THE EVIL DOWN THE STREET * USA 2019 Dir: David J Espinoza. 97 mins
Another “inspired by true events” supernatural movie with nothing “inspired” about the execution. Boring couple Kelton Jones and Alena Gerard move into a new house with their two daughters, one of whom takes about 38 seconds to locate a Ouija board in the basement. The neighbours greet them with an ominous “That’s a real shame about the previous owners…” and Mom gets possessed soon after, acting like an alcoholic nympho in a Channel Five movie from 1993, brushing her hair in an over-dramatic fashion and sporting a negligee to tempt her nonplussed husband. Aside from Gerard’s genuinely awful performance, this uber-slow flick is torpedoed by soap opera style acting, pacing and direction. Fittingly, the dramatic highlight is a dinner table argument about peeling too many potatoes. The usual quota of Basil Exposition characters show up to fill in time via endless tedious backstory interludes and someone actually gets to say the line “Do you think this has anything to do with the Ouija Board you found in the basement?” Almost nothing happens other than multiple characters googling the words “Ouija board” before texting their friends to confirm that, yes, Satan and his demons do operate via such vessels. Most of the “action” unfolds in the kitchen in broad daylight and patient viewers are rewarded, eventually, with a decidedly undramatic exorcism sequence at the very end. There are episodes of “Rentaghost” with more tension.
Review by Steven West