Trying to work as both a horror and a comedy, Little Evil’s contrasting styles is its ultimate downfall as the film spends a vast amount of time tonally confused. The premise is intriguing enough and some of the humour and horror elements are well executed but Little Evil is a film unsure of itself and ultimately fails to deliver a memorable experience by the time the credits roll.
The story follows Gary (Adam Scott) who marries the love of his life Samantha (Evangeline Lilly) only to find out her son may well be the Antichrist. The film jumps tonally between being a parody, a dark comedy and a horror and its here that the story begins to break down. The elements for an enjoyable film are here but its frustrating that tonally the film is all over the place. Its further affected by the pace of the film that’s wildly inconsistent throughout. Parts of Little Evil zip by with reckless abandon whilst other times the film takes a more deliberately slow pace to build the horror elements but this constant shift in focus consequently makes it difficult to settle into a rhythm with the film.
The acting is competent enough though, with Adam Scott garnering enough sympathy and laughs with his portrayal as step dad Gary. The rest of the cast are good too, but it’s ultimately Scott that sticks out as he shines above the other actors. His comedic timing is perfect and his realistic portrayal as a stepdad at odds with his stepson manages to hit the right notes throughout.
Ultimately though it all comes back to the constantly fluctuating tone of the film. I can’t help but feel Little Evil would have benefited from a more structured approach, playing out as either an outright parody or a horror with light comedy elements giving it more time to develop the characters who, despite being competently acted, are light on characterisation throughout.
Overall, Little Evil could have been a lot more enjoyable film than what’s on display. Tonally, the film’s all over the place; it flirts between being an outright parody and a horror and this is ultimately where the film fails. The acting and lighting are good enough throughout but Little Evil’s tone and underdeveloped characters make this a disappointing showing.