By DAKOTA DAHL
Starring Corrinne Mica, Dylan Mars Greenberg and Mykee Morettini
Written and Directed by Mykee Morettini
Wild Eye Releasing
Oftentimes, people are either too gentle or too harsh when evaluating a low budget horror film. There’s plenty of conversation about recent found footage franchise The Fear Footage that boils down to its defenders pointing out how the first film’s budget was a scant $300. Reversely, others will point out that lack of funds doesn’t excuse a lack of quality, and will hold up smaller indie films against large blockbusters. I believe that budget should be considered when judging a film, but it shouldn’t be used to rose-color glaring issues that have nothing to do with money, but skill. The Fear Footage is bad not because of its financial limitations, but because the plot is thin and the acting is bad. Which is where this review gets hypocritical. EVIL EVERYWHERE also has a meandering, nonsense plot with wooden acting, but that’s all done to humorous effect as a way to capture the cheesy, jarring quality of a giallo, especially the works of Dario Argento.
EVIL EVERYWHERE serves as a sequel to Paura Tutto, but you don’t need to have seen that since they quickly summarize it at the beginning of this film. Basically, an unknowable evil force began killing kids in the alphabetical order of their yearbook, Zeke Zanderfeldt (Mykee Morettini), the last name in the yearbook can stop it. After doing so he’s now on the run from the law, because honestly, sole survivors of supernatural horror movies usually would. You can’t really justify why your covered in blood and all your friends are inside out without coming off as suspicious.
Predictably, but luckily for us audience members, the killings start up again, and it’s up to Zeke and a new band of plucky youngsters to figure out the mystery and stop the titular evil, preferably for good this time. But the killings aren’t in alphabetical order, so how the hell can they get a leg up on this nonsense? Don’t worry, Zeke spends ten seconds figuring out that artists are being targeted. From there lots happens, most of it charming nonsense. Which can loosely be followed as people getting possessed and killing their loved ones while Zeke and the gang over (or under) react to waves of gore.
A big criticism being leveled against EVIL EVERYWHERE is that the plot isn’t at all coherent. However, these points miss the entire theme of the film. This is an emulation of old no-budget Italian horror movies, which were notoriously obtuse. One of the best Italian horror films from the era is Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond, described by Fulci himself as “…an absolute film, with all the horrors of our world. It’s a plotless film: a house, people, and dead men coming from The Beyond. There’s no logic to it, just a succession of images.” This core value, to simply show horror happening visually and entertainingly, is the blood in the heart of EVIL EVERYWHERE.
What’s amazing is that while the budget is evident at every turn of the runtime, it never works against the film. If they had trouble recording audio and had to dub it in later, that adds to the tone. Continuity errors? Classic. Watery blood or rubbery organs? Magnifique. In fact, that last criticism isn’t even fair since the FX, especially the gore, don’t have any business being this good. I’ve seen big budget horror films with less effective special effects. Another standout of EVIL EVERYWHERE’s charm is the music. It was all originally composed by director Mykee Morettini and his friends. It nails the vibe of old grindhouse-y films while also being pleasant and new, a perfect blend of familiar and exciting.
The film has the good sense not to take itself too seriously, a clear vision of how to nail down its retro vibe and stretches a paper thin budget to make it work. It’s rough and confusing. A hot mess that audiences won’t want any other way.
EVIL EVERYWHERE premieres on DVD and Digital May 25th