Review – Exhibit A

Source: contactmusic.com

Source: contactmusic.com

Well now here’s a fun fact about this movie.  It was released in 2007, two years before the North American theatrical release of Paranormal Activity.  This is interesting to me (and maybe you) because it came out before the whole resurgence of found footage movies and it’s one of the best found footage films I’ve ever seen.  Rather than a supernatural being having anything to do with the plot of this movie, we instead see a real life situation unfold where matters go from happy to unhappy to devastating.

Exhibit A is about a regular family of four in England.  The found footage comes from the family’s daughter who in the beginning captures pretty mundane family stuff: birthday party, trip to the beach, yard work.  I was at one point wondering when the bad things were going to start happening.  As things progressed, the father in the family starts acting oddly.  He has moments of extreme anger and then moments of elation (I’m no doctor, but I’d classify it as manic behaviour).  We eventually find out that the father is acting this way because he is hiding money troubles from the family (an addiction to scratch and wins/scratch offs and lying about getting a promotion which led them to put an offer in on a home they couldn’t afford).  Eventually the father does things that only a desperate and not thinking straight person would do and what started off as happy ends as a tragedy.

I don’t want to oversell this movie to you, but it is probably one of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen.  I might not classify this as a horror, though, but more like a really dark drama.  I would put this in the same category as Requiem For A Dream (another excellent movie by the way) where you have a pretty average story in the beginning that just gets more and more depressing and ends with a life-shattering climax.  I can’t get into the story too much because it will spoil the movie.  Just know that the father’s solution to his problem is not one that any rational person would have and he destroys the lives of every member of his family in the process of trying to “fix” things.

Have you ever seen Exhibit A?  Do they call Scratch and Wins something else where you’re from?  I only ever heard “scratch offs” from American Movie (also a very good movie) and I quote that scene on a pretty routine basis.

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