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Netflix Halloween Countdown: "Little Evil"

Updated on October 31, 2017

Netflix Halloween Countdown

For the month of October, I have selected 17 horror (or horror-themed) movies, at random, on Netflix. Over the course of this month, I watched and reviewed a lot of spooky, scary, gory, chilling, horror-themed movies and, with each review, I have included a table (at the very bottom of the article) where I have ranked them in order from best to worst. So if you are looking to get in the Halloween spirit, by watching some Halloween style movies, then these articles are for you!

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Synopsis

Gary (Adam Scott) just recently married Samantha (Evangeline Lilly), and is moving in with her and her son, Lucas (Owen Atlas). Like many stepdads, Gary struggles to connect with the son of the woman he married. Gary attends a stepdad support group in the hopes of finding a way to connect with Lucas, but Lucas is a bit of an odd child. If they did not have enough on their plate, the new family is still trying to recover from the tragic tornado that crashed their wedding. However, the man who was hired to film the wedding contacts Gary and believes that Lucas is actually the anti-Christ. The man has recorded footage that suggest Lucas was responsible for the tornado that crashed the wedding.

This sounds absolutely crazy to Gary, but after he sees the video, he starts to think otherwise. Gary always thought Lucas was a bit of an odd child, but now he starts to see Lucas' strange behavior in a new light. Now Gary must decide what to do with this information. Samantha would certainly never take Gary over her son (even if he is the anti-Christ). Is Gary willing to leave Samantha in light of this new information? Is it possible for Gary to connect with Lucas and raise him to never cause such catastrophic events, or will Lucas be the death of him?

Official Trailer

The Pros & Cons

The Pros
The Cons
The Premise (+3pts)
Stepdads (-3pts)
Comedy (+4pts)
The Water Park (-6pts)
Adam Scott & Evangeline Lilly (+5pts)
The Plot (-4pts)
All movies start with an average score of 75pts, points are then awarded for each Pro and taken away for each Con. Each Pro or Con is designated points ranging from 0-10 allowing me to convey to you how significant these Pros or Cons are.
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Pro: The Premise (+3pts)

I thought the premise for this film was pretty entertaining, because it puts the main character in a tough (yet entertaining) situation. He loves his wife, but struggles connecting with her child. That is a concept that, I imagine, a lot of step-parents can relate to. In this film, however, that child just so happens to be the anti-Christ (or so Gary believes). I have to imagine that there are plenty of step-parents out their who describe their step-child as the anti-Christ (figuratively).

This film is about what a step-parent should do if their step-child actually is the anti-Christ and there is a lot of humor, in this film, that focuses on that issue. One example is that Gary goes to a stepdad support group, explains that his step-son is the anti-Christ, and the other stepdads essentially say that all of their stepchildren are the anti-Christ as well. That is just one example, but I think this film does a good job of focusing on the awkward situation that Gary is in as a stepfather. I thought this film's premise was mildly entertaining, but I think any step-parents out there will enjoy it more than I did.


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Con: Stepdads (-3pts)

Again, I enjoyed the premise of this film. I thought the concept of a stepdad actually having the anti-Christ as a stepson, was interesting and amusing. Unfortunately, the other stepdads hurt this film quite a bit. I am a big fan of the actors who played the other stepdads (Kyle Bornheimer, Donald Faison, and Chris D'Elia), but I thought these characters got an unnecessary amount of focus. This is especially true for the character, AL (Bridget Everett).

AL is not a main character in this film, yet gets a ton of screen-time throughout this film. The film has some issues, most of which are a result of having focus issues. While Little Evil has an entertaining premise, the film struggles to focus on that. It felt like the film was written with a set focus in mind, then the filmmakers decided to squeeze other comedic actors into the film in an attempt to make add more comedy. That is what the other stepdads felt like. The film gives more screen-time to AL and the other dads than most side-characters should get, and we end up missing out on a properly developed plot and a properly executed premise.

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Pro: Comedy (+4pts)

The comedy that works best for this film, focuses on Gary suffering through strange situations with his stepson. Gary goes upstairs one night in an attempt to connect with Lucas, yet Lucas is sitting directly in front of his television (which is displaying nothing but white noise). Lucas has a creepy sock puppet that looks like a goat. Lucas also sleeps in bed with Gary and Samantha on one night as the newly weds were about to have an intimate night together.

With all of these situations, the comedy comes from Gary's reactions, and these are pretty amusing scenes. There are plenty of these moments in the film, but nothing will make you die from laughter or even really laugh out loud. This is more of an amusing chuckle-fest, with a handful of pretty funny moments. This will not be a comedy that sticks with you for years to come, but it is certainly entertaining.

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Con: The Water Park (-6pts)

The plot takes a weird turn about halfway through the film. The scene where the turn takes place is The Water Park. Before this scene, Gary learns that his stepson could be the anti-Christ, there are a bunch of awkward moments between Gary and Lucas, and Gary just struggles to connect with his stepson or decide what he should do about the whole "anti-Christ" thing. Then Gary takes Lucas to a water park in yet another attempt to connect with the boy. The film then makes an unjustifiable turn away from the film's issues.

Basically, all the problems that Gary was facing, before the water park scene, are gone, and Gary is now faced with all new problems. I had trouble wrapping my head around this switch. Both sets of issues are fine, but the film should have picked one set and stuck with it for the duration of the film. Instead, we get a random switch halfway through the movie that makes Little Evil feel pretty inconsistent.

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Pro: Adam Scott & Evangeline Lilly (+5pts)

The two lead actors made a huge difference for this movie. Like I said, most of this film's successful comedy comes from Gary's reactions to weird situations. Adam Scott has become known for playing characters in amusingly awkward situations, so he was perfect for this role. He hits the comedic moments well but he also does a great job of hitting the dramatic (more touching) moments of the film. While I thought Adam Scott was perfect casting for Gary, the casting of Samantha is equally important.

With Samantha, the audience has to believe that Gary would be willing to put up with the anti-Christ in order to be with Samantha. Gary and Samantha have to have a visibly great relationship and the actors have to have good chemistry. Evangeline Lilly had great on-screen chemistry with Adam Scott (in my opinion). She came across as a kind, and caring wife. More importantly, Evangeline Lilly was (like Adam Scott) able to hit the comedic and dramatic moments very well. This film requires the two lead actors to be equally capable with both comedy and drama, while also portraying a believable relationship with good on-screen chemistry. Adam Scott and Evangeline Lilly did all of this perfectly.

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Con: The Plot (-4pts)

Like I mentioned earlier, I thought the plot for this film suffered due to focus issues. This is a somewhat ridiculous comedy so I can get past the whole "demonic tornado wedding destruction" thing, but I thought the film did a poor job of picking something to focus on and sticking with it. It starts by focusing on Gary struggling to connect with Lucas (as the anti-Christ), then it focuses on Gary struggling to maintain his relationship with his wife (while focusing little on Lucas), then the water park scene happens and the focus completely flops in another direction. This film was mildly entertaining but the focus was all over the place which resulted in a very inconsistent plot.

Grading Scale

Grade
Category
Points
A+
Amazing
95-100
A-
Amazing
90-94
B+
Good
85-89
B-
Good
80-84
C+
Average
75-79
C-
Average
70-74
D+
Bad
65-69
D-
Bad
60-64
F
Garbage
45-59
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Grade: C- (74pts)

I can honestly say that I enjoyed this movie. It has a pretty amusing premise and some funny moments but it has a lot of issues. The plot is all over the place as it struggles to find an issue to focus on. It is absolutely fine to throw a ton of issues at a main character but there needs to be one major issue that remains constant through the film. Little Evil does not do that. While I enjoyed the concept of the stepdads in this film, I thought the side characters got a little too much screen-time. This would have been okay if the film was not already struggling from focus issues.

Fortunately, the two lead actors were perfect for their respective roles. Adam Scott and Evangeline Lilly were able to hit the comedy just as well as they were able to hit the drama, and this film requires both. The film also requires the lead actors to have good on-screen chemistry and a believable love for one another, because we have to believe that (to Gary) Samantha is worth all of the trouble. In every respect, Adam Scott and Evangeline Lilly were perfect for these roles and the film was certainly better for having cast them.

Little Evil has a lot of problems but I still thought it was a pretty amusing film. I can recommend watching it if you are looking for an amusing film that does not require too much thought, but I want to stress that you should not take it too seriously. I also believe that this film will work very well for any viewer who happens to be a step-parent. I enjoyed a lot of the comedy in this movie, but I believe it will hit step-parents even more effectively.

Rank
Movie
Points
1
Housebound
87pts
2
The Awakening
82pts
3
Stake Land
81pts
4
The Babysitter
80pts
4
Gerald's Game
80pts
5
Stitches
78pts
6
V/H/S
77pts
7
Would You Rather
76pts
8
Viral
75pts
9
It Follows
74pts
9
Little Evil
74pts
10
The Babadook
73pts
11
The Bar
72pts
12
Yoga Hosers
69pts
13
Most Likely to Die
67pts
14
13 Cameras
66pts
15
Gallowwalkers
54pts

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