When one hears that a horror movie has the term Satanism used in it, a fear dread of sets in, for many it brings an ominous taint, and for the fans, apprehension, as we all worry what new variation on the tiresome platform awaits for our viewing pleasure. However, the director duo Mauirzio and Roberto Del Piccolo, bring some originality by incorporating a well-paced mystery and an affirmative nod to the Italian masters of Argento and Fulci with detail to gruesome exploration and disturbing images with this Midnight Releasing distributed flick. Now, the film is not without issues, as the shots and angles obviously used show a limited budget, and struggles to maintain straight point-to-point plot, it does present a balance a shock and gore approach, while hinting subtlety to Hostel’s tortures and The Omen’s prophecies.
Laying out the plot or even describing it falls into the category of a jigsaw puzzle without a picture, actually, that might simplify it too much, one needs to think of a soap opera episode in which several sub-plots occur and switch abruptly, to understand this film. The plot points surround five characters, and prophecy, the devil worshipping and a priest. Interested so far, wait, there’s more, as the movie opens with a group of children walking through a deserted location, and the sending away, though it might later become the safer maneuver, before switching to twenty-five years later where the film centers itself. Jess (Holly Dillion) horrifically discovers her sister’s body, naked, bloody inverted pentagram and quite a bit of blood splattering and panics as she discovers her son is missing too. She’s attacked from behind wakes up in a room chained to a wall and meeting a jovial and cartoonish in appearance, that of court jester, Valentine (Peter Cosgrove), mimicking a nightmarish paradox of sorts. One must note, clearly Cosgrove, owns the scenes he’s in, performing incredibly strange bizarre actions, which become fascinating to view and disturbing to some, especially when introduced to Susan (Paola Masciadri) who also chained and missing her son. Cosgrove’s character’s actions are reminiscent of Art the Clown (Mike Giannelli) in All Hallows’ Eve (2013), though Cosgrove excels the weird factor to twelve out of ten. Meanwhile Maddie, a prostitute, portrayed phenomenally well by Lisa Holsappel-Marrs, who doubles as Maddie’s mother Catherine, in a freakish manner, found on a church’s steps by Father Albert (Julian Boote), who has their own private connection. This poor priest soon finds himself in a world of torment and demons, far greater and more treacherous than anything confront him and his faith. Therefore, recapping, Valentine taunts, teasing, employing torture mechanisms and mistreatment of women for his own delightful pleasure while a priest unravels demonic plans for fulfilling prophecy with a connection buried inside of it all.
Evil Souls, provides a wonderful amount of kookiness and gratifying bloody sets, along with intense character developments assisted by the actors creative and freedom in their roles. The film generates a fair amount of atmosphere, with regard to visuals, but the plot feels strained under the weight of trying to connect all the dots, the mixture does suffer a bit for the enjoyment of the movie. In addition, a plethora of striking images shows the Italian horror influence expounding wonderfully in the up and coming filmmakers. The limited budget does hinder the overall concept a tad, and stresses key elements of the film, and viewers’ patience, but in the genre, most can endure the issues. Needless, the gore factors contain enough enjoyment, and yet not overwhelm the emotional involvement of characters and jeopardizing the film becoming a splatter-punk wet dream.
Mauirzio and Roberto, treat the audience with respect, never brow beating them, or trying to pull the wool over their eyes, rather presents a fresh take on biblical horrors and demonic powers, by allowing the film to unfold with strong character development. The movie generates details and at times appeals to slanted funhouse floor, leaving the viewer oft kilted and unsure of the natural progression in a film filled with religious tortures and symbols galore. An overwhelming impressive adventure for those seeking something different, but be forewarned the plot tests your conviction to watch thoroughly through, as it jumps around with the various storylines.