Sixth Sense, as by David Lynch
Directed by: Samuel Galli
Starring: Ademir Esteves Fernando Cardoso, Ricardo Casella, Luara Pepita
On the eve of his daughter Michelle's twentieth birthday, a man called Arthur hires an assassin to kill them both. His reasons for doing so only become clear when the killer, an evil man called Charles, opens a locked video file on a USB fob later that evening...
It's kind of refreshing to come across a horror film so dark and nasty that the BBFC have to give it a 18 certificate. That's pretty rare these days! Brazilian director Samuel Galli's first feature film is violent, bleak and surreal; The Sixth Sense as if directed by David Lynch!
The film's premise is horrifying - a man totally convinced that a demon is coming for his daughter's soul, he is prepared to have her killed rather than her soul destroyed. It's such a horrifying concept. What if he's deluded, in need of psychological help? What if he's right? The film keeps us in suspense for a short while before deciding to let us know which is which.
It's pretty obvious why this film picked up a 18 certificate. Charles, the hitman, is a vile human being who enjoys his "work", and the film goes out of its way to show this in detail. First we see a video "snuff" clip of him torturing then murdering a young woman, then later we see what happens to a pair of young women he picks up in the same bar he discusses his deal with Arthur. Both scenes are pretty full-on nasty with some strong makeup fx.
Our Evil is one of those films which takes you on a journey which may seem familiar to begin with but veers off any known track to cut its own path. There are some strong nods to The Sixth Sense and the work of David Lynch (especially Twin Peaks) but you just never really know where its headed until the finale. Even then, there is a strong, enigmatic quality to what we are seeing, with the final image of the mentor turning to the camera and giving us a grim, direct stare.
According to IMDB, this is the very first film that director Samuel Galli has been involved in. In fact, Samuel not only directed, but edited the film and wrote the screenplay. As editor, Samuel uses long takes to great effect, building up tension, making the audience wait and wait to see if something terrible is about to happen (the bathtub scene is a great example of this). While he shows a lot of skill and artistic flair in each area, there are moments which are a bit rough around the edges. The very first scene, for example, is a lingering shot of a white picket fence. This is never seen again and bears no impact on the film whatsoever. It seems to me to be a missed opportunity to hook your audience in straight away - check out Let Her Out or I Am Not A Serial Killer for prime examples of hooking your audience with the very first frame of film.
Nevertheless, this is an incredibly assured horror film. Even though it's low budget (the locales are very basic and hardly give any flavour of the country in which the film is set), the special fx and makeup are of a very high standard, giving the audience some visceral thrills.
It looks like Brazil has found a new poster-boy for its horror genre, and that's Samuel Galli. Our Evil is a very nasty horror which won't be to everybody's taste, but is a refreshing change to the high volume of 15 (and under!) Cert horrors which clutter the dvd shelves these days.
8 out of 10 (MikeOutWest)