Evangeline Movie Review
Written by Steven Wood
DVD released by Uncork'd Entertainment
Written and directed By Karen Lam
2013, 85 minutes, Not Rated
VOD released on May 8th, 2015 | Blu-ray/DVD released on June 9th, 2015
Kat de Lieva as Evangeline
Richard Harmon as Michael Konner
Mayumi Yoshida as Shannon / Demon
David Lewis as Mr. K
Let me start this out by giving a brief synopsis, and when I say brief, I mean there isn't too much to explain regarding plot because there literally is none. We start off with the titular character, Evangeline (or Eva), attending an unnamed university in an unnamed city. She is bunked up with Shannon, the obvious outgoing type who attempts to bring Eva out of her shell, which she does, but that is the beginning of a tragic chain of events that will leave you confused and irritated.
Frustrated. That's how I felt by the time Evangeline was finished. With the amount of horror I've watched over the years, there is little that annoys me, and no, I'm not talking about low budget effects, bad acting or strange editing. The ONLY thing this movie has going for it is the way it was shot. I've seen this type of cinematography in other places, and while it doesn't really lend a hand to what is happening on screen, it was still welcomed. I guess the soundtrack is decent, but there are minutes on end where the volume of the background music drowns out the dialogue.
Now with the good aspects of Evangeline out of the way, let me try to convey my feelings. Why is there virtually no backstory on any of the characters? Were the random shots of Eva and her little sister supposed to make us understand why she is depressed? I'm assuming she is depressed, when we first meet Eva she is sad and sentimental over a ceramic statue that we see her holding in the flashbacks with her little sister. We don't know how long ago this was, but she still has the statue when arriving at her dorm.
Besides the nondescript personality of Eva, this movie doesn't know what it wants to be, the genres covered are revenge, ghost and serial killer. Hell, there is even a moment where it turns into the classic Ice T movie Surviving the Game. I kept watching and thinking back to myself, "Isn't this supposed to be about a girl being possessed and getting revenge on the men who tried to kill her?" Sure, that part happens, but it takes a back seat to the multiple other direction Evangeline heads.
Why did the writer, Karen Lam, decide to include a serial killing teacher? There is literally no reason to show any scenes involving this weirdo, while a couple of them warrant some laughs, the scenes are pointless. The movie starts out with him killing a random girl, then we don't see him again for some time and there is no reference to this dead girl again, except in the above screenshot, but I'm only assuming this is the same girl. I get that his inclusion is only to kidnap Eva and try to kill her, only to have her kill him instead, but he is just a weird character and could have easily been a random passerby picking up a young girl from a rural road.
The meat of Evangeline revolves around a group of college guys, led by Michael, whom drugged Eva and decided they were to "hunt" and eventually kill her. Well, what these assholes didn't take into consideration is that if you strangle someone, you should probably check their pulse and make sure she's actually dead. Therein lies the confusion, was she dead? A scene of her in a small room with a ghost (demon) adds to the mess of a film and doesn't lend any answers. I believe she is in purgatory, or something similar to that. But if that were the case and if she is still alive, how is her subconscious (spirit?) still in purgatory and subject to the demon possessing her? There are so many goddamn questions and no answers.
I'll end there, I don't want to give away all of what happens; you can go ahead and watch and be as confused as I am. Recommending this would be hard, but if I had to, maybe someone who enjoys low-budget horror would get something from Evangeline, but I know I didn't.
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