When Evil Lurks (2023): Fresh Meat #13

When Evil Lurks wasn’t a film on my radar until I saw the reviews, which were unbelievable for a horror film. It’s an Argentine film streaming on Shudder currently, and while Shudder has yielded many mixed results over the past few films I’ve watched from them, I tend to believe the hype on this one. An intriguing premise has me practically frothing at the mouth. Let’s do this. 

Synopsis: 

In a remote village, two brothers find a demon-infected man just about to give birth to evil itself. They decide to get rid of the man but merely succeed in spreading the chaos. 

IMDb: 7.2 

Rotten Tomatoes: 99% 

Tagline: There’s no point in praying. 

Demian Rugna, director of the criminally underrated 2017 film, Terrified, not to be confused with Art the clown, is at the helm of this movie, yet another reason to get excited for it. I’m unfamiliar with his previous films, but they all seem to get above average reviews.  

First thing first, the practical makeup effects on the son are amazing. They are the right kind of gooey, ugly, pus filled, oozing, gross sores and swollen limbs. Absolutely horrifying. I can practically smell the son from here.  

The world in which there are “rottens” and “cleaners” is a bleak one, and there are rules that must be followed. When broken, there are some horribly graphic and disastrous results. It’s a fascinating universe Rugna has created here, and one that elicits horror and disgust with regularity. 

Every time they think they are ahead of the demon, it one ups them. Things escalate very quickly and go from bad to worse, the tension rising with each miscue they make. As the film races towards its conclusion, you just get the feeling that it will not be a good one. 

Part road movie, part demonic possession movie, and even part family drama, the film more than makes up for its identity crisis with the twists and turns that it brings us along the way. There are jump scares, there are shocking scares, there are straight forward ones, too. It does a little bit of everything in its attempt to scare us and it all works. I can’t say enough about the practical effects and the unpredictability of what happens next. I was on the edge of my seat the entire movie, trying to figure out where the film was going to go next. The music is a driving force as well, helping to create an atmosphere of dread. At times, the plodding bass line reminds me of a John Carpenter tune. It all meshes so perfectly, emphasizing the world building that is being created for the film.  

This is a true masterpiece of horror cinema, in every sense of the word. I wish more people will see it, but due to it being in Spanish, sadly they won’t. People don’t like subtitles. They don’t want to read their movies. What will happen instead, is they will remake it for American audiences in English, and it will turn out like those mid 2000’s Japanese remakes that were utter shit. And it will be forgotten in the annals of film history. Watch this immediately. Tell a friend. This movie needs to be seen by horror fans. 

9.5/10 Stab Wounds 

About RetRo(n) 54 Articles
I like the 80s, slasher films, Italian directors, Evil Ed, Trash and Nancy, Ripley and Private First Class Hudson, retro crap but not SyFy crap, old school skin, Freddy and Savini, Spinell and Coscarelli, Andre Toulon, and last, but not least, Linda Blair.