Manifest Evil is a 2022 American horror film about a Marine Corps drill instructor who falls victim to a curse by two recruits, exposing his fears and sending him into a demonic possession that connects to his dark childhood trauma.
Directed by Jena Serbu (Frat Star) from a screenplay written by Leon M. Brown (Escape from Area 51), who also stars.
The 7 Point 5 Films production also stars Ambre Anderson, Sheila Mears, Deja Monique Cruz, Justine Wachsberger, Matthew Fahey and Ian Stanley.
Plot [may contain spoilers]:
Since childhood, Matthew kept a dark secret-he was possessed by a demon. Now grown and serving in the United States Marine Corps, he’s learned to tame the demon through self-mutilation.
That cure soon ends as two recruits, who are members of the occult, cast a spell on Matthew to manifest his worst fears. His mother is the puppeteer behind it all. Before his eyes, Matthew starts to lose his family, vocation, his relationship with his mother worsens, and the demon begins to overcome him.
Nearly hopeless, Matthew turns to the occult to exorcise the demon and regain the parts of his life that were slipping away. His attempt fails, and he spirals into a complete demonic possession, not before, however, he goes on a killing spree…
Manifest Evil is amusingly awful. The supernatural angle doesn’t work, the rehash of the moronic military ‘training’ from Full Metal Jacket is just dull and the family drama is ineptly presented with lines such as “Did you put a demon into my husband?”. The best laugh is when an incriminating pair of sheer pink panties are pulled out with a pen and a sneer from the protagonist’s office drawer. Oh, the demonic deliberation.
Never quite so-bad-it’s-good, Manifest Evil might be worth a watch for seriously committed bad movie aficionados who don’t mind shaking their heads often in disbelief (and perhaps bolstered by a few alcoholic drinks). That said, most wiser souls may feel the need to check out before the weak ending.
Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA
“Too flawed. A number of good ideas, a good approach and atmosphere, but the film as a whole can certainly not be called successful. It lacks the tension and a story that interestingly enough manages to achieve.” 5/10 Seal_Team1138
” …so dull and poorly executed that I’m sure a lot of viewers will have bailed out by the halfway mark […] even the scenes of Matthew becoming possessed are just a series of shots of him writhing sped up and edited into jerky motions that look anything but frightening […] Manifest Evil is available to stream, but all that will manifest is boredom.” 1/5 Voices from the Balcony
Main cast and characters:
Leon M. Brown … Matthew Franklin
Ambre Anderson … Jessica Franklin
Sheila Mears … Susie Reed
Deja Monique Cruz … Dawn Franklin
Justine Wachsberger … Melanie Tanner
Matthew Fahey … Paul Elliott
Ian Stanley … Carl Blanchard
Erin Cottrell … Katherine Reeves
Ca’Ron Jaden Coleman … Young Matthew Franklin
Gustavo Ramirez … Hector Sanchez
Gabrielle Wedderburn … Robin Allen
Meredith Parks … Andrea Brooks
Brandon Sutton … Leon Jenkins
Eve Sigall … Interpreter
Holly Kaplan … Bella Stoddard
Ginny Jones … Holly Scheflen
Tedd Taskey … Sam Cross
Paul Zies … Frank Parker
Matthew Jones … Tony Carter
Mahek … Amaya Sunder
William Marquart … Daniel Yates
1 hour 33 minutes