By: Ben Schatzel
“EVE” is an independently produced psychological thriller/horror film, released on February 14th by Level 33 Entertainment out of The United Kingdom. The film is written and directed by Rory Kindersley and stars Christine Marzano (Paranoia) and Andrew Lee Potts (The Crown). The story centers around Alex (Marzano), an up and coming actress who lands the part of Eve in a movie adaptation of “Paradise Lost” which instigates revenge from another actress from the audition. After a home invasion, Alex becomes concerned for her life as she slowly begins to fall out of touch with reality.
My initial thoughts on this film are mixed. Overall, a lot of the filmmaking elements are strong. There’s a nice variation of shots which help deliver the action and story, all of the scenes are well lit and the entire soundscape, including the score, is very well executed. Where this movie falls short is with the story. The beginning scenes are slow and it isn’t until about the fifteen minute mark until we experience the first sequence of suspense, and even after that there’s still a number of exposition dumps before we get another taste of suspense. That being said, when used, these sequences are incredibly well done. The shots go between borderline claustrophobic to wide shots and effectively put us in the character’s shoes while the music and editing provides a steady rise in tension. Kindersley clearly has a strong grasp on the genre, because these scenes really are the best moments in the movie; and, ultimately, my biggest criticism is that there wasn’t more of this throughout. There’s also a number of great special effect shots and terrific horror makeup towards the end which is always fun.
The acting is considerably strong across the board, given the tone of the film. All of the characters felt very believable and real, albeit many of them didn’t feel like they had much weight behind them. Liam (Potts) is a fun character and overall likeable, but he’s relatively uninvolved in the plot despite being the character with the second highest amount of screentime. Alex’s character is akin to Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” and “EVE” is very much her movie. While we do get to see some character development from her as the seeds of anxiety and fear begin to seep into her, the supporting characters never seem to push or affect her actions in any major way until the very end.
“EVE” is well-produced and can cater to fans of slow burn psychological horrors. The editing, cinematography and music are all very strong elements. The story has many shortcomings, but in the few scenes where it hits its stride it is absolutely gripping.