When Evil Lurks

There’s an unwritten rule that suggests that the first few minutes of a movie are the most crucial.  This isn’t a knock on shortened attention spans.  As much as we would like to reward patience at every moment, viewers can usually gauge their interest within these initial scenes – it makes or breaks a movie.

When Evil Lurks, an Argentinian-American co-production, is one of the strongest horror movies of the year because of how brilliantly it begins.  Immediately, writer/director Demián Rugna establishes the degree of danger in a post-apocalyptic world.  Creating a fusion of possession and zombie horror, an untreatable fate known as becoming part of the “rotted” runs rampant and can be easily passed on if carelessly handled.  Regardless of their caution, brothers Pedro (Ezequiel Rodriguez) and Jaime (Demián Salomon) are thrown into a succession of life-and-death scenarios involving “rotted” strangers infecting family, and the possessed playing on insecurities to continue the pattern.

From the panicked performances by Rodriguez and Salomon to the condensed timeline to the sudden bursts of extreme “how did they do that?” violence, When Evil Lurks is a breathtakingly stressful thriller for all of the right reasons – easily comparative to 2021’s The Sadness.  Rugna doesn’t hold back on challenging the audience with quaking twists, stark language, and bleak conclusions.  These decisions enable the exposition to get ahead of itself, but they don’t contribute to a jarring bummer.  The unforgiving storytelling, instead, creates a strongly effective experience that welcomes every emotion towards it, from the highly intrigued to absolutely repulsed.


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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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