Our Evil is a new Brazilian horror film written and directed by Samuel Galli. It tells the story of a former exorcist keeping a dark secret about his past from his daughter and a serial killer/hitman whose paths cross over a powerful demonic entity that has been waiting for years to take its revenge.
The structure of this movie’s narrative is absolutely insane in the best way possible. For the first forty-five minutes, you don’t know what the heck is happening or why you are watching it. The images you are seeing are horrifying, and there are a bunch of narrative threads. Those threads tie together around the halfway mark, only to diverge again before tying up at the end. This film is crazy, shocking, and creative, taking a story that may have otherwise felt bland and delivering one of the most satisfying horror movies in years because of its unique twists.
One part of why the film works so well is its character development. None of the characters are exactly sympathetic, all of them instead falling into a morally ambiguous grey area as seems to be the purpose of the movie. You aren’t really sure who you are supposed to like and dislike (apart from the demon, whom you are obviously supposed to hate), and in so doing, the film is able to brilliantly capture the complexities of humanity. Is it a bit messy at times? Yes, but it works nonetheless.
In terms of suspense, this is one of the creepiest and scariest movies you will see all year. The first forty-five minutes are thoroughly disturbing in an American Psycho sort-of way. The levels of violence and gore don’t feel excessive or manipulative because you can’t really tell what the film is trying to say at the time, instead feeling disturbing, and becoming even more disturbing when you figure it out. The second half is also very high-intensity, but in a different way.
The movie is also surprisingly emotionally resonant. The film’s emotion kicks in around the halfway mark where there is a big twist. It is hard to discuss this without spoilers, but know that there is something that happens at that point that will completely change your perspective on the first half and drive the second half. This is one of the most heart-wrenching scenes ever to occur in a horror movie.
The actors all do a phenomenal job too. Ademir Esteves plays the lead of the film, the exorcist, and he is excellent in the role. He brilliantly captures the emotion of the movie, especially during the aforementioned scene, in ways that make the film all the more impressive. This is his first role credited on IMDb, so hopefully someone will see this movie and give him more work because he obviously has a ton of talent.
Surprisingly the film is also great on a technical level. One wouldn’t normally associate foreign horror movie with high levels of quality, but this film is one of the most wonderfully-shot genre movies in a while. The camerawork is brilliant and fluid, doing a great job of building suspense. The special effects are even more impressive. The quality of the costume for the demon is mind-blowingly freaky and more disturbing than most recent movie monsters.
Overall, Our Evil is a truly impressive film. Apart from a few moments that are a bit messy, this was a nearly perfect chiller. The scares are there, the emotion is excellent, and the design is great. American audiences need to see this so that they can know what a truly great horror film can be.
Our Evil opens in theaters on May 10 and is available on VOD beginning May 14.