“Another Evil” was directed by Carson D. Mell (writer on “Eastbound & Down” and “Silicon Valley”) and starring Steve Zissis (“Togetherness”) and Mark Proksch (“Squat-Cobbler”/”Better Call Saul”) and tells the story of Dan (Zissis) trying to get rid of a couple of ghosts in his family vacation home and Os (Proksch) the professional ghost hunter Dan hires to evict the troublesome squatting ghosts.
Right from the beginning of the film, your brain starts to do the traditional dance of trying to figure out the film but just when you think you have the step count down, you fall on your face to a refreshing original story told by Carson D. Mell. You start of thinking of it as “Paranormal Activity”: the black comedy version, between the opening scene of the house’s Amityville eyes and the first hilarious consultation with the first ghost expert played by a sweaty Dan Bakkedahl. But things take a turn and the story of ghosts meets the back burner in what seemed like what would be 92 mins of laughs and good times about ghosts becomes something else.
The film crescendos from a D to A and starts telling a very human story between two guys hanging out in a haunted house, while getting drunk and bonding all the while revealing details about their characters. Subtly, you start to forget the ghosts and start to enjoy the alcohol fueled conversations and moments acted masterfully by Zissis and Proksch. An art-house “Hangover” movie set in a haunted house with the only looming question left being what is the other evil? The film once again seems uncomfortably discovered and you once again sit in a mindset of narrative safety.
Then the key changes one more time to a raw note, to a climax of the film that makes your legs twist around and start dancing backwards. I experienced that “oh, fuck” moment of enjoyable surprise that is found in original story telling and clever acting.
Refreshing and great, “Another Evil” was an amazing addition to SXSW.