EVANGELINE is reminiscent of THE CROW and I know there’s a major studio out there itching to revive, reboot and repackage it, but let me not stray away here. Being this is all about revenge in the wrongdoing of an innocent’s death, this subject has essentially become its own genre. It all begins with a young girl going off to college, her first real sense of freedom. Being young and naïve, of course evil is going to be lurking in the dark corners of one’s peripherals and that’s what kicks off the story.
But what makes EVANGELINE different? Well, there seems to be quite a bit going on with the story lines where it feels more chaotic and less contained. Starting with the back story of Evangeline’s little sister being sick while inadvertently growing up in a religious family. Then there’s this crazed exercise-fiend madman rapping and killing young girls, keeping their handprints as some perverse trophy and here’s the real kicker their tattooed all over his body. Next there’s a wild bunch of frat boys, who lure Evangeline into a forest and leave her for dead where evil spirits can come steal you away an elicit revenge. Now we’re getting somewhere and I think I covered all the bases here. The major problem is how are all of these storylines supposed to interconnect, and ultimately and unfortunately it seems to have an adverse effect. I really wanted more story behind the demon itself and its origins. This may have cemented things a little better. Just a thought!
The evil demon that takes possession of Evangeline’s soul helps her avenge her own death and as a side note, this demon has some pretty rad fingernails, nearly sculpted like a gothic statue and I appreciate that. There are also some great scary moments and justifiable kills, sometimes the acting can be a bit over the top, nonetheless the production value makes its presence known. I just wish the narrative was a bit more mysterious and less so on the nose.
I understand why the filmmaker, Karen Lam focuses her narrative on rape as its an enormous problem in society that lingers just as evil does. The vengefulness is an act of catharsis and this may grip young women dwelling in the fantasy of getting even. Where innocence is blatantly ripped to shreds, changing a person’s perspective forever rings within the manifestations of truth for those quietly in the background repressing such occurrences. Kat De Lieva plays Evangeline with such grace and a strict moral code of aggression. And every time you watch her fall into the trap of someone else’s deviousness, she comes back hard for blood, guts, and annihilation.
When I watched this film, it made me remember the Brock Turner case and the powerfully written letter by the victim herself. I remember it filled me with such fury and depression because of how helpless and alone and changed one callous act can do to a person. There’s no doubt in my mind, there will a surge of these stories to come in the near future and this could be why some women resort to the horror genre. As Bela Lugosi once said, “The past is a wilderness of horrors.” Now more than ever that past is rearing its ugly head into the light for all to see and judge because that’s who we are as humans.
EVANGELINE is a great attempt at summoning the unfortunate horrors that become us, exposing humanity’s flaws and all. Its just interesting its disguised and layered with demons with supernatural abilities beyond our own as if humans are incapable of truly securing justice.