From the looks of it, Radha Mitchell (Pitch Black, Surrogates) had a 24-hour work window that needed filling, and Evidence was there to fill it. Both she and Stephen Moyer, of True Blood, get top billing, but they appear only in the movie’s cheesy framing device. Mitchell plays Detective Burquez and Moyer plays Detective Reese, whose names instantly establish them as CSI-style forensic geniuses. When the movie begins, the two detectives shut themselves up in one of those crime-solver’s screening rooms to view found footage—uncannily extensive found footage—of a mysterious incident that left several dead out in the Nevada desert. Mitchell and Moyer never actually do anything: They just sit in swivel chairs, bark at a techie to fast-forward or rewind, and make slow-dawning “oh my God” faces with each preposterous new revelation.
The bulk of the movie consists of the footage, which was recorded by two of the victims: pretty wannabe starlets—one blonde, one brunette—making a too-hopeful “Before They Were Famous” documentary about themselves. (They’re like low-I.Q. versions of the women from Mulholland Drive.) The first half-hour or so is spent watching one of the girls (Torrey DeVitto) have a dumb, run-on spat with her boyfriend (Nolan Gerard Funk), a spat so obviously engineered to set him up as the killer that it’s instantly clear it won’t be him. For reasons that make no sense, the three end up on a bus heading to Butt Fuck Nowhere accompanied by a dancer, a magician, a redneck loon (played by Dale Dickey, naturally), and the bus driver. Also for reasons that make no sense, the bus crashes at the site of an abandoned warehouse, where the assembled gang find themselves stalked by a masked figure with a welding torch.
Who could it be? Better yet: who cares? There have been a lot of shoddy found-footage flicks over the past few years, but maybe none quite so shoddy as this. The digital images, the film announces, have been corrupted, so about half the running time is spent looking at indecipherable pixels or frozen glitch moments. It’s like watching a damaged DVD on purpose. And when the image is decipherable, it’s just bad actors caught on the fly, running around screaming and crying—they’re barely even in the frame most of the time. (The director, Olatunde Osunsanmi, used similar non-techniques in his one studio flick, the alien-abduction fake-out The Fourth Kind.) The final reveal, incidentally, is one of those “ha ha, we fooled you” Keyser Söze moments, but it’s so utterly implausible (and more or less predictable) that the only proper response is, “ha ha, blow me.”