What is Evil Eye about?
Evil Eye (AKA Mal de Ojo) follows a young girl named Nala (Paola Miguel) and her little sister Luna (Ivanna Sofia Ferro). Luna is suffering from some strange illness that seems to be constantly putting her right on the brink of death and so Nala, Luna and their parents make the trip to the countryside to stay with their grandma, Josefa (Ofelia Medina) to try and find something that can help with Luna’s illness.
Things don’t seem to be going well though as Luna’s health is constantly on the brink of collapsing and there is something strange about Grandma Josefa, something that feels like it’s torn right from a scary story that Nala heard about a trio of witches who drain children for their youth. Nala will have to work out just what is going on with Grandma, hopefully before Luna’s illness takes hold and pushes her over that brink.
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Evil Eye Review
Evil Eye is a dark twisted fairy tale with one hell of an ending to send you home thinking about it. From the very moment the film starts, you can feel the strangeness already bubbling underneath the surface and every now and then it just lets a little more weirdness out until it culminates in a flurry of strange nightmare fuel that perfectly suits the demented grown up fairy tale the film shares with you.
Evil Eye is at its best when it plays with the idea that maybe Nala is just imagining everything, that the strange things going on are just the thoughts of a child trying to deal with the very real trauma of seeing her sister repeatedly need to be brought back to life because of whatever strange illness she has. For most of the film you can never really be sure what the reason behind everything is, the film plays those cards close to its chest and lets you sit there squirming and unsure of why everything is going on.
Once Evil Eye starts really letting things get going though, the scares build up thick and fast with some incredible effects and creative shot choices that add an uneasy feel to everything. The cinematography is outstanding, often using unnatural lighting to really make everything feel just a little dreamlike, which adds to the whole “is this real or is Nala just losing her mind?” feeling that permeates throughout the runtime.
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Some of the practical effects work in particular is absolutely top-notch, from an all-over body makeup effect that feels reminiscent of Freddy Kruger to some impeccable moments of gore that will have you flinching with fear. They make sure to use these moments carefully, never going too over the top but using them for punctuation after some truly impressive tension-building.
Helping make all this work is an absolutely fantastic cast, in particular Paola Miguel and Ofelia Medina who get the bulk of their scenes together and play up the abusive-grandma/scared-grandchild dynamic as much as possible. Their scenes are where the films tension lives, they control it with such incredible care and elevate the horror quite impressively. They also manage to give the film some genuine emotion, particularly young Paola who is basically carrying the film on her shoulders. She’s one who you’re going to want to keep an eye on because out of everyone in this film, she’s the one who feels the most likely to turn into a megastar.
The one problem Evil Eye has going for it is that occasionally it feels a little repetitious, certain scares are redone and some beats are played out a little more than they should which helps to make the middle chunk of the film feel just a little bit off. It’s not a huge problem, the film is still really good even with this issue, but it does mean that around the middle of the film it’s easy to drift and lose focus which is a shame because everything here is something you’ll want to really pay attention to.
Evil Eye Overall
On the whole, Evil Eye is a fascinating little horror story that keeps the audience guessing just what’s real and what isn’t until the very last moment. With some fantastic performances and absolutely gorgeous visuals, it’s a unique take on the witch story that will have the hair on the back of your neck standing up on more than one occasion.
What did you think of Evil Eye?
Evil Eye was shown as part of the A Night Of Horror international film festival at Dendy Cinema Newtown from 17th-23rd October 2022
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