in Review, Shocktober

Another Evil (2016)

I was supposed to watch a plus two-hour South Korean movie for today’s review. I had an opportunity last night, but instead I watched Joe Flacco get sacked nine times on Thursday Night Football. That game. That was true horror. So coming off the bench for today is Another Evil a little horror comedy that deserves way more love than it’s received.

Another Evil is a small movie. Neither the film or its writer/director even has a Wikipedia page. That writer/director is Carson Mell, a comedy writer who has worked on Eastbound & Down, Silicon Valley, and created the short-lived animated series Tarantula on TBS. Which means Another Evil is mostly a comedy. But that’s not to say that it doesn’t excel in its dramatic moments. Which it does. Because this film stars two versatile and I would add “criminally underrated” character actors.

The first is our everyman protagonist, Dan, played by Steve Zissis. He plays a lot of shlubby losers, but I assure you he’s so much more than that. This guy is a real John actor. Probably because he’s a favorite of one of my favorite filmmaking teams the Duplass Brothers. Zissis starred alongside Greta Gerwig in Jay and Mark’s 2008 mumblecore horror-comedy Baghead and has been a part of every Duplass production since. He’s also had small roles in Happy Death Day 2 U, Her, Arrested Development, two different characters on Parks and Recreation and a voice cameo on The Office. That last one is a show that featured another Another Evil star in a supporting role.

Mark Proksch is probably best known to people who only have Netflix to watch The Office. He played Nate, the incompetent warehouse guy from the last three seasons. He was also Daniel Wormald, a naive supplier of illegal drugs on Better Call Saul and is currently on Adult Swim’s Dream Corp LLC and FX’s What We Do in the Shadows as energy vampire Colin Robinson. He plays a lot of nerds.

I wanted to name drop a lot of the previous and current work these people have been a part of because I think they deserve the recognition. Hollywood needs more quirky filmmakers and quirky character actors and this film is the perfect showcase for both.

Another Evil is about Dan Papadakis (Zissis), an artist and family man who one day encounters a ghost in his family’s vacation home. Fearful of his family’s safety, Dan hires a self-proclaimed “Ghost Assassin” named Os (Mark Proksch) to cleanse his home. But as you can imagine, anyone who claims to be an “Industrial-grade exorcist” probably isn’t all quite there and so begins the real problem.

After a revelation that the ghosts in his home mean no harm, Dan asks Os to leave… But he won’t. Os looks for any excuse to stay. He piles on methods to cleanse the house and convince Dan that there is a greater evil at work. The film morphs into almost a stalker story as we deal with this incredibly damaged person who clings to whoever he can. It’s a character that demands a great deal of humor but also sadness and creepiness all rolled into one cowboy hat.

I’m scant on the details because I want you to go watch it. It’s on Shudder right now! Go support character actors, support unique genre mixups. Support ghost assassination.