This piece was written during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labour of the actors currently on strike, the movie/series/feature being covered here wouldn't exist.
BY ROMEY NORTON OCTOBER 7, 2023
When Evil Lurks is the perfect horror film to watch this spooky season. With blood thirsty demons savagely ravishing a small town, this film blends classic horror genres and tropes so well you’ll be sleeping with the light on.
Set in a small, rural town, in Argentina and two brothers Pedro (Ezequiel Rodríguez), his brother, Jimi (Demián Salomón) discover a man (who has been turned into a drooling, obese monster) who is infected by a demon and is about to give birth to pure evil. The villages desperately try to escape, but it’s just a little too late.
When Evil Lurks does so well in creating threatening situations and with its stomach churning violence and gruesome detail, which I was not expecting, gives you the adrenaline rush you seek from a horror film. What makes this horror so good to watch is it doesn't use any obvious, cheesy CGI, and instead goes for what feels like an old school style of makeup and prosthetics. This heightens the realism for me. What I also appreciate is the suspense around what the demon physically looks like - this being kept a mystery is a clever way to suggest that we all have a demon inside of us.
The storyline is not overly complicated; you have a demon spreading around a village, and two brothers try to escape and because it focuses on that, it remains strong. The pace of the film is quick, with dramatic bursts happening to keep you engaged and fixated. Also, with the cast being kept small you get to invest in the one brother especially and as he battles his own demons as well as the physical one. There are some questions left open - about the relationships with his sons - reminding us that we’re always facing battles in life and we simply cannot run away and hide from them.
The acting is some of the best I’ve seen in the horror genre for a long time. I was compelled, and their fear, distress and actions were all believable. There’s a lot of swearing, necessary, but now I definitely know the F-word in Spanish.
The demon can’t be killed by a gun/with ash and it will condemn them. This might be a subtle hint to gun violence, or just a way to show this is a supernatural being that cannot be killed by man made tools and needs to be fought with magic.
As the two brothers and their families try to flee the village, an older woman comes in with a distinct way to kill the creatures. Her mentor type figure helps the frantic finale to end this film on a high. Just when you think it’s safe, more shivers are sent down your spine. (It’s also left open for a potential sequel, so I’m keeping my eyes peeled)
Horror films should convey a message or a lesson to its audiences; something deeper than running away or not opening the door to strangers. Here the lesson I take from this movie is, listen when someone tells you there is a demon. The more in depth message is to not listen to your demons and let them get into your head.