I'd generally have little positive to say about a movie that skimps on character development, but I just didn't care here. Sure, Exists would be more effective if I felt empathy for its cast, but I'm just here for some good old fashioned Bigfoot action. I suspect many who seek out Exists will feel the same way. My profound lack of identification with any of the monster bait on display actually put me in mind of an old slasher flick. These five cyphers only exist to be meat for the hairy grinder. So does Exists at least deliver when we see the big guy in action?
|Oh shit! He knows we're down here!|
Perhaps you've noticed that I've yet to say anything about the narrative, though. Well, that's because there really isn't one. I suppose the lack of a compelling narrative goes a long way toward explaining the lack of characterization, but the script by Jaime Nash (who also scripted Sanchez's superior 2006 alien abduction flick Altered) is really nothing more than a basic framework to get the viewer from one Bigfoot encounter to the next. Once again, everything else takes a backseat to the monster action.
Ultimately then, all Exists really has to offer is a rampaging monster and a hollow core. Thing is, it's an unusually well rendered monster. Sanchez uses every trick in the book to make each scene involving Bigfoot truly thrilling. There's a bit with Bigfoot pursuing a victim fleeing on a mountain bike that recalls Sanchez's solid V/H/S/2 segment A Ride In The Park. The conclusion of Exists, in which Bigfoot tosses an entire camper trailer off the side of a mountain, is similarly bracing. There are just too many crackerjack scenes like these to dismiss the movie out of hand.
|It's raining Sasquatch! Seriously, how can anyone not want to see this?|
So how bad can a movie be and still score a recommendation from the Dog Farm? Exists is lacking almost every key component one would expect to find in a traditionally good monster movie save one. It's got a really good monster. Nimble editing, clever cinematography, superior sound, and a convincing costume design come together to make this the Bigfoot I always wanted to see in a movie. It's just a shame that Exists otherwise settles for mediocrity or it could have been something really special.
Dim the lights, crank up the surround sound, and adjust your expectations accordingly. Exists still scores that recommendation, because sometimes a little technically proficient brain dead squatchploitation is enough.