Little Evil follows a stepfather, Gary (Adam Scott), that begins to question his stepson's soulless nature. With evidence mounting up that his new family may house the antichrist in a 6 year old boy, Gary has to decide if it's all in his head or if his new stepson needs to die for the sake of all mankind.
Little Evil Review
Horror comedies, thankfully, are a growing genre. In general, they tend to have a higher success rate of entertainment than that of horror films, with a far-smaller sample size. Films like Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, and Cabin in the Woods are just a handful from this century that have outplayed many of their pure horror counterparts. Each of the aforementioned films boast their own unique style and delivery of the horror and comedy elements, and they were so effective that they have spawned multiple clones. Little Evil falls into the category of the clones, with little substance and creativity, but plenty of fun to go around.
From the director of Tucker and Dale, Little Evil has a similar style, but it misses the charm and black humor that made Tucker and Dale an instant classic. Little Evil is good, it's just not great. Some of the delivery isn't strong and the story lacks that balance of horror and comedy in a way that it never teeters far into one or the other. It's just simply there. And it's fun while it's telling it's story, but nothing is completely engaging with the script.
The casting is perfect, from the recently-incumbent horror comedy actor Adam Scott (though he shares the honor with Tyler Labine, who also appears in the film), down to the stepdad support group attendees Donald Faison and Kyle Bornheimer, the roles are filled to max capacity of what I would expect from the budget. Evangeline Lilly (Lost, Ant-Man) does a great job as the seemingly clueless mother and a surprise appearance by Sally Field finish off the key ingredients to this less-lusterful entry into the horror comedy realm.
I did love the treatment and choices made in regards to the story as it pertains to the film it was so obviously designed to parody; The Omen. This film isn't a Scary Movie-type piece of garbage, but rather self-aware enough to not focus on The Omen and rather tell its own story. The film is more about dealing with the stepdad and how to be a good dad through the struggles associated with raising a child in such an environment. It spends most of its time keeping this struggle light and humorous, but you can tell it can hit home with people that have experienced similar situations. In many ways the film had more in common with Martian Child than with The Omen, especially after the first act and the mind-control murdering kid's personality and abilities are established.
Netflix still hasn't hit a homerun in the film department, especially when it comes to horror/thriller entries, but it's getting better. Netflix is making smarter decisions and, I think, realizing it doesn't need to toss out ridiculous budgets and household names to make a good movie. It's mostly about a strong script and a director that is willing to break some rules and try new things. Little Evil isn't that movie, yet, but it shows promise, should Netflix keep driving forward.
Horror Qualifier: 5/10
Horror Quality: 3/10
Film Quality: 4/10