Several troubling themes hidden within a tense killer-on-the-rampage melodrama. This film was released as an on-demand video, with a very limited theatrical rollout. Most of the few critics who cared to review it were not especially kind. Perhaps they were confused. Indeed, one wondered whether it is “…a crime drama, a psychological thriller, a biting commentary on American society, a supernatural horror story, a religious fable, or some bizarre combination of all of the above.”
His last choice is correct. Meeting Evil is a “bizarre combination of all the above.” I would add that once the double meaning of the title is finally revealed, the merely annoying aspects of American society subjected to the “biting commentary” grow into something far more dark. Hauntingly, it is dark enough to give pause to a serial killer.
Real estate agent John Felton (Luke Wilson) has just been fired, and since his house is in foreclosure, and he has a stack of past due bills, this is not good news. His wife Joanie (Leslie Bibb) and their two kids arrange a surprise party for him, but this backfires. Obviously, he’s not in the mood. Joanie opts to take the kids for a walk in the park.
Soon after, John meets Richie (Samuel L. Jackson), who says he needs help with his car. However, this is just a ruse, which first leads to both of them going to a local bar in Richie’s car, while John has left his wallet and cell phone at home. Oddly, at the bar are both his former boss, who fired him that very day, as well as sexy Tammy (Peyton List) his former mistress, who still seems to love him.
Needless to say, John is uncomfortable with these circumstances, and would like to call his wife for a ride home, but this can’t be arranged. Instead, Richie, Tammy, and John end up in Tammy’s car, and so the adventure begins.
Richie is shown to be a brutal serial killer, piling up the body count within a short time. Yet, he does little harm to Tammy and none to John. All will be revealed, with a twist I did not see coming. And, no, I don’t believe the critics who said that they saw it all along.
***SPOILERS AND OTHER COMMENTS***
Richie says he only kills people who are “already dead.” While we are likely not in favor of homicide, his assessment of the victims is pretty accurate.
There is an amazing contrast between Joanie and Tammy, and I have little doubt whom most guys in the audience will prefer. This movie has much to say—sub-rosa—about women in American society. From Joanie and Tammy to the fat broad in the cell phone store with way too much self-esteem, and the little girl who flips off the cops. You can tell a lot about a society by the way it treats its women, indeed.
As if it weren’t bad enough that Joanie is having an affair with the contractor building their pool, anyone who has ever gone through the agony of putting in a pool will immediately sympathize with the big hole in John’s backyard, one of the greatest clichés in all construction work. The idea is that straightaway, the guys dig the hole, but it might take months for the rest of the job to be completed, as they go about starting more jobs, digging more holes, and stringing along more clients.
If you want to learn the twist, see the movie!