29th Nov2016

‘The Evil in Us’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Debs Howard, Tatyana Forrest, Lee Tomaschefski, Marina Pasqua, Jerome Velinsky, David Aboussafy | Written and Directed by Jason William Lee

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Six school friends meet up for a drug-fuelled weekend on a remote island. What they do not know is the drug they scored is not what it seems; it is actually a new bioactive compound peddled by a sadistic right-wing terrorist organisation. Anyone consuming it is then exposed to a virus causing fits of psychotic rage, mind-bending chaos and cannibalistic murder.

Now that’s a synopsis I can get behind. If only the film matched up to it… Instead The Evil in Us gives us six annoying pricks doing stupid, annoying things – so much so that we, the audience, wish them dead, and the sooner the better.

Yes, this is one of those films where the ineptitude of the characters lets the entire concept of the movie down. Ideally we’re supposed to feel for these characters as they suffer through this terrifying cannibalistic ordeal; however instead the audience can do nothing but cheer as each and every one of these unlikeable idiots meets their demise. Even the one “good girl” who doesn’t take the drug and is left to fight for her life against the rest of her friends.

Thankfully the entire film does not rest on the one set of kids being stupid. Instead The Evil in Us weaves three story threads together – the kids on the island, a cop investigating a homicide in an apartment where the victims have been beaten and bitten (which eventually connects that killing to the kids on the island) AND a strange science experiment taking place in an unknown facility – an experiment run by a couple of sadistic psychopaths may I add: the kind of whom want to hear people screaming in pain and get off on it in some kind of sexual manner!

Sadly the plot threads don’t come together in any type of traditional storytelling. Instead we get a series of news clips showing how the first two arcs (the apartment killing and the island massacre) are tied into the experiment. And goddamn it, if that – and the ensuing montage of events – doesn’t redeem the entirety of what has come before. The last few moments of The Evil in Us turn this average film into a diatribe against corrupt governments: the kind of corruption the world is facing right now.

For those here for the blood and guts rather than the conspiracy theories behind the story, there are some decent, if brief cannibal scenes… Including some gut-munching of the intestinal variety for those that like that sort of thing. Fair enough, it’s not Italian cannibal flick levels of gore but at least The Evil in Us doesn’t shy away from the actual flesh-eating!

The Evil in Us is out now on DVD and Blu-ray from StudioCanal.

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