review by Bobby Blakey
Ever since they burst onto the screen with the sleeper hit Paranormal Activity in 2009 and has since become a juggernaut in horror delivering films including Insidious, Sinister, The Purge and Halloween. Now Blumhouse Television and Amazon Studios have teamed up to conjure Welcome to the Blumhouse, a collection of all-new, diversely-themed, brand-unified films that is taking the anthology concept and stepping it up to full length horror anthology films.
The plan is to release eight films with dual premieres on Amazon Prime Video with the first two films were Black Box and The Lie premiering on October 6th and now the next two films Evil Eye and Nocturne have debuted. Evil Eye stars Sarita Choudhury, Sunita Mani, Omar Maskati, and Bernard White is based off the award-winning, best-selling Audible Original production from writer Madhuri Shekar and directed by Elan Dassani and Rajeev Dassani.
Evil Eye follows a seemingly perfect romance that turns into a nightmare when a mother becomes convinced her daughter’s new boyfriend has a dark connection to her own past. This is an interesting entry into the Welcome to the Blumhouse catalog as it stands on its own as something more of a romantic thriller. Make no mistake there is a twist to the overall tone that makes it fit in perfectly with these series of films, but for the majority of the film it deals with relationships and pressure within the family as the set up.
I love that this was an Indian based family as the arranged marriage dynamic and culture brings something different to the genre while showcasing their culture. Here we have the relationship between mother and daughter that is consumed with the mother wanting her daughter married. This sets up a story that could have been pretty straight forward dealing with the different generations thought on love and relationships, but an unexpected twist not only elevates it to something more sinister, but also an important message regarding abuse.
The cast all do a good job here with the always great Sarita Choudury stealing the show. She brings so much emotion and depth to the character that is a
must for you to buy into this character. There is a strength and pain in her expression that tells so much of her story before you ever really know anything. Fresh off seeing her in Save Yourselves! Sunita Mani shines bringing a lighter tone to the other side of this story but still a strong lead to tell her story.
It does take a bit before anything really happens in the mystery of it all and there are some predictable elements, but I just really enjoyed watching this cast and story unfold. It’s yet another prime example of showcasing diversity without making it about diversity in a film. This is so much more powerful in my opinion for the normalization of the industry. This is just this family’s story and that is all that matters. I also applaud the powerful message delivered at the end of the film regarding abuse that is perfectly executed without feeling forced into the narrative.
Discover the connection to the past and check out Evil Eye streaming now on Amazon along with Black Box, The Lie and Nocturne as part of the Welcome to the Blumhouse collection.