Reviews: When Evil Lurks and Frankenhooker

Everybody else in my house is sick, which means horror movies on the big TV for me! This week’s selections go from the sublime to the ridiculous, and if you think you can tell which is which just by the title, you’re absolutely right!

When Evil Lurks is an Argentinian horror movie about a sort of epidemic of demonic posession? Maybe? Of which the rules are totally unclear. Don’t kill anyone who’s possessed because then the demon will get out and go elsewhere, but also it sometimes does that anyway.

The movie follows two hapless brothers who inadvertently unleash a new outbreak of possession and then spend the rest of the movie trying to fix it. It’s a scenario that could be played for laughs, but it’s not—it’s played totally straight, and you get some shocking deaths, some great suspense where you don’t know who’s possessed and who’s not, and a final scene that continues to haunt me.

It’s an excellent movie, and if you like horror movies at all, you should see it.

Wish I could say the same for Frankenhooker. Don’t get me wrong—this one definitely has its moments, particularly at the end when it kind of flirts with feminism. (No, really!) And the entire sequence of the title character running amok in Manhattan is great.

But man, does it take a long time to get there. The first half of the movie is pretty excruciating—not really funny, not really scary. I feel like, even in the horror community, horror comedies don’t get as much respect as “serious” horror movies, but bad horror comedies like this show just how hard it is to do a horror comedy well.

Anyway, I feel like this is one of those movies that everybody has seen, and now so have I, so if you’ve got a lil’ obsessive streak in terms of keeping up with the horror canon, it’s an okay way to spend 90 minutes. Otherwise, avoid.

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