Evil Eye (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Evil Eye (2022) Review

Horrorific content by n_degus on October 07th, 2022 | Movie Review | Cursed, Supernatural, Cabin in the Woods, Mystery, Dysfunctional Family, Witchcraft, Folk Horror

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It's about a 13-year-old girl who travels with her family to her grandmother's home in the countryside to cure her sister's mysterious illness. But her granny isn't all that she seems...

Evil Eye was directed by Isaac Ezban (Deathcember, The Similars, and The Incident) and stars Ofelia Medina (Queen Doll), Arap Bethke (Originless), Samantha CastilloMauro GonzálezMildred MottaIvanna Sofia FerroPaloma AlvamarPaola Miguel, and Pablo Guisa Koestinger (Time Share, What the Waters Left Behind, and The Similars).

Evil Eye (2022) Review

Have you ever heard of the Evil Eye? It's a curse that's said to be caused by a malicious stare. And in director Isaac Ezban's new horror film, Evil Eye, it's the center of a story that blends Dominican myth and Mexican folklore with modern sensibilities. Ezban's film follows a mother and daughter haunted by the evil eye's curse. As they try to understand and defeat the curse, they must grapple with their family history and the dark secrets passed down through generations. Evil Eye is a heart-pounding, suspenseful film that will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew about curses, witches, and the power of the Evil Eye.

Rebecca and Guillermo are apprehensive about their daughter Luna. She is very ill and is not responding to treatment. They decide to take her away from the city and into the countryside. They also take her older sister Nala with them. The parents leave their children behind with their grandmother Josefa as they head back to the city to find cures for their medical conditions beyond conventional medicine. However, the children, Nala and Luna, have never been to the countryside or met their grandmother before, so they are unsure what to expect. Josefa's housemaid, Abigail, tells the sisters a bedtime story about a witch. Nala believes witchcraft may be to blame for Josefa's strange behavior.

13-year-old Miguel carries so much anger and resentment toward his mother. Nala starts the story this way. The family's focus is on Luna's illness and finding a cure. They're angry and frustrated, especially when left with a relative they don't know in a strange place. Nala often finds herself disagreeing with Josefa, who is both assertive and headstrong. The only person who Nala is consistently gentle with is her younger sister, Luna. Miguel's performance is the film's emotional core - his range and depth carry viewers through Nala's journey.

There's a mature approach to the horror in this dark fairy tale, with creatures that are brought to life with practical effects and skinless witches. First, Ezban introduces nightmarish visions of the Bacá and black magic rituals in the woods, sure to send chills down your spine. Next, the writer slowly reveals the supernatural elements in the story, maintaining a sense of mystery and letting the tension build. It's unclear whether Nala's imagination is running wild or something genuinely otherworldly is going on. Finally, the writer asks if the characters in the story could be happy once the bloodshed is over and the truth is revealed. They point out that the sense of dread in the story suggests that the dark origins of fairy tales are still present.

Evil Eye wraps up its fairy tale elements gratifyingly and gruesomely, but not all plot threads are given the same level of closure. For example, Nala's persistent disagreements with her mother are only lightly explored despite being such a fundamental conflict early on. In addition, the role of Nala's father is somewhat underdeveloped and uneven throughout the story. He does play a role in the finale but could have been developed more throughout the narrative.

Worth Watching? 

Although the story may seem lighter in tone, Ezban's first foray into horror is quite atmospheric, with a gruesome witch as the main antagonist. The life lessons she imparts to the young protagonists come at a high price, making for a scary tale. Nala's modern lifestyle clashes with her homeland's rural practices and folklore, creating an exciting contrast. The horror imagery further enhances this. Miguel's outstanding lead performance brings this coming-of-age folktale to life.

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