Little Evil

Little Evil is not an exceptional entry into the genre, but it’s a quirky little horror-comedy hybrid that’s just clever enough. This film is of the ‘possessed child’ variety but the focus is on Gary (Adam Scott), the demon child’s stepdad. Step-parenting is hard, y’all! And it’s slightly harder when your new wife’s kid is the spawn of satan. You really get put through the ringer. And of course his Mom (Evangeline Lilly) is always going to take her darling son’s side – how dare you suggest that he might be, you know – a little evil? He’s an angel! Besides, how much trouble can a 6 year old really get into, even if he is the Antichrist?

99e58ff3fb9373b5bb8760617c7674f23bddd0d1Director Eli Craig clearly has some fondness for the genre, and little odes to other possessed-kid movies pop up from time to time. Another thing that pops up is Craig’s own mother, Sally Field, as a social worker who thinks Gary just isn’t trying hard enough. It’s a small but terrific role for her – possibly the kind of role only her son could ask her to play.

The film’s weakness is that it never fully embraces its own identity. It doesn’t go full goofy, but it can never be full horror. The result is perfectly watchable but a little frustrating knowing what it might otherwise have been. It also sort of neglects little Lucas (Owen Atlas, the titular Evil himself). We don’t know him well enough to judge whether he truly wants to bury people alive, or whether he’s just not fond of Mom’s string of boyfriends. Our early impression is that he likes to dress like he’s in ACDC and he’s mostly silent, only talking through a creepy goat hand puppet. He’s only just turned 6, still small enough for us to feel naturally protective over, so if you want me to contemplate stabbing him through his unholy heart, you’d better give me good reason and some to spare.

All in, this is a fairly throwaway movie. The beats are familiar, it’s just that Gary’s merry band of misfits consists of a step-dad support group. There are some laughs to be had here, and if you’re a fan of horror, it’s fun to play Where’s Waldo with the references. This is Netflix original content, and it’s streaming there right now.

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16 thoughts on “Little Evil

  1. Tom

    I really like Adam Scott. He’s by and large in some naff stuff but he’s eminently likable so he always makes those things a bit better. Ever see the show Party Down? It’s literally about an LA catering group who bullshit their daily lives. It’s so paper thin on plot but Scott makes it great.

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  2. raistlin0903

    Hmm, that really is a shame. Saw the trailer for this one, and it looked pretty fun. Probably will check this one out at some point, but not in a real hurry for this one now. Great review though πŸ˜€

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  3. Christopher

    At first I thought that aside from The Omen and The Exorcist films there wouldn’t be that much to parody, but then I realized that’s six films and a sub-genre that hasn’t been parodied much (unless you count the 1990 Repossessed, which is really better forgotten).
    This is one of those where I think just the director’s willingness to try deserves a lot of credit.

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