The only thing harder than getting rid of a ghost may be getting rid of an exorcist. Dan is an artist escaping Los Angeles with his wife and son to the seclusion of their summer home on the outer edge of the desert. During the night, his son, Jazz, wakes to voices whispering and figures moving through the hall. Dan, armed with a fireplace poker investigates the noise only to find a horrifying, ghoulish specter climbing up the stairs behind him. This leads to his wife calling for an “expert” in the form of a Joey Lee (Dan Bakkedahl, Life in Pieces) who seems about as far away from being a master of the spirit realm as possible. In track pants and a tank top, munching a candy bar as he spiritually “cleanses” the home, his expert advice is that the ghosts are pretty chill guys and that the family could do a lot worse as far as otherworldly roommates go. Like deciding to settle on a blind date just to get you over that slump you’ve been on. Unsatisfied with the Great Value equivalent of the old woman from the first Poltergeist movie, Dan calls a friend who puts him in touch with a “ghost assassin” who he hears great things about. Enter Os (pronounced Oz) who has come to chew bubblegum and kick undead ass. He’s all out of bubblegum but full of strikingly eccentric anecdotes about trapping ghosts and his own close encounters as a troubled youth engaged in questionable activities and copious amounts of drug abuse that have likely fried his brain. I think we’ve all had one of those awkward, uncomfortable conversations with someone. You know, the ones where you can clearly tell that someone is not quite right but for the sake of politeness you keep talking to them even though you wish they’d go away. Os is out there from the minute he meets Dan but, as their week together exorcising the home continues, the depths of his passion -or maybe madness is a better word- begin to manifest. Meanwhile, Dan continues to try to work on his art and has another terrifying experience with a ghost in his bed almost as frightening as running into the living room to find Os in the middle of some sacred, naked trance. Things take a dark turn, however, when Dan decides that the haunting is more benign than the occultist trying to evict the spirits as Os decides that the only way to save his new “friend” Dan is to rid him of the true cause of the haunting: his teenage son Jazz. The preview I watched felt misleading after I watched the movie. I thought I was getting into a sort of buddy-buddy horror comedy when in fact there was a strong, psychological element to this movie that I had totally overlooked. The intensity of Os, an alcohol and emotionally damaged man who has been years paying for his own crimes against the dead by trying to send them to a higher plain of existence brings a sort of misunderstood and tortured character to the forefront of the film. What you think is just another charlatan trying to bilk some family out of a little cash and crash in their home for a week soon descends into the story of a troubled man trying to hold his life together inside the fantasy that he is a lone soldier in a war against Satan himself. Mark Proksch (Son of Zorn, Better Call Saul) is the misunderstood and socially skewed Os. From his obsession of saving cats which led to the demise of his marriage to the chronic alcoholism that allows him to be more in tune with the spiritual plains of existence brings a character to life that is both humorous and tragic all at the same time. Played off against Dan (Steve Zissis) who is struggling with the reality of either living with ghosts or the exorcist, the two form an unusual bond in their week together. There were a lot of awkward, uncomfortable moments between the two that created the main vehicle for the humor in the film while also set the stage for their eventual showdown. The comedic elements were in the same vein as Zach Galifinakis or Steve Carrell with that sort of awkward and out of touch persona being delivered by Proksch’s Os time and time again. Beyond the humor, the ghosts themselves had a severely unsettling appearance as well as some unique apertures and appendages that, despite their lack of screen time are sure to give you the creeps. Another Evil wasn’t ground breaking in the genre but the performances and directing were solid with a script that was cogent, funny, and more than a little bit freaky the longer it played out. It’s definitely one to add to your watch list. Turn down the lights, grab your canned wine, and enjoy Another Evil. It’s streaming now and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 18! Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.