The Evil One Release Date: 22 February 2005 (USA) Genre: Horror Director(s): Parris Reaves (When Thugs Cry, Trust) Writer(s): Parris Reaves (When Thugs Cry, Trust) Starring: Candace Carey, Eric Lane, Big Gipp Despite starting off rocky with pitiful urban product like Sweet Potato Pie, Maverick Entertainment’s Breakaway Films has gone onto make its fair share […]

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The Evil One
Release Date: 22 February 2005 (USA)
Genre: Horror
Director(s): Parris Reaves (When Thugs Cry, Trust)
Writer(s): Parris Reaves (When Thugs Cry, Trust)
Starring: Candace Carey, Eric Lane, Big Gipp

Despite starting off rocky with pitiful urban product like Sweet Potato Pie, Maverick Entertainment’s Breakaway Films has gone onto make its fair share of above average films. While York Entertainment still can’t get things right after six years or so of in-house productions thanks to the hiring of terrible producers, Maverick has bankrolled impressive product like The Bahama Hustle and Street Tales of Terror. Joining the positive side of Maverick’s contributions to your video store shelf is The Evil One, the latest from filmmaker Parris Reaves.

The Evil One concerns itself with Herman Webster Mudgett Jr., America’s first African American serial killer. Now an infamous figure, Mudgett admitted to the murders of twenty-seven people in his three-story “Murder Castle” before finally being hung on May 7, 1896.

In what is actually one of the first instances of a movie studio downplaying a real life serial killer’s methods instead of overemphasizing them, The Evil One doesn’t mention too much of Mudgett’s past. Instead, it simply focuses on the fact that Mudgett’s body was buried face down towards hell. Now over one hundred years later, a killer is racking up quite the body count in the Chicago suburb of Englewood. As all this is happening, a young mother is having conflicting thoughts about her grisly job as a crime scene photographer. As she goes through the case, she realizes a connection between Mudgett and the murder of her own mother, not to mention facts about the current case at hand.

Like Street Tales of Terror, The Evil One suffers at times due to the bad acting that comes hand-in-hand with features like this. This causes certain scenes to feel like they’re going on forever. Add to that the fact that some scenes actually DO go on way too long, and you’ve got a film that really could’ve used some pre-production script cuts.

What we do get with The Evil One is a very effective horror film that leads towards thriller rather than a simplistic slasher. When it’s not feeling a little long in the tooth, it’s quite intriguing.

DVD: Once again, Maverick really needs to stop with the unskippable previews. The DVD itself is barebones. Maverick’s website advertises a commentary track, my driving force behind getting this on DVD, but lo and behold, it’s not there.

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The Evil One, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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