Saturday, 22 July 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 218: Tue Aug 8

The Evil Within (Getty, 2017): Regent Street Cinema, 8.40pm

Cigarette Burns introduction:
We’re thrilled to present the English premiere of The Evil Within - Movie, a genuinely shocking and surprising horror film, a piece of outsider art and passion project which was very nearly lost when its writer and director Andrew Getty died during post production. Getty, himself the heir of American oil baron J. Paul Getty, spent 15 years and millions of his own money to tell his twisted and tragic tale of a young man (a tour de force performance by Frederick Koehler) with learning difficulties whose dreams are haunted by a demonic creature (horror genre icon Michael Berryman) ordering him on murderous rampages. Unable to understand or control himself, the bodies pile up and we fall deeper and deeper into the nightmares of the mind. We’ll be joined by the producer and saviour of the film, Michael Luceri, in a Skype Q&A hosted by filmmaker Jörg Tittel (The White King), who has been left permanently scarred by the film. In a good way. He hopes.

Starburst Magazine review:
A title like The Evil Within might make you write off the film as just another DTV supernatural horror, and even an overview of its plot – Danny, a man with learning difficulties living with his brother John, is urged to kill by his reflection in the large antique mirror John brings home one day – sounds almost purposefully generic. However, rest assured it’s something far more special than that. In much the same way that the ropy production values of low budget films can be overlooked when they’re creative enough, in this case enough money has been pumped into it that its journeyman vision is afforded the aesthetics of a major production. Getty throws in all the visual techniques you can think of, but instead of becoming the anarchic mess you would expect, they somehow coalesce into something not exactly coherent, but indisputably compelling. The film does have noticeable faults, such as sub-plots of dubious purpose drifting in and out of the narrative and some stilted dialogue with no purpose other than expository contrivance. It’s a cinematic chimera of pieces hacked apart and stitched together, its inspirations and influences write large across every moment. It’s clear Getty was figuring out his craft as he went, but unlike, say, Ed Wood’s enthusiastic incompetence or Tommy Wiseau’s oblivious narcissism, Getty displays flashes of genuine talent, and we can only try (and probably fail) to imagine what he would have gone on to make.
Andrew Marshall


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