Haunted house films are few and far between and those of quality are very scarce. The Haunting, House on Haunted Hill and The Legend of Hell House is about it really. The Evil can be added to that short list. It’s a bit special this film. Plenty of paranormal activity, people being flung across rooms, clothes being ripped off, possessions, not to mention window shutters shuttering. Classic. And to think, I didn’t think they made anything of this ilk in the 70’s, or of any kind of quality appart from poltergiest and The Entity, although they are more ghosts rather than huge gothic rambling mansions.
Plot is a simple one. A couple buy a decaying mansion and prepare to renovate. A few friends call over and some strange things begin to happen, but it’s not until CJ (Richard Crenna famous for his Rambo role as Col. Sam Trautman) opens a secret door in the cellar that all hell breaks loose.
Yes, I know you’ve heard this all before and yes it is the same old plot, but The Evil has dramatic scenes, good acting and a nice 70’s vibe which contrasts really well against the old mansion.
Another bonus here is the amazing scene when Crenna actually enters what we suppose is hell, although slightly resembling Heaven before coming face to face with Satan in a white suit. The ghost of the house is also quite atmospheric too.
Prine takes second bill in this haunted maserpiece, but steals every moment on screen and performs a spectacular demise.