Evil Everywhere (2019) was written and directed by Mykee Morettini (“Reverend Ralph Wall,” “Captain Fantasy”) in his feature directorial and writing debut. In 1985, an ancient evil began slaughtering the senior class in alphabetical order – but it was stopped. Two years later the evil has resurfaced, and 20 year old Jake Davis hunts down Zeke Zanderfeldt – a reclusive former classmate who put an end to the evil previously – to find a pattern to take down the evil again. Along with former high school theater queen Julia Lochley (who also practices in the dark arts), the trio band together against the demonic force that is claiming young lives each day. But what they discover might be more complicated than any of them bargained for.
I think this film really nails the look and feel that it is going for. As a throwback to 1980s horror, they put this old VHS style, grainy filter over the film that made it look more old fashioned. Though I am by no means an expert on the time period, they seemed to also really capture the clothing, technology, and style of the time period for the most part. The biggest standout of this film for me was the gore. Though it didn’t technically look real, neither does a lot of the gore from those 80s slasher flicks, but that’s a huge part of the charm of this film. They have a lot of really creative special effects at their disposal that they use to their maximum effect. The over the top gore is extremely fun and makes for some really creative kills. And for the budget it seems this film has, I think they actually were able to pull a lot more off than one might expect, such as guts being ripped out of someone, a loose eye, stabbings, brains splattering, etc.
At 64 minutes, this film doesn’t even technically clock in at feature length (in fact I think a lot of television episodes on streaming services are around this length). However, that honestly wouldn’t be a flaw in itself if the story was really well told and engaging. Unfortunately, even at only 64 minutes this film feels incredibly stretched out and drags. If my research is correct, this film initially started out as a short film called Paura Tutto (2014), and I think that really shows. This film really feels like an 11-30 minute short film that was stretched out to twice the length it should have been. Almost the entire film consists of this: the three main characters (played by Corrinne Mica, Mykee Morettini, and Jared Walker) in one scene sitting around together, investigating this evil and delivering exposition, and then the next scene we see the evil or someone getting killed by this. This is essentially the formula for the entire film until we get to the climax. It’s incredibly monotonous.
If you look at the short film, which is available on Youtube, it’s described as a “A parody of overly long, cheesy and confusing classic foreign-horror trailers from the 70’s and 80’s by directors such as Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento, or Mario Bava.” Considering that Evil Everywhere is a sequel to Paura Tutto, I can only assume that this film was meant to be a parody of foreign horror films as well. I think there’s a fine line between parody and/or satire, and just being the thing you are trying to parody. Unfortunately, I think this film falls in the latter category. That’s not to say there aren’t some very funny tongue and cheek moments. I mentioned of course the gore, which is admittedly very fun, but there’s this moment where the police officer is looking at a photo of the deceased chief of police and the guy who plays the chief clearly has a fake mustache and it’s supposed to be this sentimental moment. I found that very funny. In another moment where Jake Davis (Jared Walker) was talking to Zeke Zanderfeldt (Mykee Morettini) and explains how he was taken in by the Anacondas, he says nonchalantly something like “they’re a gang… but they’re like a family to me.” And he said it in a way that was so stilted and deadpan that it came across as humorous.
As I mentioned, there’s a pretty fine line between parody or satire, and just being the thing you say you’re making fun of. Outside of a few moments, this film unfortunately didn’t feel like a parody of those terrible 70s and 80s foreign horror films, but rather those very films themselves for the majority of the run time. So without the extremely clever and funny writing that comes from a film like Airplane!, you get a film that doesn’t say or do anything really that fun or clever with the genre it’s parodying. The film isn’t tongue and cheek about how confusing the story is, the story just is extremely monotonous and confusing. You don’t get any jabs at the stilted, admittedly pretty bad acting, the acting is just that. There aren’t any jabs at how bland the characters are, they just are bland.
In terms of the cast, Corrinne Mica (A Spark in Nothing, Don’t Save Me) was by far the best actor, and I think her character had the most wasted potential. Her character Julia just happened to be into the dark arts, which is a very fun character trait, but it’s something they don’t do anything with until the final confrontation.
Verdict: 1.5 out of 5
Despite a good score, strong commitment to the time period, and some fun gore, Evil Everywhere (2019) does not rise above the thing it is claiming to be a parody of. With that being said, I would like to turn your attention to the short film Paura Tutto (2014), also directed by Mykee Morettini and written by Peter Dorman and Mykee Morettini. The short is not only extremely funny, but also does exactly what this film promises, and parodies the gimmicks of the 70s and 80s cheap horror films. Some of my favorite moments include an extremely abrupt ending, some really obvious terrible dubbing, and dubbing for this one female character that is almost clearly done by a male or at least someone else. It’s an absolute joy from start to finish and better shows what this film could have been.