A seemingly perfect romance turns into a nightmare when a mother becomes convinced her daughter’s new boyfriend has a dark connection to her own past.
In every culture, there are certain traditions and superstitions that many within that culture believe in and still practice today. Some disappear as the times change while others have withstood the test of time and are still very prevalent. Unfortunately, some of the more negative ones have remained as well and have even bled into other cultures. Curses are some of those negative ones. Whether you believe in them or not, someone in your family probably believes, especially the elders. Today, it’s easy to scoff and write things like curses off as simply scary stories or exaggerations but some paranormal happenings can’t be explained away. Evil Eye, based on an award-winning Audible Original, is a mystery-thriller that sits on the shoulders of Indian culture. A culture that has experienced the supernatural aspect of the film multiple times.
While showcasing a rich culture that is not heavily represented in the horror genre, Evil Eye is not quite evil enough. However, that does not mean the movie is an unpleasant viewing experience. I thought the tone of the film was well executed. It’s hopeful with a tinge of dread intertwined that eventually turns into terror. Culturally, nothing felt forced and it provided me with some things to research because I was somewhat confused about the use of “Auntie” and “Uncle.” Turns out they are regularly used as terms of respect, I was unaware. The performances were great and the subject-matter is honesty a terrifying one. Nevertheless, the film is more drama than anything else. The storyline keeps you wondering and guessing but the big payoff is somewhat underwhelming. Overall, my takeaway from the film is that it’s about confronting and handling past or reoccurring trauma. While Evil Eye is an enjoyable film, when it comes to horror, it falls short. Its rewatchability is medium.
Plot & Pace
All Usha wants is for her daughter, Pallavi to be happy. However, as Pallavi inches closer to thirty, part of that happiness includes marrying a good man, according to her mother. Pallavi doesn’t quite feel the same way as her very traditional Indian mother but she wants to live up to some of her expectations. After failed blind dates, set up by her mother, Pallavi meets a man on her own and they immediately take a liking to each other. Per their daily routine, Pallavi calls her mother who moved back to New Delhi from America years ago with her husband, to tell her the good news. Unfortunately, Usha has a bad feeling about this new guy and believes it’s because of a curse put on her from the past that is now upon her daughter. Once Usha makes her concerns known, it begins to drive a wedge between her and her daughter. Not long after, the boyfriend confirms the mother’s words fears during a phone call and now she must do what she can to save her daughter.
The pacing of this film is rather slow. With it being a thriller, there’s a build-up but it doesn’t feel urgent enough for there to possibly be imminent danger. Moves much more like a dark drama.
Characters & Chemistry
The chemistry that Usha (Sarita Choudhury) and Pallavi (Sunita Mani) are able to display is impressive considering that most of their interaction is by phone. It’s old traditional ideology versus modern ideals which makes for interesting back and forth that builds tension. Choudhury’s performance leads the way as her motherly intuition is not to be questioned. Omar Maskati as Sandeep gave a mysterious performance, you never could quite tell what his motives were. Lastly, Bernard White as Krishnan was the caring voice of reason. The whole film I was just hoping nothing was going to happen to him.
Evil Eye will be available on Prime Video on October 13th. Enjoy and stay safe.
Directors: Elan Dassani, Rajeev Dassani
Writer: Madhuri Shekar
Runtime: 1h 30m
Rating: 3 out of 5