05th Jan2022

‘Evil at the Door’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Richard Stegelman, Kipp Tribble, Kenny Yates, Scott Hamm, Andrea Sweeney Blanco, Sunny Doench, Matt O’Neill, Robert Felsted Jr., Robert Allen Makes, Bruce Davison | Written and Directed by Kipp Tribble

Evil at the Door centres around a secret guild that has operated for nearly a century, known as The Locusts. Once a year this guild treats its members to a night of curated home invasions (aka, “runs”), known underground as “The Night of The Locusts”. With 180 minutes to do as they please with the occupants of the selected home, four masked men enter the home of Daniel and Jessica and begin to engage in sick, twisted games with them. Unbeknownst to the intruders, Liz, Jessica’s younger sister, is hiding under the bed. While the run time winds down, Liz plots her escape as The Locusts realize there is a traitor in their group. But will the division amongst the intruders be enough distraction for Liz to survive before The Locusts’ clock runs out?

Yes, we’re in The Purge meets The Strangers territory here. Evil at the Door takes plot elements from each film to create a home invasion horror that, unfortunately, has less horror than anyone would like from such a film. Mainly because Evil at the Door spends far too long waiting. Literally.

You see, once our invaders make it inside Daniel and Jessica’s home they quickly attack Daniel, tying him to his pool table but then spend almost the rest of the movie sitting patiently outside the bathroom door waiting for Jessica to come out, and for most of THAT time she doesn’t even known they’re there as she’s too busy drinking win and listening to records whilst in the bath! At the same time Liz lays under the bed that’s right next to the bathroom door!

See there’s LOT’S of waiting. The characters waiting for Jessica; Liz waiting to make her escape; and the audience waiting for something, ANYTHING, to happen! We do get the death of one character in the meantime, Isaac, the tech sent over by Daniel’s company to fix his computer. He dies in swift fashion with a terrible CGI stab through the body. Why? There was ZERO need to add a poor CGI-created knife popping out of Isaac’s torso; honestly, a flash of the knife and some decent foley work for the sound of a knife entering flesh and we’d be a-OK. It’s almost as if there was a need for some gore effects, because the rest of the film has none. Zero.

When Jessica does exit the bathroom, it’s something of a letdown. Whilst there’s little action going on, writer/director Kipp Tribble does generate some decent anticipation for what’s to come. It’s actually the ONLY thing that will probably keep audiences watching. So to have all that anticipation essentially for nought, is HUGELY disappointing. As is Liz’s attempt at escape. Though to be fair, Tribble does have a nice touch with the “run” clock timing out the home invasion, giving the audience some relief but…

Then ending is a total letdown too! In fact Evil at the Door just ends. Abruptly. We get some small wind-up of the story but then the film cuts to the final denouement as the credits roll over it.

** 2/5

Evil at the Door will be available across digital and VOD platforms from January 28th, one week after it debuts on the Terror Films Channel.


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