If the big box office success of Get Out is any indication, the horror genre has shifted from trying to scare audiences to using the set-up of typical horror movie in order to experiment with other genres and cinematic styles. Another Evil, the debut from writer-director Carson D. Mell, also aims to move the horror genre in a new direction. The film uses the familiar horror trope of the haunted house but includes elements of comedy, drama and thriller. The film arrives on digital platforms on Friday and screens at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, on May 9, at the Capitol Theatre.
Another Evil focuses on modernist artist Dan (Steve Zissis), who discovers that a pair of ghosts is haunting his family's vacation home in the mountains outside of Los Angeles. He attempts to get rid of the spirits by hiring a no-nonsense ghost hunter named Os (Mark Proksch). Os and Dan both hole up in the cabin for a week in order to get to the bottom of the supernatural mystery.
In a lot of ways, this isn't a straight horror flick — there are multiple long monologues by characters, and there's not much in the way of actual scares. Instead, the film takes a number of weird and funny turns, relying on the relationship between Dan and Os to produce most of the tension and comedy.
The performances by both the leads are excellent; Proksch in particular gives a very believable and complex performance as the oddball ghost hunter. The tonal shifts in the film also work well. There are scenes that can pass as funny, serious and scary all at the same time.
However, the comedy in the film doesn't come off as laugh-out-loud humor but mostly feels strained. It often falls flat, and the film occasionally feels like it wants to dive into really serious territory, though it never really does.
Despite these issues, the memorable performances and the interesting mix of genres make Another Evil fresh and an exciting addition to the new wave of horror films.