The Evil in Us (2015) [FrightFest 2016]

TheEvilinUsA group of students heads to the island cabin one of the girl’s parents just bought.  Once there, they party like they used to, drinking and partaking in recreational drugs.  Meanwhile, in a medical facility that looks more like a prison, tests are bring run on unwilling participants.  Soon it becomes clear that not all is at is seems when the students start attacking each other.

The Evil in Us is written and directed by Jason William Lee who creates a movie that starts with a strong, bloody bang and builds an interesting take on the young people in a cabin story.  He uses some of the usual tropes but replaces teenagers with twenties to mid-twenties young adults so some of the issues change as well.  The way they handle the situation is also different a bit.  Surprisingly, more than one of the characters were likable to this reviewer and the ordeal they go through was made more interesting because of that.  Of course, a few stupid things are said and done along the way, but those are forgivable given that the film is fun and has some originality to it.

The cast does well with their parts and feel like a group of friends that have grown apart through going their separate ways.  They have a past in common and still care about one another, but they are more different than they used to be.  The two cast members that come across as the best of the bunch as Behtash Fazlali as Bash and Debs Howard as Brie, both give good nuanced performances of flawed characters.  As those in the group who admit, or somewhat admit, to their flaws, they get a bigger range to work with.  In the leads, everyone pulls their weight, no one gives a bad performance but a few are a bit uneven.  Fazlali and Howard’s performances make up for this.

As this is a horror film with gore, effects are important.  The special effects by Michelle Clarke-Brown and Jon Funk are decent and really bloody, but one of the main pieces, near the end, looks grotesque and doesn’t really work in full light.  Supporting these special effects are the visual effects supervised by Ben Pickles.  The effects are all a big part of the beautiful and bloody opening sequence as well as the first few scenes of the film that set the pace for the rest of the work (besides the aforementioned grotesque piece).

The Evil in Us takes the youth at a cabin tropes and mixes them with a few lesser done angles and has decent characters do.  The film takes an idea that could have been very generic and makes it fun.  It does have its issues like the unnecessary subplot that serves very little purpose except to add clues and the epilogue that feels tacked on, but it’s entertaining, has some good blood and interesting sequences.