‘WHEN Evil Lurks’ is a horror flick that’s an Argentinian-U.S. co-production. It’s currently released in local theaters without being promoted, so it’s understandable that there were just a few of us inside the moviehouse when we watched it.
It is written and directed by Argentinian filmmaker Demian Rugna, who previously made the horror film “Terrified”. The film is set in a small Argentinian town and opens with brothers Pedro (Ezequiel Rodriguez) and Jaime (Demian Salomon) hearing gunshots in the night.
They investigate in the morning and find a badly mutilated man in the forest.
In a nearby shanty, they meet a native woman, Maria Elena, whose eldest son, Uriel, is badly deformed and bedridden. We learn that he is possessed by an unborn evil spirit who is waiting to come out into the open.
The dismembered body they saw in the forest is an exorcist or cleaner called by Maria Elena to help get rid of the demon that possessed her son’s body before it can transfer to other humans. The brothers ask the help of the landowner Ruiz who drags Uriel to take him outside his land.
But Uriel manages to escape and things only get from bad to worse. Jimena, the wife of Ruiz, finds out their animals are also infected. One of their goats has grown big horns, also possessed by an evil spirit.
Ruiz shoots it but his wife then axes him in the head without any warning, then kills herself with the same axe. Jaime and Pedro decide to leave their town and take their mother with them.
Pedro also goes to his ex-wife Sabrina who now has a new husband to rescue her and their two children. But instead of saving them, more evil things happen to everyone and no one is spared, not even small children who are also cruelly infected by evil entities.
The main idea of the movie, which is about a town being contaminated by evil, is something we’ve seen before. The 3rd episode of the local movie, “Shake Rattle and Roll Extreme”, is also about infected by an organism from outer space that possessed people and transform them into flesh eating zombies.
Other films with familiar storyline are the Taiwanese flick, “The Sadness”, about a pandemic that turned people into blood-thirsty sadistic maniacs; “City of the Living Dead”, an Italian horror film about the undead coming out from a gate in hell; and “The Children”, a British thriller about a virus that turns little kids into blood thirsty monsters and even Stephen King’s “The Mist”.
The movie is presented like a road trip but a very bleak and violent one. Rugna has created a very harsh and depressing world where even people in authority are so impotent to do anything to combat the butchery and carnage that is happening around them.
The satanic mythology used in the movie is also not fully explained so somehow, we are not totally sold on the material’s possession premise.
We’re also told that in dealing with the infected people called Rotten, no light, no electricity, no bullets should be used. But these rules are also not fully explained and they actually don’t make much sense.
As viewers, we have very little connection to the characters and their descent into madness. This is a movie that really goes to the extreme in shocking viewers as it bathes its infected characters in gory mud, slime, mucus, dirt and blood. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.