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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 10.25.16] horror comedy

When you hear that a movie was one of the funniest things anyone saw at SXSW and then follow it up with info that the writer/direct has also written for "Eastbound and Down" and "Silicon Valley," one naturally prepares for laughs. At least I did when I sat down to watch Carson D. Mell's Another Evil.

The thing with comedy is that, even more so than other genres, it's very particular and what works for some doesn't work for others and as much as I've enjoyed Mell's other work, this really isn't for me.

The concept for Another Evil is pretty typical horror stuff. Dan, an artist, is spending some time at his vacation home with his wife Mary and their teenage son when they begin to see apparitions. Convinced that the house has become haunted, Mary finds an exorcist to come and clear the place of demons. This is by far the funniest bit of Another Evil: the ghost hunter is not at all what one would expect from a guy who expels ghosts and spirits for a living. He looks more like a gym teacher than a ghost hunter which makes for a couple of good laughs. After much probing, he concludes that the entities in the house aren't evil and that the family would be better off leaving them alone and living side-by-side with them.

This puts Dan over the edge. He decides to find his own exorcists and so Os drops in to check out the situation. Now this guy – this guy is exactly what you'd expect from a modern day exorcist. He's dressed head-to-toe in black, he has some nifty looking toys and a trunk to keep them all in. Os agrees that there are entities in the house but unlike the first dude, he concludes that they are absolute evil and that Dan and his family must be rid of them immediately. So begins a week-long stakeout in which Os and Dan drink, talk and try to expel ghosts.

Another Evil is pretty amusing in that it takes a familiar and tired horror genre and turns it sideways, introducing ideas and characters that we've seen before but with a new twist. The problem is that it's neither very funny or at all scary. It's super talkie which would be fine if it had anything interesting to say but beyond the conversations Dan and Os have about art and in which Dan admits that he's not quite sure why his work took off - but who is he to question it? It keeps his family clothed and fed and he doesn't have to work a regular job - there is very little of interest here.

It's slightly amusing and some might find the conversations between Os and Dan entertaining enough to make the movie worthwhile but I just found it tedious. Another Evil is obviously an acquired taste.

Recommended Release: Eastbound and Down

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