Friday, 17 July 2009

Surviving Evil

Decent horror flick deserving of better ...

A TV documentary crew, responsible for a wide selection of programmes on surviving in different terrains around the world, attempt their latest shoot on a remote jungle island in the Philippines. While filming, the crew come across some strange sightings unknown that the island is home to the bloodthirsty Aswang.

From the opening credits it is evident that Surviving Evil was filmed on a low budget and very little is done to hide this fact, however the film does get slightly in quality after the first few minutes. The story itself is nothing new and is reminiscent of the Hills have Eyes 2 combined with Cannibal Holocaust, though it never gets near as gory as either. There are a couple of subplots, one of which helps the main plot along, but they have very little impact on the story as a whole and serve more to add depth to the characters and their relations with one another. Though even this is a lost cause with there not being enough screen time for true character interaction to occur. The plot is ultimately thin but with the workable pace and real intent on scaring the audience, it is never as glaring a problem as it could be.

The acting side of things is fairly competent. While Billy Zane, Colin Moss and Natalie Mendoza take up the bulk of acting, the other actors persevere in making as much of the script as possible. Still this doesn't stop some weak acting at times but on a whole the cast are reasonable and definitely make up for the films other shortcomings.

The biggest of which happens to be the cinematography. Director Terence Daw is unfortunately no professional having directed only television series many years ago. He attempts to do justice to the locales but to little effect with little effort going into wide or panning shots. Still he is able to gt the ferocity and quick tension of the violent attacks well enough without having to resort to full on bloody violence gore. His build up to the climax is fairly paced and the barrage attack with occurs to the crew makes for an exciting watch.

There is no sex or nudity though violence and language are constant throughout. Violence is bloody but most gore is shown from corpses with the horrors sequences raining from quick cuts to darkened views on the action. Language variety is low though the F-word is muttered a good few times, mostly in bunches.

There is a peculiar likability to Surviving Evil even when it is clearly far from being the best in its genre. And perhaps this is due to an acting ensemble that really try to make more of the film then there should be. When you factor in some fairly entertaining horror moments, even though they're mild by modern comparisons, you have a film that deserved a more experienced director and more money for production. It is a pity that the film is getting little in terms of publicity and this is most likely due to the film being half produced by a South African company. If the chance arises you should give Surviving Evil a chance: it's not great but you may be pleasantly surprised.


Screen date: 17 July 2009
Release date: 10 July 2009


CinemaPat said...

I like how you mentioned all the things I wanted to know. I'll be skipping this one based on what sounds like bad cinematography. And Billy Zane? Wow.

Emma said...

Most of all this movie is an excellent horror flick. The way you have actually presented this movie in your review is really appreciating. I enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for this nice write up.
Watch Surviving Evil