The Evil Within
Dennis Peterson is a mentally challenged teen who lives with his older brother John. While John struggles between caring for Dennis and maintaining a relationship with his increasingly impatient girlfriend Lydia, Dennis finds a friend in his own reflection in an antique mirror. But in reality, the reflection is soon revealed to be an Evil Entity, played by Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes) who is more charming, smarter and stronger than Dennis, and instructs him to do horrific things in order to ‘fix’ his brain. Tortured and confused, Dennis embarks on a murderous rampage, collecting the bodies in his basement. A police investigation, helmed by a determined social worker targets the Petersons in an attempt to uncover the truth behind the murders. With the walls rapidly closing in, Dennis makes his final play.
This film is no doubt one very twisted and bizarre piece of art while being seriously weird and creative. Honestly, it’s more like a David Lynch sort of weird, while also being original. It’s been a long time since any movie exhibited such true creativity in so many areas. The acting by all the characters is excellent, and not at all over-played. The lighting, cinematography and camera work was amazing also. The main actor simply blew me away, he is nothing short of astounding!
The movie itself was filmed over a lapse of 15 years and was created by Andrew Getty, the grandson of none other than J. Paul Getty! Getty filmed this freakshow in his 1926 mansion in Hollywood, as well as creating his own animatronic characters and special effects, which are incredibly strange and disturbing. Sadly, Getty died of drug abuse in 2015. His methamphetamine addiction combined with a lifetime full of extreme nightmares is what gave birth to this demented film. In fact, it is said that his nightmares were so disturbingly strange, he felt as if they were not originating in his own brain. That’s pretty brutal if you ask me.
The main character, Dennis, is a special-needs boy who has had nightmares his entire life, ever since he was a very small child. One nightmare included him entering a carnival ride that seemed underwhelming until he is told that “the ride isn’t over.” When Dennis id older he has one a living demon, called the Cadaver, fastens a zipper onto his back and enters his body. Dennis one day finds a hidden room in the cellar of the huge house, which holds a mirror that he believes the Cadaver came from. He begins speaking to his reflection, who seems to answer him back.
When a woman from social services visits, she becomes convinced that Dennis needs to be taken away. John is extremely upset by this, as he feels that Dennis is his responsibility alone. Meanwhile, Dennis continues to have the nightmares of the Cadaver and his reflection informs him that in order to get rid of it, they need to start killing animals. He begins working in the secret cellar, which perplexes John, especially when he sees that Dennis has videos on taxidermy.
So begins his killing spree, killing animals, then children, as his reflection tells him the ‘he’ was the one giving him nightmares and says that they have more killing to do. This film begins to take on an even more bizarre twist as it heads on toward the climactic ending. It’s not a particularly scary film when considered by normal horror-film standards, but it quickly establishes a deep undercurrent of tension that gradually builds throughout the film and keeps you uneasy and dreadfully expectant the whole time. I believe a movie is successful if it entertains you. This movie did just that. It does make me wonder however if there will be a part 2 to this film. I hope so, and I hope it’s done just as good as this one.
Title: The Evil Within
Release Date: August 30, 2017
Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Suspense
Studio: Sony Pictures
Starring: Brianna Brown, Dina Meyer, Michael Berryman, Fred Koehler
MPAA Rated: NR
Directors: Andrew Getty
Reviewed by: Mad Hatter
Our Rating: 3.4 /5
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