When Evil Lurks : A Scary Film About Family

When Evil Lurks

Believe the hype. This is the scariest film of the year.

Like I said in our modern horror movie list, there has been an influx of great supernatural-themed horror films. I listed The Babadook, Hereditary, The Witch, and Paranormal Activity as the best modern supernatural films of the last 20 years. Three things I considered were being scary, the creativity, and the stakes between the characters. 

Something about all these better supernatural-themed horror films is that characters either lost or have something valuable to lose. And something nobody wants to lose is family. Take The Witch, for example, where Thomasin’s whole family is against her. Or Hereditary, where Peter kills her sister by accident. Even The Babadook is about a mother conflicting with her autistic son. The stakes are higher when the family is involved. 

Then, there’s When Evil Lurks.

The Argentinian frightening flick When Evil Lurks is having some attention lately. Directed by Demián Rugna, Cuando Acecha la Maldad is about two brothers from rural Argentina who find a man about to give birth to Evil. After disbelieving that praying to God will save him. The two brothers are pressured into disposing of the body by the landowner, only to accidentally allow Evil to spread throughout the town when they accidentally help the possessed man give birth to Evil. 

We can see the themes of religion, social class, and superstitions in the first act. Though the story doesn’t throw away these topics just for the sake of cheap scares, it will develop along with the principal theme of the rest of the film. It’s about family. 

It sounds stupid, thanks to Fast and the Furious. But the movie does a good job introducing the rest of the bother’s family during the second act rather than putting it all in the beginning. You’ll get to know Jaime and Pedro before meeting their mother and Pedro’s two sons, a young child and a teenage autistic boy. 

Property of Shuder, IFC Films

Example of great horror.

Part of what separates this film from all these Conjuring sequels, prequels, and whatever is how well-written it is. It feels like they made the right decision in developing each character. There is a reason for younger children’s age and a reason for the older being autistic. Even the grandma plays an essential part in the story at some point. 

They are taking elements from different classic films and subgenres. When Evil Lurks has it all, be warned about grotesque characters, scary possessions, suicide, violence against animals, and even violence against children. But that comes with a great watching experience. 

If anyone is wondering how this movie from down in Argentina is getting so popular here in the north, is the scariest shit that came out recently. It’s also different from the same supernatural horror movies in the north. Yes, I’m looking at you, Conjuring franchise. Learn from this film, a masterclass in possessions storytelling. Cause the trepidation is real when it’s about family. 

When Evil Lurks is available on AMC+.

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