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When Evil Lurks(2023)(Review)

There are a handful of titles every year that you will hear about earlier in the year and have to wait an extended period of time to see for yourself. ‘When Evil Lurks’ was a title that was doing the independent-festival circuit and getting high praise for its creativity and terror earlier this year. The writer & director is a man named Demian Rugna who previously gave us a rather terrifying film with 2017’s “Terrified”. The weekend before Halloween, Shudder blessed us with his new film.

‘When Evil Lurks’ is a story that’s simultaneously complicated and simple at the same time. Two brothers named Pedro & Jimi hear gunshots in the woods outside their house one night. Upon investigation, they find what appears to be a special priest whose been torn to shreds. It’s not long until they find a home that’s sheltering an ‘infected’ man whose possessed and ripe to give birth to a demon. When they attempt to move the body and dispose of it, they lose him, which then leads to absolutely devastating consequences.

The film from here is a tale of demonic possession as told through a means of a pandemic. The brothers attempt to outrun this outbreak while the evil uses its cunning persuasiveness and relentless pursuit to destroy everything these two hold dear. The film takes place within its own universe complete with rules and lore that are foreign to the watcher. The movie uses this to its advantage to take us on a harrowing journey of heartbreak, desperation, and an uphill battle with evil.

This movie in and of itself is evil. Much like ‘Speak No Evil’ was (that I reviewed earlier this year), this movie is harrowing to watch and the atmosphere is oppressively heavy. Children and animals alike are not safe, the main protagonists are complicated and you’re never 100% rooting for either of them, and the depravity of some of the shocking violence will make you gasp and rewind to make sure you saw what you thought you saw.
I absolutely loved this film, and will say with 100% certainty that it will be in my top 3 by the end of the year. We actually just recorded an episode of our new podcast “Tales from the Tapes” discussing this film, so that companion-piece will be out soon for you to enjoy.

“When Evil Lurks” is streaming exclusively on Shudder.

‘Til Next Time,
Mike Cleopatra

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