When I read the press release for THE EVIL IN US, I made the decision to review it based on the tagline alone: “Side effects may include: insomnia, rage, cannibalism.” How can you NOT want to see a film that is described like that? Needless to say, I was pretty excited when the film finally arrived.
After watching it, I can definitely say I was entertained. Is it perfect? Well, no…but it is a movie definitely worth checking out, and I suggest you do so. THE EVIL IN US will leave a lasting impression upon you, regardless of what you think about it.
If you are not familiar with THE EVIL IN US, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of RLJ Entertainment:
Six school friends meet up for a Fourth of July celebration on a remote island off the Washington coast for a weekend of fun and partying. But the good times quickly turn into a nightmare when they unknowingly take a new bio-active drug containing a virus that causes fits of psychotic rage. Only one girl, Brie, doesn’t take the drug and she alone must fight to stay alive as her friends slowly turn into bloodthirsty cannibals. Trapped on the island, Brie must endure the unimaginable in a desperate battle for survival.
First, the good stuff.
THE EVIL IN US is shot well and looks great onscreen. The direction seems solid, and the cinematography is well-planned. Also, the production value appears high.
The acting is above average, although nobody really gives a standout performance. Still, I enjoyed Debs Howard as Brie, and I look forward to seeing her in future projects.
The gore is top notch, and there’s quite a bit of it. Once the carnage appears onscreen, it is almost a constant. The special effects team does a great job, and the results are very visible.
But for as good as these aspects are, THE EVIL IN US has a couple of pretty hefty negatives.
First, the storyline is a bit too jerky. We start off with an incident in an apartment building, but then shift gears to our main characters getting ready for a trip. A short while later, we are thrown off once again with an enigmatic man who has apparently kidnapped a random couple. These transitions were not well done, and they confused me to start with. I feel like a little more lead-in or even a different way of transitioning would have made this feel less spasmodic.
Secondly, the characters are honestly not that likable. They’re loud, rowdy, and, well, obnoxious. Thus, when the crap hits the proverbial fan, I wasn’t too upset. I never made a firm connection with any of them, therefore I didn’t really care if they were dying or not for the most part.
But even so, THE EVIL IN US is still a fun film overall, and I suggest giving it a look. If you can overlook its faults, you will have a good time.
The film is available now.