Saturday, September 10, 2016
Let's Be Evil (2016)
DIRECTOR: Martin Owen
Elliot James Langridge
Three people are sent to an underground facility to supervise an advanced learning program for gifted children called the Posterity Project. When our three chaperones are asked to wear augmented reality glasses to observe the children in their learning environment. The three chaperones begin noticing that something strange is starting to happen with the program, and it will have these three people fighting for their life.
Heading into Let's Be Evil, I had only witnessed the poster for this movie. Looking at the poster, I went into the movie expecting to see something on the same lines of the hyperkinetic actioner Gamer. I expected that the only difference being that this movie would be more of a horror movie. Let's Be Evil may end up being a tad bit bloodier or gorier. I had already jumped to the conclusion that this movie was going to be based on virtual reality or set in a gamer world.
When Let's Be Evil begins, the movie opens up with a rather unsettling scene. We see a young girl opening up the shower curtain to catch her father showering. We see the father and daughter exchange several words, we cut to the little girl exiting stage left and away from her father after she has just slit his throat. It's a rather gruesome and unnerving way to start the film. It wasn't long before I was glued to the screen. I was hooked at this point.
Once our three chaperones are invited to the underground facility, this is where things begin to get a little dull and the movie sort of lost me. After a somewhat entertaining opening scene, things start to slow right down. We are introduced to our three main characters who are being added to the program, and for the next hour of the movie, nothing much else happens with the film. For a movie based on new technology, it's all rather unexciting on a story level.
The movie in the second act decides to slowly build momentum. I hate to class a Sci-Fi Horror film that is based on a virtual reality program going haywire as a slow burn horror film, but this really takes its time in building towards its third act. Let's Be Evil spends a lot of time in trying to dish out the suspense during the second act. We have some foreshadowing as to what's possibly coming, but it's really not all that creepy or suspenseful. So I was left a little bored with the build up.
When the ending of Let's Be Evil rolled around, I found myself pretty disappointed by the conclusion. While I thought it was a rather neat idea, in theory, the build-up and execution were a bit lacklustre. I think the movie is pretty predictable with where its heading and who the big bad turns out to be. While this movie does have a twist after it's big reveal, I think many will be left with a lot of questions rather than answers.
I think where Let's Be Evil has problems is that it all seems to amount to nothing. Not much is ever given to the audience over the course of the movie and once the twist surfaces, we are still left with questions that have never been answered. The brutal opening scene is never explained either. We have a scene during the second act that touches back to the beginning scene but again, it's never revealed when we come to the end of the film. A few too many loose ends.
Visually, I think Let's Be Evil is excellent. Next, to The Neon Demon, this might be the second most colourful horror flick of 2016. I can't deny that director Martin Owen has crafted a beautiful and slick looking horror movie. His use of bright colours among all the concrete is terrific. It is a very contrasting look for the movie. A lot of the rooms inside the underground facility are lit in neons which make the film really stand out. I think if he gets any points, it's for the style and cinematography.
Lastly, the acting in Let's Be Evil is above average for the most part. I found that the three leading actors were all enjoyable to watch and worked well together. There was enough chemistry to keep me enjoying the dynamic between them. The standout for me was Elliot James Langridge who appears to have the most fun in his role. I think this all comes down to his character being written as the comedic relief.
DEATH TOLL: 3
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A little girl slashes her father's throat.
- A bloody corpse is shown dead in a bathtub.
- A guy is seen bleeding out on the floor.
- A person is strapped to a chair and burnt alive.
- Someone is suffocated with a plastic bag.
Let's Be Evil is a movie that sadly fell short for me. While the movie has slick visuals and some of the best use of colour next to The Neon Demon in 2016, the movie can't rise above the predictable twist, slow build up and lack of suspense. If you're looking for a film that chooses visual flare over a coherent story than Let's Be Evil will be the one for you and right up your alley. Some solid acting and a gory opening can't push this one over the line and into fresh territory.