Little Evil (2017) Review

Little Evil is a wholesome horror-comedy that is as equally touching as it is spooky.

Little Evil is an American horror comedy film written and directed by Eli Craig. Craig is no stranger to writing horror comedy as he previously wrote and directed the very funny Tucker & Dale vs. Evil back in 2010. Little Evil was released on the online streaming service Netflix in 2017.

The film is set just after the wedding of Gary [Adam Scott] and Samantha [Evangeline Lilly] Bloom’s wedding. Gary, a new stepfather to Lucas [Owen Atlas], a quiet five-year-old boy who appears to be very withdrawn and disapproving of Gary at first. Very soon, Gary begins to notice strange situations and coincidences occurring at the behest of Lucas and becomes suspicious his new stepson is the antichrist.

Adam Scott [Parks and Recreation, Big Little Lies], stars as the main character, Gary Bloom. Gary is a really down-to-earth guy, which makes his realisation Lucas is the antichrist seem all the more absurd. Scott’s background in comedy works towards making the film genuinely funny.

The film co-stars Evangeline Lilly [Ant-Man and the Wasp, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies] as Samantha Bloom, Lucas’s mother, and Gary’s wife. Samantha is a doting mother and can’t seem to see anything wrong with her son’s evil inclinations – for instance, in one scene she sees that Lucas has produced a number of satanic paintings and she gushes that he is “so creative!” The obliviousness of Lilly’s character helps to create tension in the film’s narrative as well as underpinning the absurdity of the situation the characters have found themselves in.

Owen Atlas stars as Lucas, who personifies the Little Evil title. Atlas does a great job of being simultaneously cute and creepy. The most important interactions in terms of the film’s overall narrative occur between Gary and Lucas, because they are part of each other’s character arc. Bridget Everett [Patti Cake$] also stars in the film, playing the supporting role of Al, a friend and confidante to Gary, providing a lot of comic relief throughout.

Little Evil is quite original in the way it combines elements of horror and comedy to produce a story that is altogether heartwarming. It’s by no means a scary film, but it follows the framework of the demon-child trope all the same. I think I would probably describe Little Evil as a dark comedy, and I would recommend it to anybody who enjoys black humour. It’s heartfelt, tells a meaningful story, and it is sure to give you a few laughs too.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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