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When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

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When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

Old 10-05-23, 01:42 PM
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When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)



Opening in theaters October 6th. The residents of a small rural town discover that a demon is about to be born among them. They desperately try to escape before the evil is born, but it may be too late.

Director: Demián Rugna
Starring: Ezequiel Rodríguez, Demián Salomón, Silvina Sabater
Out in theatres this weekend.

100% currently on RT: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/when_evil_lurks
Old 10-09-23, 04:04 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

Saw this yesterday morning.

Director/Writer Demián Rugna's initial bursts of unpredictable & frenetic energy echoed that of Dawn of the Dead (2004).

Sadly, for as polished & mean this Argentine possession film is, it flounders in its second-half, struggling to maintain its pace.
Old 10-10-23, 06:48 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

Caught a showing of this. It's a bit of a mixed bag. When it's good, it's really good, but when it's bad....

Reminded me a little of the Korean demonic possession flick, "The Wailing," with its isolated community setting and well-intentioned, but stumbling protagonist, though that movie is much better than this one.

Starts off quite effectively with a palpable sense of creepiness and dread, but then the story begins to lose its footing when it moves from the secluded farmland community to a city setting. There's a dog attack sequence that I thought was pretty campy and kind of undercut the mood that the film had been building up throughout. The midsection meanders on with lots of car driving and exposition. Fortunately, the film rallies itself with a suitably wacky and gory finale that wraps things up in a reasonably satisfying manner. One thing that bothered me about the ending though...

Spoiler:

The mother is gone at the end, but neither of her sons seems the least bit worried about her disappearance. You would think they would have been out desperately searching for her, but they seem completely unconcerned about it until the guy's autistic kid vomits up her remains.








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Old 10-13-23, 01:12 AM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

Just saw this. I thought it was well done but kind of falls apart at the end
Old 10-13-23, 01:58 AM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

Wow. Didn’t even know there was a thread for this! Saw it back in September at TIFF and figured it would be off the radar for a while. I tend to agree with the criticisms here. I saw the director’s TERRIFIED (2017) earlier this year, and had very similarly mixed feelings about it — great concept, atmosphere, cool FX, but it just doesn’t deliver the way you keep thinking it will — and was a little disappointed that this one ended up being the same way. When it was announced as a Midnight Madness offering, I was kinda torn based on the earlier film, and only added it at the last minute. I do think it’s worth watching, though, and has some really good build-up, and several pretty original shock moments (although it’s pretty disappointing to see one of the best ones – judging by the TIFF audience reaction – somewhat spoiled on the poster!).

Also, I do think there’s enough good in this one to warrant a sequel, but writer-director Damien Rugna really needs to firm up his “rules” regarding the evil and how it spreads because it seemed a ill-defined in this film, something he sort of tried to explain away at the TIFF Q&A (which I recorded, see below) in such a way that suggested, at least to me, that his world-building wasn’t fully fleshed out before he started shooting (his somewhat muddled comments start around the 2:30 mark). In fact, it seems, subtly and based on the overall discussion in the video, that he’s the kind of director that just needs tighter reigns on him to really knock one out of the park. Even his producers, who were there, offer somewhat backhanded praise of his methods :

Last edited by Brian T; 10-29-23 at 02:58 PM.
Old 10-13-23, 02:54 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

Saw the trailer for this a few weeks back - looks really good. I will definitely check it out.
Old 10-27-23, 10:11 AM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

This is now up on Shudder.
Old 10-28-23, 01:22 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

It wasn’t as intense and frightening as it was hyped to be on social media.

Expect something similar to G Del Toro and James Wan movies. Horror with engaging storytelling.

Loved it.

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Old 10-28-23, 04:44 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

Also loved it. Not hardcore scary, but so many jaw-dropping moments, which somehow held together with the drama.
Old 10-29-23, 12:51 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

Yeah, Shudder was pimping this as the "horror film of the year", and....yeah, perfect example of "ya had me then ya lost me".
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Old 10-29-23, 03:30 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

Somewhat off topic here. Or maybe not! Sometimes when I read reviews of Shudder movies by professional reviewers at other sites that allow commenting, I notice people commenting about how their negative reviews were either removed by Shudder or just not posted in the first place. Is this a thing? I can’t see how Shudder wouldn’t want to pimp just about everything they acquire and make it look like a 5-star movie to boost viewership and profits, and I’m sure that user “reviewers” posting on streaming sites are probably akin to those “reviewing” on IMDb in a purely reactionary fashion that contributes little to any discourse (i.e. “Too many people give this movie five stars in my opinion, therefore I just HAVE to give it one star!” and vice-versa). As I noted above, I think this film is definitely worth watching, but I also think it has several phenomenal parts that are greater than the whole, in fact more than enough to make people very forgiving in this day and age. Admittedly, I’m not a Shudder subscriber, so I can’t see all the user reviews there, only the handful on the film’s page, which are indeed all five star raves (albeit super-short and useless otherwise, not surprisingly). I’ve noticed this on other pages there as well, especially when films are still fresh. So do they allow more mixed and negative reviews after a certain period of time, but nix them before that as a financial decision? (again, this is only tangentially related to this film or anyone’s opinion of it here; it’s just more of a general question about business practices, I suppose)
Old 10-29-23, 06:01 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

For what it’s worth, I see 3-star and 1-star reviews in the Shudder app for this, though they are few and far between. The vast majority are 4 or 5.
Old 10-29-23, 08:08 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

Good to know. It does seem like Shudder deletes at least some negative reviews when it suits them, but again that’s just something I’ve read people griping about on occasion, so who knows. One thing I hate about ‘user reviews’ - especially on streaming sites, but also IMDb, Amazon, etc. – is that the 5-star and 1-star ratings are all too often given simply to ‘oppose’ the other extreme. Two-, three-, and four-star ratings often feel a bit more realistic. As I said, I don’t subscribe to Shudder, but I do see a lot of their movies on DVD from the library (they do release a lot of their stuff on that format), and nothing I’ve seen would rate a five, nor would it rate a one. In that sense, I could see them wanting to throttle the ratings a bit, especially during any film’s early availability, but it still seems a bit underhanded if true.
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Old 10-29-23, 08:15 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

What you describe is true. Businesses use PR-adjacent companies who specialize in removing bad reviews on the internet. Likewise, influencers are paid to speak positively of products. It would not surprise me to learn the same thing happens with movie reviews.

Rotten Tomatoes knows this is an issue, and tries their best to vet who’s reviews are in their system, to maintain integrity.
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Old 10-30-23, 03:34 AM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

I suppose it’s all part of doing business nowadays, especially when you hear stories of coordinated (sometimes politically-motivated), negative ‘review bombing’ or whatever. It’s almost understandable that a lot of companies would pony up for a flood of positive reviews, even if it’s no less disingenuous.

The whole ‘influencer’ concept – especially how it exists on YouTube, TikTok, etc. – makes me nauseous, even as I’m sure I’ve been persuaded by them on occasion. It all just seems so . . . desperate the more crowded the field becomes. Topic for another thread, I guess.

The Shudder movie I was thinking of earlier was VHS 85, where I just coincidentally saw comments under reviews on a couple of other, professional critic sites noting that Shudder seemed to be removing those particular viewers’ lower ratings, even after second attempts. These posts complaining about it were around a month or so ago, and I did notice today that there was a couple of lower star ratings on that film’s page, so perhaps they just stack the deck early on to protect their investments, so to speak.
Old 10-30-23, 03:39 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

For the record, I don't begrudge Shudder for hyping it up; it's their movie, they have every right to promote it.

It was independent sources that were also making this movie out to be better than it was for me so my expectations were really high going in.
Old 10-30-23, 05:53 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

For sure. Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic are the ones who need to be careful as-to not diminish their credibility.

I think film criticism is superfluous enough, that there will never been anyone upset over a dishonest rating.
Old 05-04-24, 11:55 AM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

I thought this was excellent and also thought it didn't lose any steam towards the end - the last act of the film reminded me of 70's horror movies.

I loved the concept of the movie as well and there were some amazing, well-done scenes.

This is definitely a horror movie that could use a sequel - so many possibilities.

I'm sure many of you know about the directors other film "Terrified" and I'm hearing it's a prequel to this film - I will be checking that one out next.

Last edited by Rival11; 05-04-24 at 12:04 PM.
Old 05-04-24, 02:27 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

Originally Posted by Rival11
I thought this was excellent and also thought it didn't lose any steam towards the end - the last act of the film reminded me of 70's horror movies.

I loved the concept of the movie as well and there were some amazing, well-done scenes.

This is definitely a horror movie that could use a sequel - so many possibilities.

I'm sure many of you know about the directors other film "Terrified" and I'm hearing it's a prequel to this film - I will be checking that one out next.
Some stuff in Terrified didn't work for me, but the scene with the kid at the breakfast table ... oh baby.
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Old 05-05-24, 01:40 AM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

Originally Posted by Rival11
I'm sure many of you know about the directors other film "Terrified" and I'm hearing it's a prequel to this film
That’s news. As noted way back, I saw WHEN EVIL LURKS at TIFF in part because of TERRIFIED, but never felt (or read) that they were connected. I suppose there are enough creepy, evil elements in both that Regna could reverse engineer a ‘universe’ out of them, although that might make me wish he’d made both of them stronger in the first place (not that they’re bad, of course!). He did mention at one point that he was working on a TERRIFIED 2, so maybe he can tie LURKS into that.
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Old 05-05-24, 05:35 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

Terrified was awesome as well. Definitely NOT a prequel to when evil lurks though.

Rugna is a new fav of mine - love his style and since I have no talent to make a film, he's does a lot of what I would do if I could articulate it.

I'm going to rejoin shudder as well - a lot of solid stuff coming from them. Watched when evil lurks, terrified, and host this weekend - I didn't even realize they were all from shudder.
Old 05-07-24, 07:47 AM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

Saw this the other night...another movie that supposedly has rules that none of these dimwits follow.

They ALL should have been overtaken or killed by the "evil" long ago.

I saw the dog attack coming a mile away but the kid recovery after that was pretty cool when she gave the warning to the mom.

Some good bits but overall it was just Ok.
Old 05-07-24, 03:59 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

Originally Posted by d2cheer
I saw the dog attack coming a mile away
I thought this was one of the better sequences in the movie (along with the axe gag before they kinda spoiled it on the poster), because Regna clearly wanted the audience to know it was coming. At TIFF there was a lot of nervous laughter and audible cringing (the good kind) throughout the lead-up to the attack, and he did pay it off in a graphic fashion, which was cool. That kind of ‘telegraphing’ (or whatever it’s called) is an old horror trick, of course, but I enjoy seeing it done well, especially with a receptive audience. And the ‘recovery’ was a nice touch.

I also agree on the rules and how characters seem to flout them even when they apparently know what’s going on. As I mentioned earlier, it felt like he hadn’t worked out all the bugs in his story and screenplay before shooting, something that was definitely hinted at in the Q&A. He’s definitely got a strong style, but he might benefit from a writing partner on future projects.
Old 05-07-24, 05:08 PM
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Re: When Evil Lurks (2023, D: Rugna)

If people obeyed the rules in horror movies, or acted logically, we'd only have about 3 horror movies per year!

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