Sunday, September 10, 2017

Movie Review: "Little Evil" (2017)

Director: Eli Craig
Year: 2017
Rating: TV-MA
Running Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

A newly married man believes his five-year-old stepson is the Antichrist and is convinced the child is determined to kill him.

It can be hard getting married to a woman who already has a child. Learning to be a step-parent is difficult, especially when your new stepchild is the biological son of Satan.

At least that's the ~*WaCkY~*concept of "Little Evil," Netflix's new comedic horror film from writer/director Eli Craig. Craig is no stranger to this genre as he is best known for his absolutely amazing and hilarious movie "Tucker & Dale vs. Evil." Gone are Craig's days of quippy, smart satirical films as they have now been replaced with unfunny, annoying side characters and endless homages. This latest film stars Adam Scott as Gary, who has just married the woman of his dreams in Samantha, played by Evangeline Lilly. Samantha has a son named Lucas, played by Owen Atkas, and he is the Antichrist, though she doesn't really see this or acknowledge it. Once Gary moves in with them, it is pretty clear Lucas wants him dead.

The question is, can "Little Evil" come close to the outrageous fun found in Craig's previous feature film? The answer to this quandary is unfortunately no. A huge, big, fat no, at least in our eyes. As we mentioned, this movie offers numerous homages to classic horror films like "The Omen," "The Shining," "Poltergeist," and "Children of the Corn." However, simply referencing these films isn't enough to make a substantial final product. Is this a Member-Berry episode of "South Park" or something?? It appears this fan service, these glimpses at horror nostalgia, are used in place of actual humor and are more of a crutch than anything of substance. This movie attempts to spoof these classics a little bit but doesn't offer any real comedic insight into the genre.

Director Eli Craig is clearly making a ham-fisted metaphor about being a step parent because sometimes your child may seem like the spawn of Satan even though they aren't. "Little Evil" even fails to have any insight or cleverness into this notion. Craig could have left some doubt about whether or not Lucas was actually a demon Satan child. He could have left the audience wondering whether or not Gary was simply being paranoid about his step-son, but it is clear Lucas is the literal Antichrist. One would hope a horror comedy would be either full of over the top blood and guts like "Shaun of the Dead" or "Army of Darkness," or just plain ol' funny like the first "Scary Movie," but "Little Evil" is neither of these things (and painfully so).

Adam Scott is fine in his role but pretty much does the same character he has played since "Parks and Recreation" with a much more lacking script behind his acting. Evangeline Lilly is completely wasted here. We hated Bridget Everett's character AL and never connected with her once. We hardly ever laughed at her antics and she and several other minor characters start to become irritating after about ten minutes into its run time.

In the end, we didn't enjoy "Little Evil." It's mostly unfunny, surprisingly grating, and ineffective as a comedy, a horror movie, and a horror comedy. We don't think it is really worth your time even though it's free on Netflix.
My Rating: 3.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 3/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment