feels like 3 hours, Exists simply doesn’t impress enough to warrant any repeat viewings. The DVD edition from Lionsgate features decent SD picture quality and impressive 5.1 audio, and fans of the film may enjoy the insight that the special features bring. Unfortunately features and standout audio aren’t enough to recommend the disappointing main attraction. Skip this one.