Why do people continually insist on doing these? Is it because somehow they think their version of the same withered plotline is better than any of the dozens of others they have seen themselves? Is it because it's cheap to produce? If you know the old saying; "if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck", then you can make an assumption that finance had some greater part to play in the making of the film.
It seems every other film I watch these days is based on the 'found footage' sub genre and really, this is getting very worn by now. 'Evidence' has this handicap to get over, even before the opening character development scenes. Forever now compared to the likes of Blair Witch and [REC] as these are the standard by which all found footage movies should be rated, Evidence comes off quite well. Granted it is in no way original and you should know this going into the thing, but the quality of the albeit financially focused production is good throughout. It contains a number of plot twists that are entirely unexpected, though not fully realised either, making the decision not to pursue them either careless or an experiment in prolonged curiosity for the viewer.
As mentioned, the plot will not be new to you. Four friends in their early twenties; two girls, two boys (one with a handheld camera) are about to leave to go camping in the woods in the middle of nowhere, on the premise of making a documentary of one of the boys, Brett. Why the documentary is being made is not clear, just know this is the rather unbelievable reason for the trip. Things inevitably go batshit crazy like they always do and there is much made of running about in the dark woods and screaming, with too much shaky-cam for most. It's not paranoia or fear of the dark. The terror for these poor unfortunate souls is quite real and we are afforded a glimpse of their fears sporadically throughout the first forty-five minutes, at which point things get really weird with the plot darting off in a new direction, if it wasn't just plain bonkers enough already.
The acting by all concerned, a group of relative newcomers and/or unknowns, is great, given the limited range that is required for running about in the dark, screaming and terrified. The dialogue is at times cheesy, but in no way as bad as could be expected and pretty much on the money for the characters and their development. Given the budget, it is no great surprise to discover that the special effects are limited and the make up and costume is at best basic. The highlight of the film has to be the sound editing, however, which made my spine tingle on a couple of occasions. The camera work is far from sloppy, given the found footage option of just being slaphappy and random, but this can also be quite disorientating for the viewer and if you don't like shaky-cams, you would be wise to give this one a miss.
Altogether, a good, though not great, survival horror romp with enough jumps to make you feel like you've not been short-changed and enough going for it to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout, coming in at around seventy-five minutes (including credits, which you should sit through as it continues the story throughout them) this is over in a flash, but any longer would have seemed like dragging a reluctant horse to water. I would have liked to have seen the plot holes filled, but I'm hoping more that there is another one on the way to tie up the loose ends. Good enough for a sequel certainly, which is not something I would suggest for most films of this genre.