TAD 2022: Evil Eye dir. by Isaac Ezban

Spookiness abounds at Scotiabank Theatre tonight as Toronto After Dark continues. Having its Canadian premiere this evening Is the Mexican film, Evil Eye, a creepy entry that blends childhood terror with fairy tales and family.

The fear of being in a big house that has memories that aren’t yours but is connected to your family, and meeting relations who are old seems to be a common terror of the young. This story plays to that fear as well as wrapping itself up in a tale of witchcraft.

Little Luna (Ivanna Sofia Ferro) is sick, her parents, Rebecca (Samantha Castillo) and Guillermo (Arap Bethke) have been cautioned that her time is near, and her organs are failing. Instead of turning to science, Rebecca has a plan of her own and takes the family to the country to her mother’s, Josefa (Ofelia Medina).

Once there, Luna and her slightly older sister, Nala (Paola Miguel) are left in the big house with the elderly Josefa, hearing stories about witches from the help, and beginning to believe that there is something very dark and evil about Josefa, something that they will have to confront without their parent’s help.

Creepy, unnerving, and very well told, there are twists and discoveries, blood and heartache Evil Eye is an engaging tale that explores the ideas of witchcraft and mysticism in the Mexican culture and drives it home as Nala fights to protect her sister from the dark powers that arraying against her, and may, in fact, be using her as a pawn in a game of their own.

You think you know where it’s going, you think you’ve got it figured out, and you may be partially right, but by the film’s end, things get darker than most mainstream films would. I thought I had most of it figured out, but as it drew closer to the end of the film, it went in a couple of directions I was definitely not expecting and was delighted to be wrong in my assumptions.

This one is well worth the watch, and will surely entertain After Dark attendees, and it’s paired with the short, Les Dents de la Maison (Paws), an off-key little entry that plays with the idea of pets, specifically cats, and how they run the house they are in.

It’s going to be a great night at the cinema this evening, so make sure you pick up your tickets and check the schedule here, and I will see you After Dark!

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