I had the distinct honor of seeing The Evil Within when it ran under the title The Storyteller as part of the Sacramento Horror Film Festival. Afterwards, I was even more distinctly honored when I had the chance to talk to one of the film’s most recognizable actors: Horror icon Michael Berryman. (The Hills Have Eyes, Weird Science) Not only was the film fantastic, a visionary/psychedelic psychological horror, but the story behind the film’s production was arresting.
The Evil Within was the passion project of writer/director Andrew Getty, and this was his debut film. Unfortunately, it’s also his only film, as the dedicated artist passed away from an ulcer-related gastrointestinal hemorrhage on March 31th, 2015. While I was immediately struck by the tragedy of a man who never lived to see his vision realized, I had no idea just how obsessed Getty was until I read a recent article in The Hollywood Reporter.
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A project that loses its captain is likely dead in its tracks, and The Evil Within could have been, were it not for the commitment of the film’s cast and producers to see Getty’s vision come to fruition. THR talked to producer Michael Luceri:
“After Andrew died, I made it my mission to see that his film was completed. I have been on this project from the beginning. Andrew was such a perfectionist, each and every shot had to be perfect before he would move on. When he was young, Andrew told me that he would have these really powerful, twisted dreams, so scary that he didn’t want to believe they came from inside him, so he had this idea that it was this ’storyteller’ who created the dreams, and that became the genesis of the film’s story.”
Unbeknownst to me, Getty is actually the grandson of billionaire tycoon J. Paul Getty, and he’s said to have sunk as much as $6M of his own money into production. While principal photography began in 2002, the production lagged due to Getty’s obsessive scrutiny of every take. Crew turnover way high.
But Getty’s attention to detail paid off; scenes that utilize extensive animatronics are especially captivating. The fact that the director could have had a long career in horror (or any genre he applied himself to) makes the film’s brilliance bittersweet. I can only hope that The Evil Within finds the accolades it truly deserves, earning Getty a chapter in cinematic history—even if it’s published posthumously.
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The Evil Within can be seen on VOD now, can the DVD will be released in April. Do yourselves a favor and take a trip on this emotional rollercoaster that’s like no other. Peep the trailer and synopsis below, and let us know what you think in the Comments section!
Official Synopsis: The sadistic tale of a lonely, mentally handicapped boy who befriends his reflection in an antique mirror. This demonic creature orders him to go on a murderous rampage to kill the people he loves most.
In addition to Berryman, The Evil Within stars Frederick Koehler, Sean Patrick Flanery, and Brianna Brown.