Truly scary: analysis of the film When Evil Lurks (2023): ending, plot explanation, meaning of the film.
Country: Argentina, USA
Year of production: 2023
Director: Demian Runya
Actors: Ezequiel Rodriguez, Demian Salomon, Silvina Sabater
Slogan: “The time for prayer is over”
The talented director Demian Runya, who several years ago successfully produced an interesting and truly scary film “Frozen in Terror,” presented us with a new creation.
Here he continues to explore the topic of the nature of evil and comes to the conclusion that it is impossible to understand and, moreover, cope with it. At least, this is what the ending of the film When Evil Lurks (Cuando acecha la maldad) hints at.
What is the movie about
Brief description of the contents of the picture. Two brothers Pedro and Jaime (Jimmy) live on the outskirts of a small village. One evening they hear gunshots in the nearby forest. In the morning they decide to go on reconnaissance and discover a murdered and dismembered man. Next to him lies a box with a strange device.
Trying to establish the identity of the deceased, Pedro and Jimmy go to a neighbor. In one of the rooms of her house they find her alive, but almost rotten man – her son. It turns out that they were waiting for the murdered man right here – he was a cleaner and, in theory, was supposed to expel the demon from the half-dead Uriel.
The frightened brothers go to the village elder and together with him decide to destroy the possessed man themselves. This terrifies the mother of the rotting man: according to the popular interpretation, people like him are not dangerous in themselves, but they cannot be killed, because in this case something very bad will happen. It is for this reason that the possessed are destroyed by special people – cleaners, and only according to special rules.
Nothing comes of the brothers’ plan: the “living dead” disappears along the road, and the demon breaks free. Gradually it begins to “infect” the entire area. He begins to frolic by possessing the goat of one of the brothers’ neighbors, Ruiz. Despite the entreaties of his pregnant wife, he kills the animal with a gun, after which the woman, her face distorted with rage, plunges an ax into his head and then kills herself.
Soon after, a teenage neighbor, Uriel’s brother, comes running to Pedro and Jimmy. He tells the men that Ruiz and his wife are dead and his mother is missing.
The boy is afraid to return home and asks to live with his brothers. Jimmy is against it – the boy’s family is infected, which means that with his arrival, the “dirty trick” can easily spread to them. Pedro feels sorry for his neighbor and allows him to spend the night in the stable. “You will leave at dawn,” he demands. The young man, filled with gratitude, advises against using electricity, since it can attract evil.
Having thought well, Pedro decides to leave the cursed place, leaving things and even valuables: what’s the point of taking them if an infection can attach to them?
Pedro wants to get to the city, pick up his ex-wife’s children, and ultimately get as far away as possible. He eventually gets to his wife Sabrina and, stripping naked, demands that her now-husband bring him other clothes – because his shirt and trousers have also become possessed. The wife’s dog sniffs the discarded clothes, and Sabrina herself, shocked by the naked “ex,” refuses to follow him. However, Pedro still gets new clothes. Then he burns the old clothes and tells his wife what is happening.
He doesn’t know the answer to what’s happening, except that, according to him, soon everything will be very bad in the city. While they are arguing, the dog attacks Pedro’s daughter, begins to torment her, and then, with crazed eyes, drags the child out into the street and out of sight.
When the dog is found, it turns out that, oddly enough, the girl was almost unharmed. While Sabrina calms her daughter down and her new husband Leo decides what to do with the dog, Pedro tries to get in touch with his eldest child, Jair, who is autistic.
Meanwhile, the little daughter with a sweet smile tells her mother that she is about to die. And indeed, they are hit by a car in front of Pedro’s eyes.
Later, Pedro and Jimmy come to their mother and take her too. Briefly, the main character tells the old woman about the appearance of the possessed man. She had never seen one of these, but had heard about them – according to her, people become possessed because they are possessed by harmful entities. To avoid getting infected, you need to follow a number of rules.
A little later, Sabrina calls him, demands that he return the children to her, and suddenly begins to accuse him of all sins and threaten him. “You’re dead,” he says calmly and breaks off the connection. He’s sure it wasn’t Sabrina who called him.
Jaime suggests turning to a woman named Mirta for help – she has encountered this and knows what to do. Pedro agrees and soon they reach her. She actually met with the possessed and, according to her, experienced real horror.
At night, the rotting Sabrina comes to Myrta’s house, takes the youngest child and runs away. Mirta claims that now the demon will haunt Pedro’s family because he is afraid for his loved ones and all his fears are like a GPS navigator for evil.
The main character is going to run after Sabrina, but Mirta claims that there is no point in this – first they need to find that rotten one, Uriel.
Soon Pedro and Mirta arrive at a rural school: the woman says that the demon may well be there, since “evil loves children, and children are always drawn to evil.” Arriving at the school, they encounter possessed children who kill Mirta. The situation seems completely hopeless, since only she really knew how to destroy evil…
When Evil Lurks Ending explained
Explanation of the ending of the picture. Towards the end, Jaime meets with the rotten Uriel’s younger brother Eduardo. It turns out that the boy is also possessed and it was he who killed the cleaner and his own mother. “The same thing happened to her as to yours,” he says indifferently. The fact is that Jair, left without control, also became obsessed and killed his grandmother. The brothers are left completely alone and have no idea what to do next.
The meaning of the ending of the film Taken by Evil is probably that evil is indestructible and invincible, and Pedro and Jimmy are, unfortunately, doomed.
The meaning of the film When Evil Lurks
People have long been afraid of demonic possession because, having become a vessel for the devilish entity, we lose the ability to control our own body and actions. For this reason, terrible things happen that are even scary to talk about. From time immemorial, we have tried to follow a simple rule: “This generation is driven out by prayer and fasting,” but, as it turned out, sometimes this is not enough. The forces of evil are amazingly insidious and inventive – and they know all our weak points very well.
Many viewers note in their analyzes that the film When Evil Lurks is radically different from other films about the possessed. If only because there is nothing familiar to us here. “The Church is dead,” Pedro states, and after this it becomes clear that there is basically nowhere to wait for help for people in trouble.
The plot of the film is striking in its gloom and tragic hopelessness. The horror is in everything here – in the eerie soundtrack, in the rickety huts of a godforsaken outback. There are no jump scares here, the action takes place during the day and this is the very case when “a hedgehog runs merrily across a green sunny lawn, and you freeze in horror.”
By the way, Demian Runya allows himself to make a reference to the classics: the meeting of the brothers with the rotten one takes place during the day, in an ordinary setting. In the same way we meet Regan MacNeil in the film “The Exorcist” (1973): evil is here and seems to be a normal part of life…
There are no usual scenes with exorcism and other manipulations to expel demons in Runya’s film. It gives a new, author’s approach to a well-worn topic and, most likely, in order to understand the hidden meaning of what is happening on the screen, you need to know at least a little about the original Argentine folklore.
What is the point of the film? Despite all the horror, it should still be considered as a kind of metaphor, with the help of which the director tries to understand what is happening around. This is not only about the bleak Argentine reality – in particular, here you can see an allusion to the plight of the population forced to survive in the outback, as well as references to the religious crisis.
Runya also reflects on what is happening in the world in general. I can’t help but remember the pandemic, the threat of a big war and other troubles that ordinary people cannot cope with. Moreover, not fully believing in the existence of evil, they deny the obvious and thereby allow it ever closer…
When Evil Lurks is one of the scariest films that has appeared on our screens in recent times. This creepy and atmospheric horror does not flirt with the viewer, does not wink at him in a friendly way – on the contrary, it shows truly nightmarish things as they are.
Here are several films similar to the film When Evil Lurks in meaning and partly in plot:
- “Lamb” (Iceland, Sweden, Poland, 2021). Childless spouses live in the wilderness and raise sheep. One day they find a strange creature in the barn and decide to raise it as their own child.
- “Z/L/O” (USA, 2012). Three thieves sneak into a house on the outskirts in order to get one valuable video cassette. They don’t yet know what they will face…
- “Whispers of a Dead House” (USA, 2021). Josiah Graham’s house has always been considered a very bad place. One day his children come there, who really want to sell the gloomy monastery and forget about the past. But it’s not that simple…
- “No One Leaves Alive” (UK, 2021). An undocumented Mexican woman finds an abandoned house and begins to live there. Soon she begins to have terrible visions.