THE EVIL DOWN THE STREET (2019)
When we interviewed Kelton Jones earlier this year about his directorial debut Dry Blood, he mentioned he had another film coming out shortly. The Evil Down The Street is out, and it’s another tale of the paranormal “inspired by true events”.
Like so many of these films, The Evil Down The Street starts with a family moving into their dream home, in this case, the Ryans. Mom and Dad, Katie (Alena Gerard, The Job Interview) and Michael (Kelton Jones). And daughters Kristen (Tara Milante) and Maddy (Sophia Sparks). They ignore what should be a heads-up while moving in.
Maddy gets trapped in a room in the cellar. One with a chest containing, among other things, a crystal ball and an Ouija Board. The next hint should be Bill (Craig Ahrens, The Crumbs, A Place In Hell) and his wife coming over and introducing themselves. I mean, who even talks to their neighbours these days?
Before long, the family is dealing with doors with minds of their own, strange noises at night, and Katie acting very oddly. Wanting to stay in the darkness wearing lingerie and playing with the Ouija Board. And occasionally develop a bad case of demon voice. Maybe it’s time to call in Father Bob (writer/director David J. Espinosa, Demon Fighter)
The biggest problem The Evil Down The Street faces is that it’s a very late entry into a very crowded genre. We’ve seen lots of what it has to offer before, and we know where a lot of it is going. It doesn’t help that so much of it is delivered in on-the-nose exposition. Michael goes over to the neighbours at one point and gets the story of the house’s previous owners, pretty much delivered as a monologue.
There are some atmospheric moments and jump scares in The Evil Down The Street. Quite a few of them, in fact, it does what it does well. It’s better than a lot of these films, like First House On The Hill or Ouija Seance. It has some good performances too, especially from Jones in a role that’s the opposite of the one he played in Dry Blood. But the familiar material and handling keep dragging it back down. It also doesn’t help that the exorcism itself is a major anticlimax. For once, I’m saying a film should have been a bit longer, as the ending feels rushed.
Disappointing, but still better than a lot of films in its field, The Evil Down The Street might be worth a watch on a rainy afternoon. And I will be watching for Espinoza’s upcoming film The Crumbs, which sounds like it might be a bit more original.
Indie Rights has The Evil Down The Street in release, and it’s available on Amazon Prime. For news about releases on other platforms, keep an eye on the film’s Facebook page.