Joining an already super-crowed sub-genre of horror, The Evil Down the Street had a difficult task from the start. Paranormal horror reached its apex some time ago. Now all we see now are rehashes of tired stories, tropes and clichés. Originality within this style of horror is few and far between. If you’re going into The Evil Down the Street hoping for something fresh and new, be prepared to be very disappointed.
That being said, it’s not a terrible movie. It just offers nothing for genre fans to sink their teeth. It also takes a few big missteps that leave a bad taste in the mouth.
Coming from director David J. Espinosa and supposedly inspired by ‘true events’. The story surrounds a family who have moved into their new house in a quiet suburb. The family consists of mother Katie (Alena Gerard), father Michael (Kelton Jones) and their two teenage daughters, Kristen (Tara Milante) and Maddy (Sophia Sparks). Unsurprisingly their lovely new home has a dark past and it’s not long before strange occurrences begin.
Few would blame you for switching off at this stage. This brief synopsis sounds like any paranormal horror ever. That’s because that is what The Evil Down the Street is!
Even when it decides to change tact and instead focus on the increasingly odd behaviour of Katie, it still does nothing new. Rather then play around with our presumption that she has become possessed; the film makes it clear early on. That’s a real shame as the movie could have marked itself out as something a little different by keeping us guessing too.
Instead we get darkness loving, Ouija-board playing and demon-voiced seductive drinker Katie. Who can save her soul and stop the demonic possession from ripping apart the family? Time to call in Father Bob (Director David J. Espinosa)!
It’s a shame about the story. It’s a shame that it is written in a way that is almost insulting. Every little detail is carefully explained as though the audience are idiots. There is no make up your own mind or develop your own theories. Everything is spelt out to the point of annoyance.
It’s a shame because the film does have positives. We have some good performances and some well-built tension with even the odd jump scare that could be called effective. It’s not a badly made film by any stretch.
However, as much as you might try to enjoy these elements, the lacklustre story and predictable events just drag it down. Leading to an ending that is so anticlimactic you might think you feLl asleep and missed a big section.
All the build to an exorcism, a face-off between Father Bob and the demon inside Katie and it lasts all of two minutes. It’s a slap in the face to those who sat through the tediousness of the story up to that point.
Paranormal horror has had it’s best days already and films like The Evil Down the Street just confirm that.
The Evil Down the Street