DIRECTOR: Andrew Getty
WRITER: Andrew Getty
Sean Patrick Flanery
Dennis is a thirty-year-old mentally disabled man. He lives with his brother John. It's when John decides to redecorate Dennis's room by putting in an antique mirror that problems arise. Soon Dennis begins having horrific nightmares and visions. He see's his evil reflection, and the evil side of himself starts telling him to do things. Dennis begins going on a murderous rampage and killing all those closest to him. Dennis is quickly becoming a serial killer.
The production of The Evil Within is as bizarre and depressing as the finished movie itself. Director Andrew Getty first went into production on the movie in 2002. Back in the early stages, the movie was called The Storyteller. He conceived the idea behind the movie from when he was a child as he used to have horrible nightmares. Filming began in 2002, and the film was filmed inside the director's mansion. Sounds like the movie got off to a great start right? Wrong. Things only got worse for the production.
The movie itself would stop and start production over the next decade. These issues would range from funding problems to the director having clashes and conflicts with the cast. A lawsuit from a studio assistant would cause significant setbacks. The cast and crew had many changes during the lengthy production. Both Michael Berryman and Matt McGrory also had health problems. The movie seemed to be doomed from the very start. This wouldn't be the last of the obstacles.
From the time the film went into production in 2002. Director Andrew Getty worked on perfecting the film. He created the special effects and was editing it. In 2015, he sadly died due to intestinal bleeding caused by his methamphetamine use and heart disease being contributing factors. It would take a further two years for the movie to finish post-production and finally get released. Sad to know that the director spent close to thirteen years on this film and wouldn't get to see it finally get a release. It automatically has a sense of sadness surrounding it.
When I first saw the poster for The Evil Within. I brushed this off as another micro-budget horror film that deals with the supernatural. The poster didn't do anything for me. I judged it solely based on the terribly cheap poster. It took me six months to get up the courage to finally sit down and watch it after two of my favourite podcasts said that the movie was an interesting one. Both of them gave it positive reviews. All I can say is that looks can be deceiving, that's for sure. Don't judge a book by its cover.
The Evil Within feels like a movie lost in time. A time capsule if you will. This is a cast of once famous and up and coming actors who are all at the forefront. We have Sean Patrick Flanery, and Dina Meyer who had both had some solid movies come out in the late nineties and early noughties. The entire vibe and look of the film feel very dated, and this would be because the film was filmed back in 2002. Just about everything in this film felt weird and odd. At times I was left with my jaw on the floor in amazement to being left utterly mindfucked as to what I was witnessing on screen.
The visuals and imagery of The Evil Within must be praised. I haven't seen anything like this in years. I think because the movie took fifteen years to see the light of day. Today's audiences won't know what hit them when they witness this oddity. The film really is like nothing else that's out in today's current horror climate. This movie falls somewhere between early David Lynch and the early music videos of Michel Gondry. Weird stop-motion puppetry with trippy glitchy images are all over this film, and it is truly nightmare fuel.
The problems that I had with the film are all story related. The story is actually pretty simplistic. While I loved the narrative. We essentially have a descent into madness. A man is driven to kill, but things aren't always executed well or very clearly. Dialogue is also cringe-worthy at times. The movie stands on its own because all of the visual effects are so twisted and macabre. Because it doesn't look or feel like anything else, it feels entirely original and a unique vision.
Lastly, we have the acting and performances. I found the entire cast to be incredibly strong. While Frederick Koehler as Dennis is sometimes grating as he spends a lot of the movie complaining, I thought he did a great job when he was playing his evil self. Sean Patrick Flanery is fantastic here, as was Dina Meyer. I loved both of their roles in the film. It's a shame these two actors aren't in bigger movies as both can hold their own and have shown their versatility in other movies. Michael Berryman also looks incredibly creepy in the film as well.
DEATH TOLL: 8
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A man is zippered open, and a demon climbs inside him.
- Three children are murdered and thrown in a freezer.
- A woman is decapitated with shears.
- A man shoots himself in the head.
- A man breaks in half at the torso.
- A woman is drilled through the head.
- A man is stabbed in the head.
- A woman is hit and killed by a car.
- The body of a dead dog is seen being put into an esky.
- A rat is caught in a rat trap.
- A giant spider drains the blood out of a man till he's a hollow shell.
- A cat is killed.
- A man's throat is slashed.
- A demon chews off its fingers down to the bone.
It's sad that The Evil Within will have this darkness shrouded around its production. It will always be known for the lengthy and troubled production history. I initially judged the film based on it's less than impressive poster art. I recommend giving this twisted little bit of nightmare fuel a watch just to see a movie trapped in time. This is a movie like nothing else out this year or in recent memory. The visual effects are some of the creepiest and the film will surely mind-fuck some people. It deserves to be seen even if the movie isn't perfect.