While the concept of a film being based on ‘found’ footage of shocking events has been part of our cinematic language for many years now, few have worked as effectively as Exhibit A.
The film revolves around the audience watching footage from a young girl’s camcorder which has been recovered from a murder scene, the specific details of which are not revealed until the final moments.
It should be noted that the above is not a spoiler as, in a well thought out move, Writer/Director Dom Rotheroe clues the audience in with a title card during the film’s opening. We become part viewer and part analyst, looking at scenes of seemingly domestic bliss with clinical eyes, trying to find the clues which we know will lead to murder. Rotheroe throws in plenty of red herrings, possible motivations and plot strands to keep us off balance.
Fortunately, unlike many horror and crime films, the perpetrator is a logical choice and their actions carry with them the weight of inevitability that many films avoid for the sake of a shock reveal.
The use of natural sound and light adds another layer to the film. Before you think that low budget cameras mean ineffective scenes, there is a truly nerve shattering moment with night vision that holds it’s own against many big budget films.
The performances are compelling yet natural. You believe that this is a functioning family unit which has its fair share of bickering, but nothing out of the ordinary. Bradley Cole gives an extraordinary performance as the father of the family, a practical joker who treasures relics from the classic comedians and tries to keep a brave face even when his world is falling all around him. Brittany Ashworth, who plays the daughter whose video sets the wheels of the story in motion in more ways than one, gives a complex and at times touching performance. Both of these actors anchor the film, and the final gut wrenching minutes would not be nearly as strong without their performances.
If there was any justice in the world, the scene where the family jokingly tries to fake a clip for “You’ve Been Framed” would be considered one of the best of the year.
This is a special piece of work and you should all try and seek it out immediately. A great effort from all involved.
For more information on Exhibit A please visit the official MySpace page - click
Do you have an indie film you want us to review? If so drop us an email at email@example.com