18 June 2024
The Evil (1978)
88 min.
Directed by Gus Trikonis.
With Richard Crenna, Joanna Pettet, Victor Buono, Andrew Prine, Lynne Moody, Cassie Yates, Mary Louise Weller, George O'Hanlon Jr.
A therapist (Crenna) moves in to an old mansion along with his wife Pettet, in the hopes of using the place as a public drug rehabilitation center.

But once there, they discover the house has a force all its own. Strange accidents, electrical mishaps, fires, and downright danger begin to plague the new owners.

We have mixed feelings about this standard attempt of a haunted house feature.

A strong opening and some atmospheric elements put this one on the right track. But the outrageously contrived ending with Victor Buono as the Devil who lives in Hell below the house (!?!?) make the film's good moments quickly fade from memory.

Crenna tries, but can't seem to overcome the inherent weaknesses of the script.

Solid production values and a haphazard earnestness runs throughout, however, and make it generally a watchable one-time journey if nothing else.

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