Brothers Brian and Matt, Matt's girlfriend Dora, and their friends Todd and Elizabeth are on their way to the brothers' uncle Bob's cabin in east Texas for a camping trip. After stopping to buy some fireworks, they continue on their way as day turns to night. Matt hits something with the car and stops to investigate. The group later hears loud cries of an animal in pain off in the distance, but decide to move onward. After coming across a tree that has been knocked across the road, the group continues on foot and reaches the cabin, only to discover that it is worn down and dilapidated. After finding a wild pig in one of the bedrooms, the group decide to spend the night in the car, where Brian and Matt again hear the loud screaming noises.
The next morning, Brian finds the front bumper on the passenger side of the car damaged; there is also some blood on the fender and a tuft of hair in the grille. Regardless, the group enjoys their day at the cabin, swimming in a nearby lake. During the excitement, Brian catches sight of a large, dark bipedal figure running along a nearby ridge, but the others brush it off as if it were nothing. Determined to get the creature on film, he sets up several GoPro cameras at various points around the cabin. That night, aggressive screams are heard coming from the woods, frightening the group. One of the exterior cameras reveals a large figure approaching the cabin and ascending the stairs onto the porch. The group are further frightened when whatever is outside begins banging on the walls and doors. When silence falls, Brian goes to a window to take a look outside. He turns on the night vision on his camera, and sees a large hairy creature looking back at him before it roars and disappears from view.
The following morning, the group decides to leave. Upon reaching the car, they find it completely destroyed and quickly return to the cabin. Matt and Brian reveal that they did not tell Bob that they were using his cabin and that they stole the keys from him: nobody knows where the group is, and nobody will be coming to rescue them. Matt bikes out alone to an area of the woods that has cell reception so that he can call for help. Just as he gets through to Bob, he is attacked by the creature and the camera cuts to black. Back at the cabin, the others move the furniture to block the windows and doors. They uncover a trap door to the cabin's cellar, where Todd finds a hunting rifle and some ammo. At nightfall, the creature attacks the cabin and injures Elizabeth before Todd wounds it with the hunting rifle, causing it to flee.
In the morning, it is revealed that Elizabeth has succumbed to her injuries and died. The doors and windows of the cabin have been smashed wide open, meaning that the cabin can no longer offer any shelter. The remaining three members of the group decide to walk back to civilization on foot. That night, they hear Matt screaming somewhere nearby. The screams are coming from a tunnel that the group assumes to be the creature's den. Brian goes in and rescues Matt, shooting the creature in the process. As dawn breaks, the group takes shelter in an abandoned trailer and Brian receives a call from Bob, who is now at the cabin. Todd heads out with the fireworks and sets them off in an attempt to alert Bob to their location, only to have the creature attack and kill him. The creature then pushes the trailer over the edge of a hill where it tumbles down with Brian, Matt, and Dora still inside.
When Brian regains consciousness, he realizes that Matt has died in the fall and Dora has been fatally injured, dying seconds later. The creature jumps from the top of the hill down to where the trailer is. Brian flees out of a broken window and the creature gives chase. Brian comes to the edge of another hill and quickly jumps as the creature approaches. Upon his landing, he fakes dead as the creature quickly descends upon him, roaring in his face, pushing him back and forth and hitting the ground near his head. The creature then grabs his leg and drags him off.
Sometime later, Brian jumps up gasping for air as it is revealed he is lying next to the bodies of Todd, Matt, Dora and Elizabeth. In his panic, he turns and sees a small dark figure lying in a shallow hole. Upon investigating, it is shown to be the corpse of a small bigfoot. The large bigfoot appears and knocks him into the hole, pushing his head closer and closer. Brian realizes that the child must have been what they hit the night they arrived at the cabin, and begins apologizing hysterically.
Suddenly a shot is heard, and the creature flees as Bob calls out. He grabs Brian and they quickly flee, Brian apologizing for not listening to him. As they near Bob's truck, the bigfoot appears and tackles Bob to the ground, seemingly killing him. Brian picks up his uncle's gun and runs as the creature gives chase. He turns and points at the creature, begging it to stop. The creature stops a few feet away from him, breathing heavily as Brian continues to apologize for killing its young. Brian lays down the gun, turning around and sitting down with his back to the creature, saying to the camera that this is his final video while he waits for the creature to finish him off. The creature, after a while, just turns and disappears into the woods, leaving Brian alone as it begins to rain and he lays the camera down facing his uncle's truck, being the only survivor.Dora Madison Burge as Dora
Chris Osborn as Brian
Roger Edwards as Todd
Denise Williamson as Elizabeth
Samuel Davis as Matt
Brian Steele as Sasquatch
Jeff Schwan as Uncle Bob (as J.P. Schwan)
George P. Gakoumis Jr. as Firework Salesman (as George Gakoumis)
Stefanie Sanchez as 911 Operator
Exists premiered on 7 March 2014 as part of the South by Southwest Film Festival and was released on February 3, 2015. Entertainment One set the United Kingdom release, on DVD and Blu-ray for the April 6, 2015.
It currently has a 35% "Rotten" on Rotten Tomatoes. Fearnet praised Exists for its editing and score, as they felt that it would help make the movie appeal to people who would not normally like found footage films. The Austin Chronicle gave a predominantly positive review and commented that while the film held several similarities to Sánchez's The Blair Witch Project, "he evades all those bear traps, returning tension and pathos to the monster movie."