DIRECTOR: Carson Mell
WRITER: Carson Mell
When an artist and his family are staying in their vacation home and witness a ghost, they end up hiring an exorcist who is recommended to them by a friend. He is said to be an assassin of the paranormal. Soon after he arrives, the family soon realises that the spirits may not be the only things to fear in their house. As they begin to remove the ghosts, their new exorcist may be harder to get rid of than the actual spectres.
When I first finished Another Evil, I had wondered to myself am I too hard to please? I pondered this because not once during an hour and a half did I find this movie even remotely funny or enjoyable. The movie is a comedy horror film. For me, they are one of the hardest types of films to pull off because they need to get that balance right to be successful in both genres. If one outweighs the other, it could end up disappointing both horror fans and fans of comedy horrors.
Another Evil starts off rather well. As a horror film, it's actually effective during these early scenes. The movie opens with our family hearing sounds upstairs while they are downstairs in the living room playing a game. The father goes upstairs to investigate to find a chair overturned and some paintbrushes arranged in a triangle. Things only escalate from this point on and for the first ten minutes of the movie, I genuinely got chills during the night scenes where the family hear and start seeing ghosts.
For the next hour and fifteen minutes, the movie just sort of flatlines for me. Once we are introduced to the exorcist, who is a paranormal assassin. This flick turns from this somewhat chillingly creepy horror movie into a quirky exchange of words between its two lead characters. This is where the movie tended to try for comedy but didn't work for me. One is a family man and an artist that is growing increasingly frustrated with the exorcist. The exorcist is a weird loner who you don't know whether he is actually really gifted or a complete fraud.
I find comedy to be the hardest genre to enjoy. I think getting someone to laugh is a lot harder to do than any other feeling or emotion. I also think horror is as equally as hard. It's hard to create tension, suspense, and to craft a well-built scare. I think that the comedy in this movie for me felt like that awkward 'The Office' type comedy just without the characters ever looking at the cameras. It just wasn't funny for me. So I spent an hour and a half being bored more than anything. After the first ten minutes, it lacked both horror and comedy.
The movie in the final few minutes reverts back to being a pretty dark horror movie. This is where I thought the movie began to get some life again. It's just too little, too late by this point. I spent close to eighty-five percent of the movie being utterly bored by both the characters, their dynamic and the comedy that the little bursts of horror weren't enough for me to find much at all to enjoy this film. I think that critics, on the other hand, will find a lot to enjoy as this seems just quirky and odd enough from the other films this year that it might stand out as an indie hit.
When it comes to the suspense and tension. I think the first ten minutes and the last several minutes of the movie are actually pretty effective as a horror movie. There is a scene early on when the teenage son wakes up, and we hear this horrific moan in the dark hallway that sent chills up my spine. There is also a nice little ghost on the staircase scene that felt like a homage to The Grudge. The ending is also pretty dark. I didn't see where this movie was heading early on, but I think I enjoyed the horror elements more than the comedy.
What I would have liked to see in the film is a little more backstory on the ghosts. We see a range of paranormal entities during the course of the movie and we believe that The Exorcist is also aware they are there but we never find out why they are stuck or how they came to die. So we get these pretty cool looking ghosts but never get any explanation. I get that they have left things unanswered but the scene where we see a ghost with a tentacle coming out of its vagina is almost alien-like in nature. I would have liked to see more of the backstory.
Lastly, we come to the acting in the movie. I think the acting is hit and miss for me. I didn't connect or like basically any of the main characters here, so it was pretty hard to enjoy their performances. I think the standout here is Steve Zissis as the artist and family man. I think he played his role well enough that come to the end of the film, I wanted to see him survive for the most part. Mark Proksch as our exorcist is the one I couldn't deal with here. He is so annoying and over the top that his performance felt grating to me. I didn't care for the character at all or his influence over the others.
DEATH TOLL: 0
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A demon is seen crawling up the stairs with blood on its face.
- A ghost with a tentacle coming out of its vagina is shown.
- A man is hit in the face with a bowl.
- Two men fight in the desert.
- A man is shown with a bloody face.
Another Evil is a movie that I think will be a hit with the critics and indie horror fans. The movie has this quirky character dynamic to it all. For me, the movie sadly misses the mark. The movie is light on horror and laughs. The comedy is probably the films biggest weakness. It's all played fairly deadpan and I simply wasn't a fan. It's also not helped that the villain is not likeable in any sense of the word. The first ten minutes of actual suspense and solid tension and a dark ending can't save this movie from being lifeless. Another Evil is a miss for me.