‘It’s no use bolting the doors… Nothing can keep out…’
The Evictors is a 1979 American horror crime film written and directed by Charles B. Pierce, who also made the similarly constructed The Town That Dreaded Sundown. Like that film, The Evictors is supposedly based on a true story.
The movie stars Vic Morrow (Curse of the Black Widow, Humanoids from the Deep, Great White), Michael Parks (Tusk; We Are What We Are; From Dusk Till Dawn; Sorceress), Jessica Harper – Phantom of the Paradise; Suspiria, Sue Ane Langdon, Dennis Fimple and Bill Thurman (Mountaintop Motel Massacre; Zontar: The Thing from Venus; Keep My Grave Open
1942: A young just married couple, Ruth and Ben Watkins, rent a house in a village in Louisiana. Soon, Ruth is subject to a series of terrifying attacks while she is alone.
They discover that the attacks have something to do with the house’s past and that the rental agency did not tell them that all of the previous inhabitants of the house have died under violent and mysterious circumstances…
“The plot (city couple buy a lonely farm whose massacred former owners refuse to stay dead) may be perfunctory, but there are likeable performances, nice period details, and terrific set pieces, as well as a final twist incredible enough to be mildly surprising.” Time Out
“The Evictors is a competent if minor film. Charles B. Pierce generates a reasonable degree of tension in the flashbacks. These occasionally touch on something nasty – like one scene where victims are burnt alive in a shed. Pierce also does a convincing job of creating the atmosphere of a 1940s Louisiana small town.” Moria
“What takes the film watchably out of the rut is its determination (until it has to deliver the goods at the end) to try to show how people might really behave when faced with such circumstances by going for low-key, questioning performances that avoid the usual screaming hysteria, a calm and judicious directional tempo and, above all, excellent locations that lend a genuine sense of place and community.” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror
“Harper (of 1977’s Suspiria) delivers a nice understated performance in this decent thriller boasting a clever ‘evil must carry on’ ending. Too often the beneficiary of rather ho-hum reviews, The Evictors may be an acquired taste, but it deserves a watch.” The Terror Trap
“Most of Pierce’s films have an amateurish feel to them, but this one is a serviceable enough attempt to elicit chills. If anything, it shows what he could accomplish with a capable cast and a decent-sized budget at his disposable. The black and white flashbacks are marginally effective, although their placement in the narrative often brings the present-day action to a screeching halt.” The Video Vacuum