The Cryptid Crypt: Exists

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Is it even possible to do a found footage film anymore without including the Supernatural, or Bigfoot? These two subject have pretty much dominated the medium in recent years, and aside from creative standouts like the VHS series, most filmmakers seem content with this route. I’ve reviewed a total of 3 FF style ‘Squatch-fests for this column, and for the most part, they tend to be the same. A small group goes looking for Bigfoot, stumbles across him, still acts skeptical, runs, cries and films in equal measure. All of these films seem to offer more questions about Sasquatch than answers, and heaven fucking forbid we get a good look at the beast! That is, until Eduardo Sanchez returned to the woods with his camera to remind us all how it is done.

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Sanchez, after co-directing and writing The Blair Witch Project, is Found-Footage Royalty. His work on BW, VHS2 segment “A ride in the park”, and now Exists, shows a skilled hand at work, maximizing the medium and adding believability and practicality to the shots. It makes perfect sense that our camera-man won’t stop filming, He set out to make a “kick-ass YouTube video”, so his handheld is constantly running, and Go-Pro cameras are strapped to nearly everything that you could think of.

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The best and worst of Sasquatch films often has the same problem, The creature looks like shit. Not only does Exists bring a realistic, believable looking Sasquatch to the screen, but they let us see juuuuuust enough to appreciate the design, and to keep a bit of the mystery. This is a beast that is fast, brutal, and intelligent. Fully capable of stalking us and killing us 1 by 1. If you haven’t seen the film yet, I strongly suggest making a point of doing so. I enjoyed the hell out of it, and I’m confident you will too.

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#31DaysOfHorror: Oct 26

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A Cryptid Crypt Special Report!

As regular readers know, I frequently recommend to check regularly with your local cinemas, and support as many genre events as possible. Not only does it let them know that genre films are lucrative programming, but this also usually gives you a chance to catch local filmmaking as well. Recently, The Rio Theater in Vancouver BC, hosted the Rio Grind Film Festival, an all Genre Film fest. If I had my way, I would have been there every night. Friday night I took in Suburban Gothic (Yaaaaaaay! Kat Dennings!), and the BC premier of the ABCs of Death 2. Saturday I was not able to attend, as I was taking part in the filming of a new documentary about our favorite Lowermainland Haunt, Netherworld Collectibles! The film is called Retail of the Darkest Kind, and I’ll likely be posting the trailer soon. Sunday nights lineup really only had 1 film that interested me, and that was the Braden Croft directed Feed The Gods.

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Right off the bat, I make ZERO apologies for the fact that I will not tell you details about anything not seen in the trailer. Its a new film, a good film, and it deserves to be seen for yourself. What I WILL tell you is that the plot involves two brothers and one fiance traveling to a mysterious, isolated mountain town to track down their roots, but what they find is that the sleepy mountain town is hiding secrets, and the biggest secret of all is stalking them from the woods. Sasquatch-ploitation is definetly becoming a buzzword in the Horror genre. Lost Coast Tapes, Bigfoot County, Willow Creek, and the upcoming Exists each make use of the Found Footage format, while Feed The Gods takes a traditional narrative approach. It may sound insignificant, but this was a HUGE breath of fresh air to me. The story is original, giving us just enough mythology to wonder about events that have come before and what events could still to come…or in Producer-speak, rife with sequel and prequel opportunity. The cinematography is tight, the acting is solid, and this becomes all the more impressive when considering how small the budget was. Ever heard of a shoestring budget? By all accounts, this was even thinner…like one of those super skinny shoelaces in dress shoes, where you almost need tweezers to tie ’em, and you feel like you’ll snap em if you pull to hard and you’re all like “What even IS this?”. Yeah. THAT’s how small the budget is. Also, I’ve had lots of sugar. Fuck. Go watch this movie!