The evil within wants out in this indie “cabin in the woods + teenagers camping = body count” horror thriller from Phase 4 films (available May 6th On Demand and on DVD May 27th).
Briana Evigan, a genre fave, plays Lyla, “the sweet, nurturing girlfriend to Michael, who has schizophrenia (and is played by the wonderful Joseph Cross). She’s the calm one of the gang who definitely has her head on and thinks logically… Not that the others don’t,” Evigan laughs.
“But it is a thriller full of young partying adults! Someone has to be serious! She’s Michael’s left hand when it comes to his sickness and is always understanding.”
Evigan gets lots of offer to play in these kinds of seemingly cookie-cutter horror films, so we asked her what it was about this one in particular that attracted her. “What grabbed me most was Michael’s illness and playing the woman who holds him up. All females try to save! What is that? But I liked how sweet this girl was no matter what was going on. Little piece of myself in her.”
“Also I liked that it was trippy, complicated, and confusing. I had to read it and watch it a few times to get it and then ask myself still if I got it. I love movies like that. They keep you on your toes. I also really think Joseph Cross is a very talented actor; he, too, was a large reason. When I heard his name in the mix, that made me want to do it. A goal for me whether the movie is small or large is to always work with great actors.”
This movie, which has some scary scenes set in an abandoned coal mine, was actually titled Mine Games for a time, and even played a few festivals as that. We loved that title! So much less generic than The Evil Within. “I love the title Mine Games too! Sorry, Richie [director, Richard Gray], I’m bummed about that one!” said Evigan.
“I think the title is important. Titles grab my attention all the time, but I do try to not be too judgmental until I’ve actually watched the film. I’m not sure why it changed, but I’m sure there’s a great reason. A couple titles I like are Memento, Stay, Natural Born Killers. Yes, I like those films, but I like the simplicity of the names and that they allow you to create your own image of the film before knowing anything about it. They all still have an edge to them.”
When asked about working with Gray on this film, Evigan enthused, “Oh, Richie – what a guy! Talk about someone that knows how to put the best vibe out on his set! Still to this day I cannot say I’ve had a better time on a film than in The Evil Within. He’s just lovely. He communicates so well with his cast and crew equally. He makes things personable. Laughs a lot; I’m a big fan of laughing. And I believe he was trying to create something fun and a little different than your usual college type thrillers.”
“The flashes of us zombified is where you can see some real creativity and also have a laugh. I love his style, the lighting, the shots all of it. To me it’s very important for the director and actors to be able to meet in the middle and create a vision together. I think we all had fun and could each say, ‘Whether you like this film or not, you can see we had the best time and will never forget the memories we made.’ I’d work with Richard Gray again any day of the week.”
As far as what horror hounds can expect, Evigan says, “I think fans will like that they have to think and figure it all out but still be left wondering. Each character has a little something different to play with. They’ll love crazy Michael. The scenery is beautiful, and the film paces well. I’m always a fan of a twist so I’m excited to see how people like this one!”
Directed by Richard Gray, The Evil Within stars Briana Evigan (Sorority Row), Julianna Guill (Friday the 13th), Alex Meraz, Joseph Cross, and Rafi Gavron.
The Evil Within follows a group of friends who travel up to a cabin, located deep within the forest, and find themselves stalked by an unknown evil.
Shortly after arriving, they stumble across an abandoned mine and decide to explore the dark and mysterious tunnels. As the group members hike deeper within the mine, they make a shocking discovery that quickly turns their excitement into fear. Hunted by a mysterious force, the group must work together to escape the mine alive.
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