I don’t usually watch scary movies as a rule. I think it could stem from my childhood growing up with the Night Gallery episodes or the Chiller Thriller Saturday night horror shows that have instilled knee jerk reactions to fright and the anxiety associated with it. Sometimes it is seriously hard to outgrow those tendencies.
If there is one genre of film that translates well across the globe, it is horror. I’m quite sure it’s in our DNA to be afraid of similar compromising situations, carnage, evil ghosts, the dark and psychopaths that can’t be stopped. The list of scary situations is a long one and creating new ways to scare the pants/skirt/dress/coveralls/shorts off of you is a skill in itself.
Like I had mentioned quantitatively earlier, horror tends to frighten last nights supper out of me so I tend to lean toward comedy and drama but there are exceptions to the rule as I’ve discovered. Reinventing the wheel of fright and building the suspense up to the crescendo is an art that writer/director Jason William Lee has mastered in his latest film, The Evil In Us. Dalj Brar is the producer with multiple executive producers attached. I was extremely fortunate enough to book an interview with one such executive producer, David Aboussafy. He was very gracious to take the time to tell me all about the journey and labor of fright that went into making the film.
“How did you become involved with this film David?”
“I’ve known Jason for about fifteen years and have worked with him in the past on other films. I’ve been a fan of his work and we made a short film together previous to this one called Demons In The Dark. It was twenty minutes long and a bit of a dry run for the crew we wanted to use on The Evil In Us. Everything went well, so they were all involved in this one. It was an amazing and enjoyable experience all around.”
David has an interesting background. He has been a psychologist for the past twenty years and was able to lend his expertise to the set, as well as having a small cameo in the film. Other contributions to the project included financing, marketing, festival entries and set coordinating. Those festivals would include London’s FrightFest, the Sitges Fantasy Film Festival in Spain and a few others. David was lucky enough to attend a few of those to help represent the film. Note to self – enter festivals in locations on my bucket list! In addition to being an executive producer, David Aboussafy is also a writer with aspirations to create his own films. In fact, he was working with a film crew in France a couple years ago and has plans to return and produce a film sometime soon.
Thanks to David, he brought me a copy of the DVD, which is slated for a US release on July 4th. It will be available worldwide on August 29th on VOD. This horror flick held my attention from start to finish. There is comedy, horror, a little politics and an original storyline that carries you much like a Disney ride throughout the park. Dips and turns, not knowing what is around each corner or how high it will take you. I intentionally watched it at night in the dark for maximum spook effect. I was not disappointed for a second. It has been years since I’ve watched a great horror film worth bragging about and it’s about dang time I do my due diligence by recommending this one. It satisfies every taste bud and leaves you wishing for a sequel. There is gore, there is carnage and there is an attractive young cast including Debs Howard, Danny Zaporozan, Behtash Fazlali, Ian Collins, Kylee Bush and Marina Pasqua as well as troves of many other talented actors. The most I’m willing to reveal about the storyline is that the three young couples board a boat headed for a cabin on a private island. You’ll have to buy the film for the rest and thank me later for the referral.
“What size crew did you use to shoot it and what did you capture it on?”
“It varied at times. For larger scenes where there were fire and stunts we utilized 20-30 and for shorter scenes we used 6-7. The entire film was captured on RED Dragon. The DOP was Cole Graham, Jon Funk was the stunt coordinator and the score was created by Sam Levin.”
The Sound design was constructed by Christopher Clark and
The entire film took only twenty-one days to shoot. All locations were in the Greater Vancouver area with the exception of the cabin. Most of it was shot in early spring to late fall of 2015.
Financing was achieved through tax credits and private investors. The entire budget squeaked in just above 300,000.00 and Raven Banner is distributing the film. Having been a huge supporter and viewer of many Indy features, this one has the feel of a much larger budget. Trust me on this one. I was impressed till the very end. The Evil In Us has already been released in the UK, Latin America, Taiwan and China.
David admits that with the current piracy issues, it becomes harder in todays market to recoup investment costs.
It was nominated for three Leo Awards last year and picked up four awards from multiple festivals including best Canadian feature at VIFF.
I honestly cannot say enough great things about this film and it has restored my faith in horror films as a fan. I highly recommend you go out and purchase it for pure entertainment value and to support great Canadian filmmaking and fantastic storytelling. Just be sure there’s a lid on that drink and a good grip on that popcorn bowl.