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Let's Be Evil


Stars: Kara Tointon, Isabelle Allen, Elliot James Landridge, Helene Wilson, Elizabeth Morris

Director: Martin Lewis

A fellow critic once suggested there should only be three ratings for film reviews – “Don’t Miss It!”, “Wait for the DVD” and “Recommend it to someone you hate!”.

This time, however, I don't think that I actually loathe anyone quite enough to advise him or her to see this witless shocker.

The film is a refugee from London’s Frigfhtfest horrorflick festival. Which, I assume, means that it will eventually turn up on Frightfest's TV sponsor, the Horror Channel.

Which is good news for horror film completists.

Firstly, you will not have to pay to suffer the movie.

And secondly since, if you have the good sense to record it for later viewing, you will be able to suffer it at high speed with the invaluable use of the fast-forward control)

Director (and co-writer with leading lady Morris) Martin Lewis shoots (indifferently) his aspirant shocker as if seen through the virtual reality spectacles worn by leading lady Morris. Unfortunately the cinematography, credited to Chase Bowman, is indifferent and superimposition of information on the image hardly helps advance the story with much of a dramatic grip.

The screenplay, cheerfully cannibalising The Midwich Cuckoos and other possessed children shockers dumps Morris into what she believes will be her dream job – looking after gifted children – but which, trapping her in the underground bunker with her strange new charges, simply turns into a living nightmare for her and her fellow chaperones and, worse still, for anyone moviegoer also unfortunate enough to be enduring this hokum…

(The bunker-setting is apparently in New York – interesting, I suppose, since Let’s Be Evil is a British movie and doesn’t even boast the obligatory B-feature-style washed-up Hollywood actor to provide at least some minimal appeal for – however improbable, given the final product - American cinemagoers).

To be fair, there was one truly terrifying moment at the press show when a stentorian voice suddenly boomed out (and, yes, I paraphrase) telling us to get the hell out of there as quickly as possible and to use the stairs and not the lifts…

Sadly, that sole scare was not part of the film but rather a genuine public address warning to abandon the building.

To be fair, there was one line of dialogue with which I totally agreed. When one character shrieked "Get me the f**k out of this hell hole!" I only wish I could have complied. Sadly duty called and I stayed until the end.

Some 24 co-executive producers, 4 co-producers, a line producer, an associate producer and a senior executive producer/senior producer are credited.

Let’s Be Evil would be very lucky to achieve that many satisfied paying picturegoers.

Alan Frank

UK 2016. UK Distributor: Vertigo Films. Colour.
82 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 30 Oct 2016