Reviews: Evangeline

We had a chance to do an early review for the upcoming horror film, Evangeline.

"Nooooooo. Not Taco Bell!!!
Anything but that!!!"
The good folks at Uncork'd Entertainment have done it again.  The masters of low budget, negligible-quality horror films now offer us Evangeline, a Canadian film festival favorite from 2013 that is now getting a U.S. release.  Evangeline is a tale of terror and revenge that follows a few familiar story beats, and then never manages to do anything interesting or new with them.

It's been said that there aren't any original ideas left.  In spite of this so many movies, particularly horror films, will at least give it a try.  Evangeline… kind of tries, and deserves a little credit for that.  But it could have tried a lot harder, and done some more interesting things with its premise.  Instead, after spending 2/3 of the movie on exposition and half-hearted attempts at character development, it basically becomes a ripoff of older films that not only originated the plot points Evangeline clings to so tightly, but did them better in the first place

Not to mention the whole thing has a very mid-90s music video feel to it, from the stark, jerky cinematography to the cut-rate Nine Inch Nails-inspired score.  Writer-director Karen Lam was obviously going for a creepy, sinister feel, but the result just looks like she watched the video for Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” a few too many times.

Evangeline is really not all bad.  The performances for the most part are better than one might expect, and a few scenes are kind of fun to watch.  But it takes a bit too long to get where it's going, and the destination is a tad too familiar.  If Lam can develop her own style and voice, she could possibly deliver something truly great someday.  Unfortunately Evangeline serves as a reminder of just how far she has to go.

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-Mike Stec