Sometimes a late night with a cheesy horror movie isn’t a bad thing. Wooden acting, mindless story, choppy editing, visible boom mics – the kind of movies you’d find at the bottom of a $5 DVD bin in a grocery store. The 1980s defined itself with these sorts of B-movies you’d find on video store shelves. Years later, the SyFy Channel perfected the art of the ‘bad movie’, hitting its peak with the Sharnado series. Somewhere in between the slasher-lite revival and the ‘Torture Porn‘ craze, a little slasher called Adam & Evil found its way onto the direct-to-video market. Though it occasionally popped up on late-night television. Few people saw it, even fewer liked it. Is Adam & Evil a good candidate for ‘so bad, it’s good’ movie status?
To celebrate their high school graduation, eight friends pack up for a weekend camping trip. But a jaded ex-boyfriend, jealous husband, and a terrible secret follow the friends into the remote woods. Soon a weekend of drinking and campfires gives way to a nightmare when a masked killer crashes the party.
Adam & Evil Has Plenty of Interchangeable Characters, But No Adam or Eve
If the above synopsis sounds generic that’s because Adam & Evil is an utterly generic slasher movie. Writer and director Andrew Van Slee dutifully checks off the tropes one by one. Yes, there’s a tragic accident mostly recounted in hazy nightmare scenes. As far as B-movie slashers go, it’s not the dumbest tragic past accident. After all, who wouldn’t expect a raging fire when throwing Roman candles at woodpiles? But the characters’ refusal to ignore red herrings when the killer leaves the same candles at every murder scenes speaks to the convoluted screenplay. In fact, Adam & Evil has enough dumb character decisions to make for a fun drinking game.
…you’re not likely to remember names until the cast thins out.
Speaking of dumb characters, Adam & Evil boasts a large ensemble of mostly interchangeable names and faces. There’s actually an Yvonne and Yvette. But no Adam or Eve. Not that it matters – you’re not likely to remember names until the cast thins out. However, Adam & Evil does deliver plenty of terrible acting and eye-rolling dialogue. Some of the performances are so bad that you may just gloss over the terrible backwoods hick accents. Check off another slasher trope. In particular, Brody Harms excels as ‘dude bro’ Matt to the point that he’s probably the best thing in the whole movie. His delivery consists of saying big chunks of dialogue really fast and at maximum volume.
Adam & Evil Overstays Its Welcome With Poor Pacing
All of the above almost makes Adam & Evil the kind of fun ‘dumb movie’ you’d watch at a sleepover. And Van Slee exhibits the kind of inept movie-making that’s good for unintentional laughs. There’s some extended gratuitous nudity before the killing starts. Van Slee includes at least two pointless montages set to a generic rock soundtrack. Most of the night scenes leave the viewer in the dark. Bonus points if you can figure out why Van Slee titled the movie, Adam & Evil. Not that the ending will help figure it out. Nothing that happens throughout the movie explains the final reveal. Even some lazy expository dialogue can’t hide the movie’s laziness.
Low budget or not, slasher fans expect a bit of carnage and bloodletting.
Arguably, Adam & Evil’s biggest problem is that it’s mostly a boring movie. For some reason, Van Slee thought there was enough material here for 90 minutes of movie. As a result, there’s too many stretches of nothing even in a movie where the body count approaches double digits. This leads to the movie’s next big problem. Low budget or not, slasher fans expect a bit of carnage and bloodletting. It doesn’t matter if the make-up effects border on cheesy – it’s kind of a prerequisite for this sort of movie. Instead, Van Slee gives us a slasher movie with very little slashing. However, we do get lots of stock nature sound effects.
Adam & Evil Definitely Not Paradise for Horror Fans
So close, yet so far. On one hand, Adam & Evil has just about all of the ingredients for a fun ‘bad movie’. There’s the clunky dialogue and hilariously over-the-top bad acting. And if the story is utterly derivative, the nonsensical final reveal at least prompts the kind of unintentional laughter you want out of a cheesy movie. Despite some gratuitous nudity and a body count, Adam & Evil mostly lacks the requisite cheapo gore. But it’s the 90 minute runtime that keeps this one from achieving full ‘Turkey’ status. Too much boring dead time, not enough cheesy badness make this one forgettable.