What hell hath the mumblecore genre wrought?
Scratch that. What hell hath Tommy Wiseau wrought?
In the mumblecore section, horror is other people talking. That is, the horror is a horror of manners where somebody overstays their welcome, crosses personal boundaries without even the slightest hint of self-awareness. Sure, the director is hip enough to know that some line of polite company is being crossed, but that’s the fun of it all. One of the prime examples of mumblecore “horror” is Patrick Brice’s Creep, a blend of the cringiest of comedies and the stalkeriest of stalkers that created one of the funnier found footage horror comedies of the past decade.
After Tommy Wiseau, hoards of ironic hipsters started scouring and/or making bad movies in order to find ironic kicks that mocks atrociously bizarre movies of negligible production values. As the popularity of The Room grew, so did the search for the next ironic work of shitty art. Suddenly hipsters were fawning over the works of sham crazy artists like Neil Breen, or elevating psychotic passion films like Ben and Arthur in an attempt to recapture the adrenaline rush of a communal hatred on a movie so vile it deserves no quarter.
At the crossroads of these two genres lies Another Evil, Carson D. Mell’s ironic horror comedy debut feature about a pair of homeowners who believe their house may be haunted by an evil from another dimension, or maybe its just the paranormal investigator they hired who is the ultimate evil. After thinking he saw a ghost, Dan (Steve Zissis) and his wife Mary (Jennifer Irwin) hire a quirky industrial strength paranormal investigator (Mark Proksch) whose techniques may or may not be a sham, but they’re also annoying as fuck.
Though not found footage in the vein of Creep, Another Evil still wants to be a low-fi no-budget horror comedy but with cult comedian Dan Bakkedahl as an annoying guest star. This could all be funny if every single scene and joke in Another Evil didn’t also suffer from Apatowitis. Carson D. Mell belabors every joke and underlines every scene about 8 times to let you know that this scene is both funny and antagonistic to both the characters in the film and the audience attempting to watch it. In a hipster way, each scene is meant to make the audience cringe-laugh and then relate to the characters who can’t escape from each other’s orbit, much like we can’t stop watching the movie.
Some late minute surprises almost spawn a reason to actually watch the movie, but it’s all too little too late. With judicious editing and a tighter presentation, Carson D. Mell would have had a quirky underrated gem to be admired by horror comedy fans. But, every scene has way too much sag, and every joke is emphasized to the point of annoyance. Maybe a good fan edit can fix the faults, but that undermines the intent and…fuck…this review is way too long for the amount of movie that’s here.