With the best will in the world, there’s not too much to get excited about in The Evil In Us, a heartfelt, lovingly-sculpted “cabin in the woods” infection/zombie yarn that, while unshakeable in its commitment, doesn’t really engage in any significant way until its final twist.
The zombies in The Evil In Us aren’t, technically speaking, zombies in the traditional sense. They’re more like humans who have been induced into a feral, feverish state through a mystery substance, but whatever the explanation you preface your ‘outbreak’ with, the end result is basically the same. While there are obviously still some new tricks to be coaxed out of this old dog of a central conceit, there aren’t enough of them here. As a result, there’s an over familiarity to the terror that’s then inflicted on the film’s hedonistic main players.
Its commitment to its setup, however, is commendable. Spending more than enough time attempting to build some investment in the relationships between the small group of twentysomething protagonists, there’s a genuine shot at worthwhile characterisation here. Of course, the more pressing concern is that as well as feeling a little like stock characters, they are, by and large, desperately unlikeable. It’s difficult to feel any particular pangs of sadness as these people are systematically picked off – they’re written in such a way that they don’t really feel like people in the first place.
With a final twist that registers as satisfyingly shocking, before being a little bogged down in over-explanation of its central conspiracy, The Evil In Us feels like a gutsy but uninspired misfire. It feels uncharitable to come down too harshly on a piece of work that’s so earnestly crafted, but for all its heart, it’s sadly lacking in bite.