01st Jan2018

‘Our Evil’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Ademir Esteves, Ricardo Casella, Sonia Morena, Anthony Mello, Luara Pepita, Fernando Cardoso, Walderrama Dos Santos | Written and Directed by Samuel Galli


Arthur, a man with spiritualist powers, is told that a demonic entity is coming to destroy his daughter’s soul, and that he should take drastic measures to stop this from happening. He must destroy her marked soul on the day of her 20th Birthday or there will be grave consequences. He must find a serial killer who is pure evil and deserving of suffering. He begins his search on the dark web and finds serial killer Charles who has no sympathy for human life. He has found his man, and soon the real evil will commence…

Having debuted here in the UK back in August 2017 at Frightfest, Samuel Galli’s Our Evil has finally made it’s way to DVD – so that everyone who wasn’t at the festival can see just how powerful, frightening and downright disturbing Galli’s film is.

OK, so let’s just say this first, Our Evil is a grim film – the kind of grim cinema you rarely see these days. Be it the actions of Charles, who is much like the titular character from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer or Joe Spinell’s original Maniac; or the flashbacks to Arthur’s life; there is no light in Galli’s film, just darkness and evil. The only spark of light is Arthur’s relationship with his daughter but even that is tainted – thanks to Arthur’s actions and the profound sadness that eminates from him.

There’s a supernatural, quasi-religious aspect to the film too which is, admittedly, at odds with the gritty realism of that grim, blood-soaked, brutal opening, scene (which is very Henry-esque) but it provides the story with a dichotomy that matches the perfect dichotomy of its central characters, Arthur and Charles.

What also marks Our Evil is the soundtrack. A soundtrack that for all intents and purposes could have stepped out of an 80s horror movie. There are some wonderful John Carpenter-esque moments in the score which, like Halloween, only emphasise the horror of the film. Even when there’s nothing paticularly horrific happening on screen, the music adds to the all-pervasisve sense of dread which permeats every inch of Galli’s fantastic fear flick.

Our Evil also features an intriguing storytelling mechanic, we’re technically shown the “after” of this tale, as Charles goes about fulfilling his contract with Arthur; then, as Charles watches Arthur’s video, we are shown the “before” – the motivations, the machinations, which led Arthur to seek out Charles and his reasons for wanting the vicious killer to dole out his own brand of pain and suffering on Arthur and his daughter. It makes the sadness that Ademir Esteves brings to his role all the more clear and all the more heartbreaking. And when said truth is revealed, it brings very much a Tales From the Crypt vibe to the denouement – the kind of “you get what’s coming to you” conceit that made that franchise so memorable, adding a sardonic closing twist to Galli’s film.

Brazil has an interesting relationship with the horror genre dating back to the likes of Jose Mojica Marins’ Coffin Joe films of the 60s and 70s and Our Evil continues that tradition of exceptional, enthralling and most of all, unmissable, genre fare.

**** 4/5

Our Evil is out now on DVD from Matchbox Films.

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