“Superstition is the death of a thinking mind.” – Dr. T.P. Chia
Welcome to the Blumhouse Presents: EVIL EYE
I have to admit right at the beginning that this movie has left me a bit conflicted. My initial impression was this is one to avoid at all costs. As the third act began however I started noticing the themes it was playing with and suddenly the movie began to open itself up to something beyond a lackluster, crazy mother-in-law thriller(?). But then it just resorts to predictability and ends all the same.
It takes a turn at one point from this woman acting absolutely in her own self interests to a disturbed woman clearly suffering from past trauma she once endured. She badgers her daughter to get married and as an Indian family that sticks to tradition, the mother feels it’s her duty to find a husband for her daughter. Her daughter though lives in America where choice in one’s significant other is a celebrated practice. These conflicting ideals begin to tear mother and daughter apart. For so much of the story it’s this traditional mother trying to force her beliefs onto her own daughter whom she has taught her entire life the value of independence. She is a walking, talking contradiction and this goes on for an entire ninety minute runtime.
So much of what this mother fears for her daughter makes sense to a point but she’s so frustrating as a character that it ruins everything about what is meant to be so important, the relationship of the mother and daughter. By the third act when things start revealing themselves it doesn’t really matter because of this absolutely tiring character who refuses to listen to anything other than her own voice. Whether it turns out if she’s right or not becomes irrelevant because you just kind of want her to shut the hell up. All I could think about is if she ends up being right all along she is going to be insufferable. It’s going to be another twenty years of “I told you so.” Ugh, kill me now.
Evil Eye is about a mother with a horrible incident haunting her present and possibly threatens her future, a future involving her only daughter. As a believer in astrology and reading one’s future she sees omens in the decisions made by her daughter that she fears will lead her down a path of unimaginable pain or worse. With her daughter in America, the mother in India, the task of protecting her daughter from the mystical proves to be quite a difficult task but one she intends to follow through at all costs. Belief can be a powerful weapon or a major obstacle, it all depends on how you wield it.
Within the first thirty minutes of the movie it had me wondering why this was being pushed as a horror movie, or even a thriller for that matter. It’s silly for sure but to sum it up by genre, I would say psychological drama with a hint of something else. I’m not so sure it’s important though because I really did not enjoy Evil Eye. Of the four films now on Amazon Prime Video from Blumhouse, this is by far the weakest entry. The Lie feels at least in some way like it belongs in this group. If it had stuck with a more cerebral approach, the mother suffering delusions and becoming a danger to herself and those around her could have not only been enthralling but present a voice for something crucial. And it would have felt more appropriate being called a horror film.
The characters, particularly the mother, are frustrating, the story is ridiculous even though it doesn’t really get moving until the final twenty minutes and at that point I just didn’t give a shit anymore. When the true danger of her fears came to face her and her daughter I couldn’t root for them, I wanted it to end. If that meant the evil won then so be it. Aside from it being downright boring it bothered me simply because they had strong themes to play with and explore and chose to go the predictable route and sink what was left still floating above the surface. I was becoming interested when it started to show that this woman was obviously mentally damaged but it never grabs hold and instead chooses what I can only assume is the easier path. It isn’t until the final twenty minutes that it actually makes any kind of attempt at being a thriller and it’s a mediocre thriller at that, and I’m being generous.
Ultimately a lifeless, predictable story is bogged down even further by infuriating characters and if I’m honest, bad acting. The villain who I will keep a mystery for anyone still interested in watching this movie, is never intimidating in any meaningful way. They’re a punk and an opportunist who never rises to such a figure of everlasting pursuit that anyone should ever fear. They are meant to be a reincarnated force and they’re nothing more than spoiled in need of a solid beating. Like a drunk asshole screaming for their drink. Evil Eye, more like a burning brown eye.
Unrated (PG-13 equivalent): Violence, language, thematic materials
Runtime: 90 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Starring: Sarita Choudhury, Sunita Mani, Bernard White, Omar Maskati
Directed By: Elan Dassani, Rajeev Dassani
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 2.5/ Acting: 3/ Directing: 3/ Visuals: 2.5
OVERALL: 2.5 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: No. But it is streaming on Amazon Prime Video if you want to torture yourself.
Check out the trailer below:
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