Director Eduardo Sanchez returns to found footage territory with his latest film Exists (2014). After becoming an international sensation with The Blair Witch Project (1999) Sanchez kind of laid low for a while directing a few indie films instead of going the Hollywood route. His films Altered (2006), Seventh Moon (2008) and Lovely Molly (2011) are of particular note but with this latest film he tackles his biggest monster yet – Bigfoot.
A group of friends venture out to an old property not seen in decades for a little vacation in the Texas woods. They take along a lot of cameras to film their adventures but they hit a snag when they run over an animal that almost puts their car out of commission. This doesn’t stop them from continuing to their destination and having a good time. That good time is short lived as they soon realize that a creature has followed them. Something big and angry and vengeful and will stop at nothing until they are all dead.
This film follows the same conventions of most other found footage film but Sanchez decides to go the opposite route of his previous film by showing the Bigfoot creature front and center and not hiding it in the shadows. This is the problem of most other found footage films as they don’t tend to show anything leaving the ghosts or monsters in the shadows; this film has a great looking monster and they aren’t afraid to show it. This is what sets this film apart from the others especially the other Bigfoot film of 2014 Willow Creek.
Sanchez’ technique as a director and storyteller has improved over the years and he doesn’t take the easy road when it comes to the stories he chooses to tell. I’ve seen a lot a Bigfoot films over the years (mostly all bad) and not one of them holds a candle o this film. I’ll trust Sanchez with a found footage film any day.