Surviving Evil

"Good"

Surviving Evil Review


An enjoyable B-movie vibe plus vivid characters makes this cheesy jungle thriller far more enjoyable than it should be. And as it gets increasingly ridiculous, the plot gets funnier by the moment. Although perhaps that wasn't the intention.

On an idyllic Filipino island, intrepid survivalist Seb (Zane) arrives to film his new TV show. Tense producer Rachel (Barnes) has a history with sexy cameraman Dex (Moss), while blonde newbie Phoebe (Cole) is trying to learn the ropes, as is local girl Chill (Mendoza). But their guide Joey (Torre) has a dark secret. He also knows something about the mythological shapeshifting monsters that are prowling in search of men to kill and women to impregnate. If anyone survives it'll be a miracle.

With a terrific setting (it was filmed near Durban) and the enjoyably banal setup, the script quickly gets down to business giving the characters as much back-story as possible. And the cast dives in with gusto. Zane has a great time with the fearless, over-serious leader role, Barnes is terrifically on edge from the start, and Torre gets the most ludicrous scenes as the guy who has to explain everything before heading off on his own private mission, which is thoroughly absurd.

From the start, we have the clear sense that these interlopers have no idea what they're bumbling into, and the filmmakers have a great time unnerving them with gigantic bugs, loud night-time noises, rustlings in the foliage, dead-battery phones and a savagely empty village. So even before dismembered arms and toothy dead babies start falling from trees, they're already thoroughly freaked out. Except that we're not even remotely scared, because it's all so inane.

Sure, the whole thing feels like a cheap TV movie, with its straightforward script, too-grisly makeup and orchestrations that swell so much we start to think it's a spoof score (there's even a closing-credits theme song performed by Mendoza). Soapy touches add enjoyable subtext, and the crazy shock moments are hilariously nutty. So by the time Joey starts telling gleefully grisly campfire stories that might be true, we realise that the whole film feels like that kind of story. And you don't really want it to end.



Surviving Evil

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th July 2009

Distributed by: Freestyle Releasing

Production compaines: Focus Films, Anton Ernst Entertainment, uFilm, Entertainment Motion Pictures, Le Tax Shelter du Gouvernement Fédéral de Belgique

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 4.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Anton Ernst, ,

Starring: as Sebastian 'Seb' Beazley, as Phoebe Drake, Joel Torre as Joey Valencia, Colin Moss as Dexter 'Dex' Simms, Louise Barnes as Rachel Rice, Natalie Mendoza as Cecilia 'Chill' Reyes

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