DVD Review: Evil Boy (2019)

August 22, 2020

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Igor (Vladimir Vdovichenkov) and Polina (Elena Lyadova) have lost their son Vanya (Sevastian Bugaev), and three years later decide to adopt. Off they trot to a rural Gothic mansion of an orphanage and while there discover a dead groundskeeper and a feral child (Sevastian Bugaev, in a dual role) locked in the basement.

Well, that lil’ hellion bonds with Polina, and soon they are the proud parents of a completely uncontrollable maniac… well Polina is thrilled anyway. Igor on the other hand is torn between trying to make his wife happy and trying to not get totally creeped out by the fact that the child soon starts looking and acting like Vanya… hell Polina even gives the new addition the name of their missing child.

Well wouldn’t ya know it, junior begins displaying some rather off putting supernatural tendencies that send our heroes into a deep dive into the child’s past. I’m sure that’ll go well…

Co-writer/director Olga Gorodetskaya (working from a novel by reigning Russian Queen of horror,  Anna Starobinets) doesn’t re-invent the wicked wheel with Evil Boy, but boy does she tell a suspenseful tale full of atmosphere and dread!

As stated; this is your evil kid causing all manner of terror trouble for the adults around him affair… a hoary ol’ chestnut of our beloved horror biz if ever there was one… but the material succeeds here thanks in part to some fantastic performances, and an effective muted color palette.

Vdovichenkov plays the stoic, world weary husband role to the hilt, and Lyadova plays the wounded mother with sympathy and believability… plus these two have great chemistry with one another, which sells that whole married bag. For me though, the real acting hero here is Bugaev, who can go from manipulative, to rabid, to vulnerable in the blink of an eye, and the physicality of his performance sells the hell out of his more demonic side.

Bugaev is also aided and abetted by a solid make-up job, especially in the earlier parts of the film, that makes him look appropriately sickly and off-putting.

As mentioned above, the color palette chosen here adds a layer of gloom to the proceedings, with plenty of cold blues and grays on display, plus the film takes place in an appropriately autumnal setting; all dead trees, changing leaves (that bring a muted rusty orange to the mix, but even that doesn’t bring warmth to the image), and cold, stormy skies.

Another plus is the mythology created around the boy and just who he is; it gave everything a great modern folk tale vibe that yours cruelly ate up with a sinister spoon!

As for extras on this release from Well Go USA Entertainment, we get a handful of teasers and trailers for the film, and that’s all she wrote boils n’ ghouls.

While it walks a familiar road for us horror hounds, Evil Boy is nevertheless eerie, suspenseful, and at times completely over-the-top… and that’s a recipe for a ghoulish good time indeed!

 

 

 

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