Starring Frederick Koehler, Sean Patrick Flanery, Dina Meyer
Directed by Andrew Getty
Andrew Getty, the grandson of J. Paul Getty, had visions and nightmares alike – some that would plague him for years, and eventually gave him the story for his film, The Evil Within. Sadly, after dropping millions of his own money into the creation of the film, and laboring over the production of his project, Getty unfortunately passed away in 2015 due to a gastrointestinal hemorrhage.
Producer Michael Luceri then picked up the reins and completed the film himself, and I’ve got to admit that it’s a pretty decent watch. Starring Frederick Koehler (I remember him best as the baby-faced Chip on tv’s “Kate and Allie” way back in the day), and his young looks are still with him here as he turns in a spectacular performance as Dennis, a mentally challenged teen that lives with his slightly conflicted brother, John (Flanery). John’s dilemma ranges between the constant care that he must provide for his handicapped relative, and the ever-mounting pressure to settle down from his restless girlfriend, Lydia (Meyer). When Dennis is given the gift of an antique mirror by his brother to spruce up his bedroom, he’s initially hesitant to let it impede with his current setup…that is until the face in the mirror begins to speak to him. Looking at his own reflection cast back at him, Dennis holds conversations with his alter-ego, who begins to tell him to start stacking the bodies in the basement in order to “fix his brain”. Okay, he’s not as direct with his initial message, but he would like the socially-awkward soul to start small: kitties, then kiddies, then adults – all the while the ever-so-creepy grayed-out image of Mr. Michael Berryman himself appears to be the one pulling the strings in mirror-land.
As the bodies begin to mount, Dennis’s sanity slips further and further away, as the images in the mirror begin to infest his conscious and subconscious moments, and with a very nosy social worker (Kim Darby) creeping around the home at all times, it looks as if there will be quite the collision on the horizon. Koehler’s portrayal as the mentally-incomplete Dennis was nothing short of impressive, and stands out far from the rest of the pack when it comes to scene-stealing. Moments enclosed within this presentation are wide-ranging, from shocking to downright trippy in dream-like nature – Getty certainly had an eye for the visuals, and it shows in an eerie exhibition that really should be watched with the lights off. Overall, The Evil Within does have a couple of flaws that skewer the tempo of the plot from time to time, but they’re not overwhelmingly detrimental to the comprehensive scheme of things. Solid cast-work, a disquieting overall aura, and Matthew McGrory in one of his final on-screen appearances – it all adds up to a film that should be in your queue of midnight watches now – check it out!