THE EVIL IN US (2016) Reviews and overview

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‘Side effects may include: insomnia, rage and cannibalism

The Evil in Us is a 2016 American horror feature film written and directed by Jason William Lee (Funhouse) for Sandcastle Pictures. The movie stars Debs Howard, Lee Tomaschefski and Marina Pasqua.



Six school friends meet up for a Fourth of July celebration on a remote island off the Washington coast.

One of them has brought along some cocaine to amp up the good times but a right-wing terrorist organization has secretly funnelled a new bio-active drug into the market disguised as the drug. Anyone who consumes it is then exposed to a virus that causes fits of psychotic rage and cannibalistic tendencies.

Only one girl, Brie, refuses to take the drug and she alone must fight to stay alive as everyone around her, including her fiancé, attempts to savagely kill her…

Reviews [may contain spoilers]:

” …the plot moves along at a good pace, the action is well-staged and the kills are gory enough without going overboard. The hopping between the film’s three focuses is, for the most part well done although you’ll probably figure it all out before the characters apart from the final reveal which, despite coming out of left field, does make perfectly twisted sense.” Beneath the Underground

“Chopping a trio of plain plotlines into one overall narrative isn’t enough of a distraction tactic to hide how predictably rote all three are. Writer/director Jason William Lee may have thought this approach would put a fresh feel on his film. But the ho-hum sum isn’t greater than its cut-and-pasted parts.” Culture Crypt

“The ending looks like it drifted in from another film altogether, with some extremely laughable makeup and a political payoff that ‘trumps’ (and if you see it you’ll know what I’m going on about) all the other storylines, and could lead you to read the movie’s title in a slightly different way. A mediocre effort then but not without a sense of trying, even if it does feel like two or three separate films bolted together.” Dark Eyes of London

“Gore is what draws many a director to this genre and Lee certainly gives the impression of liking the red stuff. Wisely, however, he keeps the focus on character reactions – we know pretty much what’s going to happen, so if we’re going to get some excitement out of watching these characters, we need to feel their fear. A willingness to play with different types of lighting rather than relying overmuch on shadows is also a plus point.” Eye for Film

“There’s not too much ingenuity in the dispatching of each character but the action comes thick and fast. There is plenty of blood but to Lee’s credit he doesn’t go overboard … while this won’t win originality points, The Evil In Us is relentlessly paced with an acerbic dig at modern politics in amongst the horror.” Flickering Myth

The Evil in Us has some entertaining twists and clever foreshadowing which comes together nicely by the end. The acting, however, feels inconsistent, characters are two dimensional with some overacting that makes their performances seem primal and staged. The actors certainly have the skill and are a colourful cast, but it feels as if they were directed by someone who was perhaps out of touch with this generation.” Horror Talk

“Slick and stylish visuals are complemented by a thumping soundtrack that gets the blood pumping right from the opening credits … With a believable young cast, The Evil in Us offers a new take on the zombie virus. A drug-induced zombie nightmare crammed full of mystery and carnage. Possibly the best reinvention of the zombie genre since 28 Days Later.” The Hollywood News

” … mostly this is an essay in the Cabin Fever cycle in which shallow, pretty folks tear into each other – their great faces, neato hair and trim bods are established lovingly early on, all the better to contrast with the way they look after they’ve had chunks bitten out of their faces, been set on fire, suffered scratching and clawing and generally abused themselves and each other.” The Kim Newman Web Site

“My issue with The Evil in Us was that despite its admirable political slant on proceedings, there’s just too much here that’s yawningly generic. From the six kids in the middle of nowhere to the ubiquitous “I’m not getting any signal” moment, its ambition is all too frequently denied by an over-reliance on the usual horror tropes.” The Schlock Pit

Main cast:

Debs Howard … Brie Armstrong – iZombie; Lucifer; Even Lambs Have Teeth
Danny Zaporozan … Steve Ridley
Behtash Fazlali … Bash Gill
Ian Collins … John Wheeler
Kylee Bush … Trish Walker
Marina Pasqua … Roxanne Bouchard
Tatyana Forrest … Zoe Kieslowska
John Gillich … Detective Jake Strudwick
Robert Leaf … Senator Elias Cob
Gary Starkell … Raymond Ford
Becky Hachey … Doctor Amy Nichols
Jerome Velinsky … Detective Rick Evans
Matthew Mihaichuk … Caged Man
Patrick Gaites … Roy Collins
Tirra Dent … Sarah Raven the Socialite


The Evil in Us received its world premiere in London at the Horror Channel FrightFest on 29th August 2016.

In the US, a Walmart-only DVD was released on July 4, 2017, followed by a general VOD and DVD release on August 29, 2017.

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