The astounding horror film When Evil Lurks starts as a dramatic journey into darkness only to evolve into an uncompromising confrontation with ultimate evil.
In the first reel the audience as well as the main characters witness a person sawn in half and another person puffed up full of pus and corpulence. The latter will be referred to as the rotten but it’s obviously someone whose being has been infested by an entity.
After all is said and done some of what happens in this film makes the devil look like an amateur. Two brothers (Ezequiel Rodríguez and Demián Salomón) discover a trail of terror while investigating gunshots heard late at night on their property.
Everything touched by the taint of evil in this film gets infected. Evil is like a virus. But some caveats. You cannot use electricity around the disturbance much less conventional weapons. The narrative of When Evil Lurks only reveals tiny clues as the brothers try to eradicate the evil from their land.
Eventually they hook up with a bruja who uses a kind of ancient device that looks like an astrolabe to combat evil. Along the way the guys pick up spiritual baggage that consists of their mother and their children.
Director Demián Rugna also helmed a segment from the recent omnibus Satanic Hispanics as well as his 2017 horror thriller Aterrados. Rugna has a finger on the pulse of modern horror.
Argentina cinema has had high points in recent years like The Secret in Their Eyes or Nine Queens. When Evil Lurks sets a new level for both Argentina and modern horror films. Perhaps not oddly the accents to the language are distinct. When one character says “Shut up” it sounds different from how it sound in other Latin films.
There’s also the real life factor. In a world where people are obsessed with war and beheading babies how can horror films as entertainment be justified. The true fan of horror movies has no doubt lived through civil war as opposed to being taught the same concept in school. Tom Savini the godfather of special effects in the gore genre was a combat photographer during the Vietnam war.
There are visual references to films like Seven or In the Mouth of Madness. Yet as much as the viewer wants to compare When Evil Lurks to other films you realize that it’s organic horror.
There may be genre similarities that remind you of other movies however When Evil Lurks is the most original film of the year.
When Evil Lurks is currently in theater and premieres on streamer Shudder October 27.