04 May 2015

EVANGELINE

EVANGELINE

Alternate Title:
The Soul Collector

Canada, 2013
Director: Karen Lam

2/10








I'm not entirely sure what writer / director Karen Lam wanted to achieve with this movie, but... whatever it was, it totally didn't work out. "Evangeline" tries to be all at once: revenge thriller, rape'n'revenge thriller, average teen horror, pro-faith horror, fantasy-horror about supposedly good demons, homage to "The Crow" etc. etc. Focusing on ONE of these sub-genres would have been so much better than cobbling it all together and ending up with a movie that is simply a freaking mess.


The story takes place in a police-less North Vancouver and follows Evangeline, a naive and devout student who falls in love with a guy who's actually a fucking psychopath. He hunts, tortures and almost kills her in a bizarre cat-and-mouse/hide-and-seek game. Left for dead in the woods, she gets rescued by homeless hicks, flees when one of them tries to tease her, and eventually runs into an even more psychopatic serial killer who kidnaps and rapes her.

By the time Evangeline gets raped, we're already 52 minutes into the movie, when suddenly some kinda ancient demon(?) takes over and transforms the poor girl into a dull-looking avenging angel (with all the semi-goth make-up, she looks more like 'The Crow light'...) and for the remaining 28 minutes (yes, "Evangeline" is only 80 minutes long...), she seeks revenge on her tormentors. The end.


In terms of visuals and atmosphere, Lam and cinematographer Michael Balfry ("The Dead Zone") did a great job: there's lots of creepy images, very well filmed eerie locations and many atmosphere-laden scenes/sequences. Unfortunately, that's pretty much the only positive thing to say about "Evangeline". The direction is awkward and shiftless, the acting is thoroughly meh (sole exception: Mayumi Yoshida) and the screenplay is a half-assed and dilettante hodge podge of crude ideas that don't fit together, illogical plot points, odd and irritating twists/turns, and countless unexplained questions. Even worse: the characters - damn, they're all terrible to the max. Everyone is absolutely unsympathetic. Everyone behaves in irrational and ridiculous ways. Every single character is cliché-ridden and completely unbelievable. I couldn't care less about who survives or who dies, because they were all the same to me.


Despite being a visual treat, I cannot recommend this movie at all,
not to Horror fans, not to non-horror-fans, not to hardcore Christians (I'm 100% sure that the few obvious faith elements are way too sparse to 'satisfy' the average believer). Wanna see a great rape'n'revenge film that deals with similar elements but gets it fully right? Yeah? Then please watch "Avenged" instead. This movie smacks Evangeline's butt so hard, she hopefully runs away and never
comes back. The end.


Thanks to Brooke Campbell and Clint Morris for the screener!

2 comments:

  1. We had heard of "the Soul Collector" before... so people found out that this film was Not so great... so they just change the "Name" of the movie...
    you said that "it had creepy images and well filmed eerie locations"... so you did at least try to point out its "good points" as well ... thus you gave this film fair treatment in your review...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They didn't just change the name, the obviously changed the synopsis, so that it sounds more like some run-of-the-mill rape'n'revenge flick. Stupid.

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