Reviews: Live Evil

Kirsten takes on Live Evil, a low budget horror flick starring Tony Todd.

"I'm mother f'in Candyman!
What the f#@! am
I doing in this drivel?"
Live Evil is a supposed Ghostbusters meets Dawn of the Dead meets Twin Peaks horror/comedy. 

What starts out with a three minute credit intro, gives the audience a sneak peek at a face that will become all too familiar throughout the flick and will offer up the overall feel of the movie. Like one of those videos of a cat getting ready to jump to a ledge that is not all that difficult to make, and ends up barely making any progress, Live Evil falls flat on its face. Taking place on Halloween night, "evil" makes its way into the cell at a small town college's basement police station. While it takes on the appearance of each individual's worst fears, the town's sheriff and his deputies are in charge of keeping everyone safe from it.... and from each other. 

Some familiar faces one might see in the film are Vladimir Kulich (Vikings, 13th Warrior), Charlene Amoia (How I Met Your Mother), Vincent Ward (The Walking Dead), and Tony Todd (Candyman). Live Evil is written and directed by Ari Kirschenbaum, and produced by Laura Irvine and Tryst Chagnon. The score is done by Shawn Lee.

The first thing that's noticeable is their choice to shoot in black and white. In the trailer and in the beginning of the movie, it gives it that older film noir feel they were trying to achieve, and it really helped make the appearance of all the bad things seem a little more sinister. The first few placements of color were interesting and added a completely different aura to the scenes, still almost out of place, but perfectly fitting for this oddball horror. Unfortunately, it spiraled out of control and lost the artistic touch about halfway through the feature. It eventually fully shifts to all color with no real explanation. Maybe it was to show everyone's fear being consumed. But wouldn't switching TO black and white be a better choice? The audio design was extremely poor and hard to hear at times. In that aspect, I hope you have good speakers because at max volume it was still at a lulled murmur. Voice overs are meant to be clearly heard, and almost a rule to be accepted as such, however, in Live Evil it's distractingly too obvious.

"Seriously though. That's mother f'in
Candyman over there! What in
the flying hell is he doing here?"

The reanimated corpses are definitely the best effect of the film. The rest is low budget B-horror. Try not to hold that against them. It could have really worked if they had stuck with a one tone or theme. Instead, there were so many things coming and going without explanation, it all just got lost in translation. The score wasn't very noticeable, except when it reaches for an '80s vibe from out of nowhere. Weirdly, the characters are always in a light mood and cracking corny jokes, despite what was going on, even when their friends are dying around them. Not having any real emotions, the characters were constantly making bad decisions and half of them weren't even important to the plot. Quite a few characters are randomly thrown in, making it  hard to keep track of who was who. Annoyingly, the ending seemed out of place with barely any real set up. 

Overall, Live Evil tries to be a lot of things, but a success is not one of them.


-Kirsten Anderson

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