The Evil Within

The Evil Within ★★★½

I liked this quite a lot. More than I was expecting to in fact. It's trashy for sure, but a pleasing throwback to 80s horror that's fully committed to its M.O. We enter the head-space of Dennis, who at first we think is an articulate loner type, recalling his weird dreams and bouts of sleep paralysis, but who actually turns out to be mentally handicapped - the voice at the start is his inner self, which he struggles to express in reality. This lays the groundwork for a duality which intensifies when his father brings a big old creepy mirror into his room - the mirror from his nightmares!

Make no bones, this is a trashy film. It's also pretty crazy - not balls to the wall crazy, but crazy enough to tickle my batshit receptors! The OTT set design, popping colours and committed performances from all involved mean that what could be a run-of-the-mill (and probably pretty distasteful) story about a schizophrenic flipping out ends up being a blast; a bloody mash-up of dream-based weirdness and escalating serial killerdom with an 80s vibe, tongue firmly in cheek. It knows it's in the basement and never pretends otherwise.

As for the cast, Michael Berryman is Michael Berryman, but the real star here is obviously Frederick Koehler - he looks like he's having a blast playing his evil self and I got an inordinate amount of pleasure out of him yelling RETARD at himself in the mirror as he goes full on psycho! I tell you what though, I've seen enough contorted spider women in horror films now to last me a lifetime.

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