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By Steve Anderson | January 16, 2008

You know, there’s a whole school of thought out there that says a movie wins or loses its audience in the first few minutes of screentime. And if that’s the case, then “The Evading” has to be a slam-bang audience winner. Because I’ll be honest–seldom have I seen a movie that could project so much pure, raw menace from its first three minutes of runtime. Packed with simulated video errors, audio snaps, picture rolls, and a soundtrack that just screams “horror,” “The Evading” definitely does everything it can to make its first three minutes into a hundred-percent shockfest.

The plot is somewhat difficult to follow–basically, a little girl witnesses the brutal death of her parents in the midst of a botched robbery and from there begins to see more of the world around her that may or may not be meant for us poor human types to see. And the little girl’s not the only one who can see it–a group called “The Evading Society” has been built around those people that can see these things. And these things have some really, really unpleasant things in mind for the rest of us, a fate the Evading Society wishes to forestall.

Or at least delay.

Despite the somewhat obtuseness of the plot, it still manages to do wonders to project sheer foreboding and, yes, menace into its proceedings. As the Evading Society details their experiences with the… things… that no man was really meant to see, the whole affair steadily grows more terrifying. What are these things? What do they want? And what happens if they GET what they want?

These questions will, for the most part, go unanswered. But this allows for future titles to come out of this. I can see “The Evading” taking a trilogy or even more of sequels to fully explain itself, and if they can continue the same sort of malice and menace that they’ve started with this first installment of “The Evading,” well, then they’ve got me pretty interested.

“The Evading” actually plays like a hybrid of several different Japanese horror films done in a strictly American style, giving it some serious innovation credits to its name. I can see shades of “Pulse” and “The Ring” and “The Grudge” going on in here, and even this somewhat emulation lends some credibility to the whole affair. It goes where some of the greats have gone, and it goes in directions all its own.

All in all, I’m truly impressed with “The Evading”. A movie that both builds on the better work of the past and augments it with designs all its own make it a piece worth watching, if you can find it.

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