Self-aware Horror/Comedy: Netflix’s Little Evil Review

If you ever thought to yourself, “Golly, I wish I could watch The Little Rascals and The Omen at the same time…”, then Netflix’s new original movie Little Evil is the film for you.

So this movie had a lot of mixed reviews, and unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to sway you either way. Little Evil felt like a second-rate B-movie compared to the other amazing horror comedy original movie Netflix put out this year, The Babysitter.

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Anyway, let’s get cracking… So, basically we have our average step-dad Gary who thinks he’s married the women of his dreams. But man, oh man, does she have some baggage; and that baggage is in the form of an evil little boy named Lucas.

Lucas is introduced in his creepy school boy outfit (tie, vest, newsies cap) while playing on a swing set to a classic monster movie score. Hello, can someone say evil incarnate? Anyway, my man Gary soon finds out that Lucas has some seriously weird powers where he can compel people to do things they don’t want to do (like jumping out of windows and setting themselves on fire).

In order to become a better step-dad and connect to his son, Gary ends up in group therapy with a bunch of other step-dads, including his lesbian co-worker, Al. In therapy all the other dads tell Gary not to worry by sharing stories about the horrible and crazy things their own step-children have done to their non-biological fathers just to piss them off.

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But Gary still isn’t convinced. He then goes to see his wedding videographer who is convinced Lucas is the Antichrist. Armed with hardcore visual evidence that the priest at their wedding wasn’t speaking Latin, rather talking in tongues, and that the tornado that touched down after the ceremony wasn’t a freak natural incident, Gary begins to understand just what kind of evil he’s about to face.

Al and Gary go to find a demon hunter to help them exorcise Lucas. But the hunter tells Gary that he must murder Lucas before he turns six-years-old at 6pm on July 6th. Hello, 666 anyone? Convinced that he must kill his step-son on hallowed ground, Gary takes Lucas to a water park on his birthday with the intent to drown him with weighted floaties (apparently the water park was blessed by the Pope… Idk, I just went with it). But after some father/son bonding with Lucas, Gary can’t go through with it and saves his step-son.

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But, just when you thought it was over, a cult kidnaps Lucas so they can sacrifice him to raise Satan from Hell. Gary rallies Al and the other step-dads from therapy to storm the cult in order to save Lucas. After a battling the cult leader and falling into a pit of Hell-fire, the day is saved and everyone goes for ice-cream. Yay, what a happy ending!

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Now, while Little Evil’s plot is very interesting, I felt like it was lacking depth. The dialogue was unsurprising and sometimes the jokes fell flat. There are a few interesting recurring characters, like the step-dads and the weird albino homeless man that keeps popping up everywhere, but overall most of the characters are cliche.

But this cliche characterization might be purposeful. Every character fills a trope that you see in horror films (the skeptic, the idiot, the jerk, et cetera), except for Gary.

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While other characters, like his wife, claim all the weird instances are signs of childish frustration or deranged adults, Gary sees the situation for what it really is: a horror movie in the making.

Gary is literally self-aware. He acts how the audience would act if they knew that they were in a horror movie. In fact, Gary constantly compares his situation to different horror movies throughout the film.

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In conclusion, Little Evil had some high points and some low points that balanced each other out so well that after watching the film I just said shrugged my shoulders and went on to aimlessly search Netflix for another movie to watch.

This horror-comedy neither had the horror nor the comedy to pull it off. It wasn’t overly heart attack scary or haha funny. It was just kinda meh.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite lines:

  • “I just love the smell of an old-fashioned nunnery, don’t you?”
  • “He has risen from the bowels of Hell, and now… you’re his step-dad.”
  • “How can I relax? We’re in a cornfield!” “So?” “What good thing has ever happened in a cornfield, Al?” “Well, I don’t know. Field of Dreams is pretty cool.”
  • “He’s going to have a blow out party, sacrifice Lucas, and open up the doors of Hell.” “Doesn’t parenting suck?” “Yes!”
  • “Lucas isn’t Satan. He’s just a portal to Satan. And good parenting, it’s about keeping that portal shut.” “Man, that’s so true.”
  • “Nice punch, Gary!” “Yeah, you laid out that really tiny woman.” “Maybe take it easy on the old ladies, huh? Big Guy might be watching.”
  • “They both punch really well, when people run up to them in churches.”

Well, anyway, if you get around to watching this movie, I hope you enjoy it more than I did. Thanks for joining me on another 13 Writes of Fright review. Share this series using #13writesoffright!

[media courtesy of Netflix]

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