Film Monthly Home
Archives
Wayne Case
Interviews
Steve Anderson
The Rant
Short Takes (Archived)
Small Screen Monthly
Behind the Scenes
New on DVD
The Indies
Horror
Film Noir
Coming Soon
Now Playing
Television
Books on Film
What's Hot at the Movies This Week
Interviews TV

Insight of Evil

Directed by Nigel Hartwell

Written by Nigel Hartwell

Starring Anthony Cortese, Tiffany Edwardsen, Chris Simis, Annie Pantusa, Mike Bruce

Rated R

82 minutes

The Asylum, working its way toward being the Full Moon of the new millenium, brings us a murder mystery intermingled with vengeance from beyond the grave in Insight of Evil.

First off, I give The Asylum some due credit for making a truly foreboding menu for Insight of Evil. The music is very appropriate, and the distorted nature of the footage running behind the menu options lends that extra note of terror to the proceedings.

Even the distorted voice overs in the background force one to wonder, just what IS it we’re about to watch here?

If only the movie could have lived up to the high expectations the menu established.

So what we have here is the story of a troubled high school, which pretty much sums up the whole state of public education these days. But Watertown High School has more troubles than the ordinary. All of Watertown’s troubles start when one of Watertown High’s students, Tanya Beach, loses her twin sister. And the girl’s not dead…not that we know of, anyway. She’s disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

But Tanya’s not letting the vanished sister get in the way of high school antics, no sir or ma’am as the case may be. Tanya packs it up, against her mother’s wishes, to go to a party with her friends in the midst of a lakeside cottage—-

…Oooooooh boy.

We all know where this is going, don’t we? High school kids having uncondoned parties unsupervised at lakeside cottages never ends in a body count of less than three.

This will be no exception.

This cabin is the site of a really nasty murder scene that took place a few months prior, and currently holds one very pissed-off ghost.

And this ghost isn’t going to be in a mood to drink 151 Rum and shake the proverbial ghostly booty to the newest Eminem song. No, there’s going to be killing, and lots of it.

It’s truly a wonder that, by now, movie studios haven’t managed to think up any better premise for slaughtering promiscuous and rebellious teenagers. It’s always some ghost / monster / maniac lurking in the woods / empty lot / abandoned amusement park / creepy roller disco looking to avenge the wrongs / slaughter the living that remind it of a past injustice of months / weeks / one thousand years ago.

You’ll notice a lot of slashes in that last paragraph. No coincidence, because there are also a lot of slashes in Insight of Evil.

Never mind that the cast includes such bold type archetypes as: “The Troubled Teen,” “The Party Girl,” “The Drug Dealer,” “The Player,” The joke is, I’m not kidding. The characters are introduced by brief placards of text inserted in the film.

I’m going to admit, though, that there are a couple of good, solid shocks built into Insight of Evil. Bloody footprints just showing up for no apparent reason, things jumping out from behind, that sort of thing. They’re scares, and despite their ultimately trite nature, they never really go out of style.

Strange how cheap shots never die.

The worst part is, I can’t even TELL why the movie’s CALLED Insight of Evil. If they really wanted to give us a better idea of what the movie was about, they could have just called it “Moron Teenagers Who Never Learn Killed By Yet Another Strange Thing.”

But then, that wouldn’t fit Television very well, now would it?

The ending is a strange moulange of events, and while it’s not exactly the best way to end things, being a bit on the confusing side, it does have a lot of unique charm to it. There’s even a mild twist ending that’ll leave you a little surprised.

At least until the music video kicks in.

Seriously, folks—the credit roll has a music video running in the background. What an incredibly STUPID move this was. Running a music video over the end credits is a move that verges on pandering, and it’s a slap to the face of the audience to have to sit through this self-indulgent crap.

The special features include a promotional trailer and teaser for Insight of Evil, a theatrical trailer (this was apparently in theatres at one point!) the music video again, deleted scenes, and trailers for “Red Right Hand,” “Pandora Machine,” “The Fanglys,” and “St. John’s Wort.”

All in all, Insight of Evil is really just the same movie we’ve all been watching for the last twenty or so years. Sure, it’s a well-done ripoff, but when you come right down to it, it’s still just a ripoff.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


Got a problem? E-mail us at filmmonthly@gmail.com