Fantastic Fest hosted two public screenings of When Evil Lurks by Argentina’s director/screenwriter Demián Rugna (Terrified, 2017). A story about possession in a remote area, this is a supernatural thriller that some of the audience may find shocking, and others will feel the hair on the back of the neck stand on end at times. Starting with the first scene of “parts” leftover from a human corpse on rural farmland, to the individual who is ill and bloated from a demonic infection (that might want to make someone toss up their last meal) in the farmhouse close by – this was about as “bad” a demonic possession as I think I have ever viewed.
The two brothers report this to authorities; others don’t get to walk away either. This situation becomes a living nightmare for them and their loved ones. I do not want to give away the story, but while watching it, I kept thinking about when the spread of this chaos would end.
In the film, the possessed are called “the rotten.” It won’t take long for the audience to know this is shown so graphically that they may almost think they can smell what they see. The spread of this and its effect on so many – so quickly – is unnerving. I prefer not to see horror movies where children are involved, and if you are too, this one will leave you in shambles even if you are not a parent.
The film is 99 minutes long, yet it feels like forever as the families are desperate. For long-time horror fans, this is one of the best films to recommend for viewing this month. If gore and violence are not part of what you like in a film, pick something lighter to watch.
It arrives in theaters on October 6th, and then on October 27th, it is available to stream via Shudder.
When brothers Pedro (Ezequiel Rodríguez) and Jimmy (Demián Salomón) discover that a demonic infection has been festering in a nearby farmhouse — its very proximity poisoning the local livestock — they attempt to evict the victim from their land. Failing to adhere to the proper rites of exorcism, their reckless actions inadvertently trigger an epidemic of possessions across their rural community. Now, they must outrun an encroaching evil as it corrupts and mutilates everyone it is exposed to and enlist the aid of a wizened “cleaner,” who holds the only tools that can stop this supernatural plague.
About the Director
Born in Haedo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, director and screenwriter Demián Rugna specializes in fantasy and horror films. He’s directed several feature films after making numerous short films in the horror genre and many original scripts. His fourth film, Terrified, was multi-awarded, sold to platforms worldwide, and was the most successful horror film at the box office in Argentina. He participated in an anthology film called Satanic Hispanics in local theaters in September. His 5th feature film, When Evil Lurks, premiered at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival then at Fantastic Fest in September.
Starring: Ezequiel Rodríguez, Demián Salomón, Silvina Sabater, Virginia Garofalo, Paula Rubinsztein, Luis Dziembrowski
Cinematographer: Mariano Suarez
Editor: Lionel Cornistein
Composer: Pablo Fuu
Country of Origin: Argentina
Running Time: 99 minutes
IFC Films will release in theaters nationwide this Friday [Austin – Cinemark Pflugerville 20 and XD] and will be available to stream on Shudder on October 27
Source: IFC Films, Shudder, Fantastic Fest