The Evil Within is finally released!

The long-awaited ‘The Evil Within’ from Andrew Getty arrives in the UK – DVD & Blu-ray release 4 September

In the history of movie production there are a long list of projects that have gone down in folklore regarding their tortured journey to completion, or in some cases, failure to even see the light of day. Terry Gilliam’s obsession to finance and film Don Quixote, Orson Well’s similar obsession with the same story and the chaos that was the making of Apocalypse Now are just three examples of productions that drove filmmakers, actors and financiers to the edge (and often beyond) of physical and psychological endurance. It is a pretty safe assumption that we can add to that list of ‘production trauma The Evil Within, a film that has gone somewhat under the radar upon its release on the 4th September. However, this needs to be rectified, both in terms of its tortured 15 year production history, but also because it is quite simply an incredible piece of contemporary horror that fully deserves its place as a bona fide modern classic.

Yes you read the previous part correctly, from its inception to completion, it has taken 15 long years for this film to see the light of day….. The story for The Evil Within was originally drafted in 2002 by Andrew Rork Getty, the billionaire heir to the Getty family fortune who was embarking on his first ever venture into making a film – unfortunately it was also to be his last ever venture. Getty had little or no experience of the filmmaking process, but he had two other qualities that more than made up for this seemingly obvious problem, a huge personal fortune and an obsessive nature that would make Terry Gilliam and Orson Wells seem like a couple of people who were reasonable focused. The initial filming process took five long years and a potful of money, then came the post-production which meant every frame painstakingly analysed by Getty and consequent introduction of scenes being re-filmed with a rash of expensive special effects. The result was to lead to the eventual near-financial ruin of Getty which, along with drug addiction, led to his death two years ago before the whole thing could be completed. It is only this year that we can finally witness the finished result.

“This mind-bending shocker stars Frederick Koehler (Criminal Minds), award-winning actor Sean Patrick Flanery (The Boondock Saints), horror veteran Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes) alongside Brianna Brown (40 Year Old Virgin) and Dina Meyer (Starship Troopers).

Dennis Peterson (Koehler) is a mentally handicapped teen who lives with his older brother John (Flanery). While John’s time is taken up with his increasingly demanding girlfriend Lydia (Meyer), Dennis turns to his reflection in an antique mirror for company. But the demonic entity (Berryman) orders him to do horrific things in order to ‘fix’ his brain. As Dennis embarks on a murderous rampage, the bodies start to pile up in the basement, who will be next?

This sadistic saga will take you to a wild world of weirdness and beyond.”

There will probably be two schools of thought about The Evil Within; The first will be of an amateur filmmaker who was clearly out of his depth (and possibly his mind) in terms of a film with a surreal and occasionally unintelligible narrative that has a complexity that serves to quite simply reflect the tortured, drug-induced consciousness of the filmmaker. There will be some, maybe many, who will find the surrealist nature of this film to be completely unpalatable. If you like your films to have a simple linear narrative, then stay away.

The second school of thought would be that the result is an incredible rollercoaster ride into the mind of psychologically traumatized killer, a horror film that may well parallel the mind of its creator, but doing so has resulted in something stylistically and chillingly beautiful. Personally, I’m in for 2nd option.

Yes the film is at times all over the place, but then this IS a film about the mental deterioration of a young man on a sadistic murderous rampage. There are scenes in this film that are pure genius in their conception and application, at times both horrifying and surreal in their natures. The special effects are often mesmerizing upon the senses, serving to take the viewer out of their own psychological comfort zone and take them into a land of mental chaos that one never shakes off throughout the course of the film – Danny Peterson is trapped in a world of psychological horror, and so is the audience.

The central performance of Frederick Koehler is incredible as the teenage adrift in his world of madness and is very nicely supported by Dina Meyer and Sean Patrick Flannery – and just who wouldn’t want to see an appearance by horror icon Michael Berryman? I would love the chance to talk with any of these actors to gain a favour of just how much this process took out of them, because methinks there still may be one or two traces of trauma there still.

I’m confident that over time this film will create a legacy for fans and critics alike. It may well be the perfect example of a filmmaker who, despite his failings, by the very nature of his strength of will and personal vision produced a legacy of a modern horror classic.


Special features to be confirmed

Title: The Evil Within DVD RRP: £15.99
Cert: 15

Title: The Evil Within Blu-ray RRP: £17.99
Cert: 15

Release Date: 4 September 2017 Cat.No.: SBF576
Running Time 99 mins approx.

Release Date: 4 September 2017 Cat.No.: SBF572B
Running Time 99 mins approx.

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