Another Evil (2016) [FrightFest 2016]

Another EvilAn artist, his wife, and their son are spending some time in their vacation home when ghosts visit them.  They decide to reach out to a specialist who doesn’t do much that helps.  After this, another specialist is hired as recommended by a friend.  As this new exorcist works on ridding them of the spirits, the wife and son go back to the city.  At their vacation home, things take a turn for the weird, supernaturally and otherwise. Written and directed by Carson D. Mell, the film is more about the “industrial-grade exorcist” who comes into the house and brings his personal demons along.

This character is broken and the relationship he builds with the man who hired him shows this.  Mell creates relatable characters put in a crazy situation with a damaged man. The ghosts are used as a linchpin to bringing the two men together.  The film is done in a serious tone and is definitely a very dark comedy.  The way the story is built, the way that the characters are developed brings the ghost story to a new place.  The writing is interesting and realistic as to how everyday people would react in these kinds of situations. The film’s leads of Os the exorcist and Dan the artist are played by Mark Proksch and Steve Zissis respectively.

Both go full force with their performances, Proksch goes for broke (and broken), giving a strong and slightly out there performance.  Zissis for his part gives the shining performance of the film, making his part feel real in a huge pile up of crazy circumstances.  The film has no bad acting, the two leads are definitely the strongest actors here and they keep the film going and working even when this get truly ridiculous. The special effects are fairly minimal but what is there is effective.  As of this writing, the special effects credits could not be found online which is unfortunate as the work on the ghosts is great.  The digital effects are also good but are even more minimally used.  Adding to those effects is the look of the film with cinematography by Drew Dienemann who works the inside of the vacation house well and allows the story and characters to shine.

Another Evil is about evil in most of its forms: actual evil, evil that is imagined, and evil in human actions.  The film succeeds at being a tragic comedy, a film with dark, dark humor with human stories at the heart of its ghost story.