The Evil - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Evil Reviews

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September 11, 2016
A silly horror film. It starts off decent enough and they try to take things seriously. But it all becomes pedestrian very quickly. The ending is memorable and bold. Essentially, they bring in the Devil, so you know, it's not all bad.
April 8, 2015
Not enough to hold my interest.
½ March 13, 2015
Campy haunted house movie leading up to a very surreal climax. There is much to enjoy about The Evil (or The House of Evil) especially the innovative kills and decent characters. But the ending... It just doesn't really fit the tone of the rest of the movie. It was almost silly. Aside from that though, it is really well done.
November 3, 2014
Doesn't put a foot wrong, there were a few great low budget horror movies made in the USA in the mid 70s and this is one of them. An obvious influence for The Evil Dead - The Evil (aka House Of Evil) is well worth a go.
December 22, 2012
Mildly Entertaining Low-Budget Fun--Bell bottom horror!!
Super Reviewer
July 24, 2012
Fine low-budget haunted house film, The Evil is surprisingly good with telling a creepy tale of ghosts. Effectively well directed by Gus Trikonis, this is a film that works well due to its unique twist on the traditional haunted house film. It uses the same formula, but it has enough originality to make it different and fun for the viewer. As far as low-budget horror films are concerned, this one is quite impressive. I enjoy haunted house films; I've always loved the idea behind such films. This is a film that shows its age, but works nonetheless because of its atmosphere, good cast and effective directing. This is one of the lost gems of the genre. Fans of haunted house films should definitely check this one out. The film navigates similar ground that previous genre films have, but it also provides something different. The lack of any true back story of what happened in the house to make it really evil is a good thing, something that leaves you interpret and guess what really happened. Sure, there's an explanation, but a mediocre explanation at that, almost silly. However that's what makes this film good and watchable. As far as haunted houses are concerned, you may want to visit this one, it has all the elements necessary to chill you and provide you with effective entertainment. As a horror film, this one succeeds very well, even if it's not that scary, it relies on tone and atmosphere, which is an integral part of making a horror film work. The Evil is a must see for fans of the genre.
½ July 5, 2012
While the whole movie is competent and delivers an adequate amount of low caliber chills, the off-the-wall climax is it what makes the film truly memorable.
March 31, 2012
I really don't know how to describe this film at all. I will admit to how terribly put together and how incredibly schlocky it is, but damn is it ever enjoyable. It is definitely not boring, that's for sure. Characters makes bad decisions, continuity is all over the place and the story itself makes little to no sense. I spent half the time watching it screaming "LOOK OUT RICHARD CRENNA!" - much to the amusement of my girlfriend. I can't say I'd recommend it to everybody but definitely pick it up if you're in the mood for an unintentionally funny horror film.
March 26, 2012
That's more like it! I saw this movie a long long time ago on a Canal 10 Nuit d'horreur in the 80's. It was called L'héritage des Vargas. It's all over the place but it's got rhythm and it's got Richard Crenna in it. Certainly not as bad as a lot of horror B movies and will tickle your funny bone in just the right places. The story reminded me of The Changeling. Only this one didn't scare me witless when I was but a little boy.
Super Reviewer
October 26, 2011
I really don't know how to describe this film at all. I will admit to how terribly put together and how incredibly schlocky it is, but damn is it ever enjoyable. It is definitely not boring, that's for sure. Characters makes bad decisions, continuity is all over the place and the story itself makes little to no sense. I spent half the time watching it screaming "LOOK OUT RICHARD CRENNA!" - much to the amusement of my girlfriend. I can't say I'd recommend it to everybody but definitely pick it up if you're in the mood for an unintentionally funny horror film.
½ September 26, 2011
Enjoyable but cliche ridden haunted house story that it's @ least smart enough not to have a bunch of brain dead characters but instead it contains some psychologist & doctors in the mix. All their smarts are not enough for them to escape THE EVIL. Evil is up to most of it's standard tricks & is even a little bit horny ripping of some girls clothes. I was thinking that someone was going to get raped by a tree or something incredible like that for a moment but sadly it didn't happen. Satan even makes an appearance @ the end in a suit as white as an ice cream man that it's almost surreal. Hokey @ times but it doesn't feel like its wasn't wasting your time like many others of this type do. Surprisingly solid
March 22, 2011
Prof. Raymond Guy buys an old mansion with his wife Caroline. He invites some people, mostly students, to help him and his wife fix up the place for it to be a clinic. The thing is though is that the house is haunted and inside the basement is a door holding in, well, THE EVIL.

Actually, it's Satan played Victor Buono. He begins to unleash hell against the people in the house when the door in the basement floor is opened letting it out. Every window and door can not be opened and trying too will only lead to people being pushed away due to a force field guarding the window's and door's. Once The Evil is out each character is picked off, one by one.

An excellent haunted house movie with some great direction and spooky elements. Also the final confrontation with the devil is worth seeing this film alone.
½ February 8, 2011
A fairly watchable haunted house tale, but also somewhat forgettable as a whole. I enjoyed some of the kills, but isn't going to be essential viewing for anyone.

Middle of the road rental.
November 18, 2010
Now this is a haunted house picture! Films like "The Haunting" (the original of course), "The Legend of Hell House", "Poltergeist", "The Changeling" and "The Amityville Horror" (original again) are among the most popular and are all fine films of the "haunted house" subgenre (well not so much "Amityville Horror") but beyond those "The Evil" is the one of the best of the Haunted House films that were released under-the-radar. Even the simplistic title fits this picture as this house is plain and simple evil incarnate.

Psychologist Richard Crenna and his doctor wife decide to purchase a huge abandoned mansion. To get the house prepared they invite a handful of friends. It doesn't take long for the shit to hit the fan as a dog allowed in the house starts going ape-shit barking at a sealed door in the basement floor. Crenna, being the curious house owner, removes an iron Christian cross holding the door shut (Note to self: If a room in the basement is sealed with a cross, there's a damn good reason it's there SO DON"T OPEN IT!) releasing an ancient evil which traps all the inhabitants of the house and playfully kills them one by one. Crenna is a man of science and can't believe a supernatural force has taken over but his wife sure believes and she has to beat the clock using an old diary of the man who built the house in order to destroy the evil once and for-all.

Director Gus Trikonis is able to generate some great atmosphere in the house beginning with the opening credits that are amazingly similar to "The Amityville Horror" which didn't even hit theaters until the next year. Trikonis also is able to craft some eerie death sequences. My personal favorite is a character running, stops to look up a dark stairway and start screaming. Another character comes bursting into the room and from a distance sees the women dragged up the stairway into the ill-lighted story above. It's an eerie sceen made even more uncanny as we never know her outcome, but it is very obvious that she came to a horrible demise. Apparently in the original script it was supposed to be a little demonic creature that drags her up but due to budget restraints the monster was never filmed and the scene is more creepy with out it. This just proves that some of the best deaths are left to our morbid imaginations. This doesn't mean there isn't some violent deaths on camera as there is a burning, an electrocution and even a circular saw through the hand but for the most part this is a rather bloodless film. Sorry gore hounds! "The Evil" is some-what old fashioned in this sense as Trikonis goes for the "less is more" approach to the killings and blood, a concept that works.

He does, however to the films detriment, decide to show the transparent ghost of the former owner which just comes across as a little hokey. The cheese factor of this special effect could have easily been done away with. This however is not the biggest sin the film commits. That comes towards the end when Crenna and his wife come face-to-face with "the evil" that occupies the secret compartment in the cellar. This claptrap plot addition almost derailed this train into oblivion, causing the house to almost collapse on its own foundation. Showing what "the evil" was, without giving it away, was completely idiotic and would have been laugh educing if I didn't like the rest of the film so much. To be honest, that sequence royally pissed me off and almost ruined the entire picture for me. Apparently I wasn't the only person this "revealing sequence" pissed off as the distributors of the film (Roger Corman's New World Pictures) actually had the sequence removed from many of the prints due to audiences unintentionally laughing at its silliness. To be honest I don't remember this sequence when I originally rented it on VHS many years ago. It very well might have been there but I must have been so traumatized that the filmmakers would stoop to that drivel that I put it out of my mind. This asinine sequence is restored on the wonderful DVD release from Shout! Factory.

"The Evil" is a good haunted house thriller with a solid cast, a tense atmosphere and some eerie deaths. I would have easily given the film three and a half stars but thanks to the botched revealing on what "the evil" was I had to deduct the film a half a star. If you're a horror film fan, especially of 70's material, then "The Evil" is well worth a purchase. Shout! Factor was nice enough to release this lost gen on DVD in a double feature with "Twice Evil", a not so hot haunted house flick.
½ September 28, 2010
"Horror" film starring Richard Crenna as a man who buys a haunted house, has some of his colleagues over to check the place out, and of course, everyone starts dying. It's really not that great, just a cheesy 70s horror film, but the main reason I'm giving this is a somewhat decent rating is because it's just so hilarious to watch. There are numerous times when a ghost will come and attack a character so the actor has to flail around like they're in danger, rolling around the floor and bumping into walls, it's so funny. There's a scene where The Evil is unleashed and the whole house shakes. The camera clearly just shakes around violently while the actors run around drunkenly, falling down stairs and bumping into each other. Anyway, a couple okay deaths, it had some potential (particularly the end), but it's nothing special.
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