Historical record for “When Evil Stalks”
The new movie Demian Rugnadirector of “Terrified” (2017), has already established an unprecedented mark in Argentine horror cinema, a genre unjustly ignored within national cinematography. “When Evil Stalks” managed to sell 110,000 tickets in its first 11 days on display and thus surpassed the mark of 99,400 tickets sold for “You Will Not Sleep” (2018).
Despite the low percentage of the public registered during the past weekend (on the eve of the electoral runoff) Rugna’s film managed to sell just over 40,000 tickets between Thursday and Sunday in 154 theaters. When generally (based on statistics) Argentine horror films see a deterioration in their percentages during their second week, Rugna’s film grew 1% in box office. In this context, The 110,000 admissions of “When Evil Stalks” positions the film near the podium of the annual ranking of Argentine cinema.
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“When evil lurks” in Santa Fe
Since November 9, the film began to reach the main cinemas in Argentina. Starting on Thursday the 16th, production arrived in Santa Fe, and can currently be seen in the historic Cine América room (Cine Club Santa Fe, 25 de Mayo 3075).
“When evil lurks” centers on two brothers who discover the presence of a man who has been “infected” by evil forces, and it is soon revealed that he is about to give birth to a demon. While trying to make sense of the violent events that occur around them, the brothers will look for a way to prevent the birth of the child and confront the wave of violence and terror that is plaguing the town. Rugna manages, with the effectiveness that the genre deserves, to portray a superstitious rural Argentina, which has assumed the presence of evil among its inhabitants.
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Demonization syndrome: Argentine rural terror and hatred of the unknown
Escribe Hernán Ceccato | IG: @hceccato
The new production from the director of “Terrified” (2017) demonstrates that the Argentine filmmaker knows and knows how to manipulate the elements that make a good film of the genre. Moving away from easy scares, but highlighting violence and gore, Rugna He has managed to deepen his vision as a creator, and those who seek it will find in his new project subtexts and allegories that are often absent in Argentine horror cinema.
The “incarnated” or “embichado” are the concepts used by the characters of “When evil lurks” to refer to those who have been overtaken by the mysterious forces of evil. Oscillating between a demon and the antichrist, it is not clear exactly who – or what – the protagonists of the film are facing, but the presence of evil causes a series of violent events and each person reached by these forces will try to “infect” to their loved ones, in a kind of terrifying epidemic. Although the concept of a person invaded by dark forces seems something assumed by everyone in the reality that the film proposes, some doubt and others directly choose to ignore the signs. Rugna manages to construct the idea of a seriously ill, fragmented, unequal, broken population suffering from low morale.
The concept of “demonization syndrome was used by Jesus Diaz in a remarkable essay on the film “A Cuban fight against demons“, directed by the Cuban Tomás Gutiérrez Alea (1971) and based on the book of the same name by Fernando Ortiz Fernandez (1959). The idea is that, long before the arrival of the Spanish, “demons” were entities already present in Latin communities. Those original demons accompanied the Indians and served as means to obtain answers to the various enigmas that the forces of nature unleashed, including the meaning of life and death. However, he points out Diaz““Demonization itself, that is, understood as a systematic resource of power to crush the different, came with the successive waves of conquistadors – Spanish colonizers, at the hands of the Catholic Church and its secular arm, the Inquisition.”. In this way, the author proposes to study demonization as an ideological procedure that consists of “deny to the other his human condition, and identify him with the causes of evil and even with evil itself if he does not voluntarily or under torture abdicate his own faith, religion or belief, adopts those of the master and agrees to work for him as a servant, snitch or slave“.
“When evil lurks” proposes a double treatment of the demonic question. On the one hand, following in the footsteps of films like “The Exorcist” either “The prophecy“, eradicating evil from the town is extremely necessary once its inhabitants begin to die; but at the same time, a view completely crossed by a national situation where “evil” is always linked to those who do not belong to a certain territory is evident. In rural Argentina that reflects Rugnathat which comes from outside, the unknown, is an enemy of the natural order and must be eliminated, even if that implies our own destruction.
In the 56th edition of Sitges International Fantastic Film Festivalthe new film by the Argentine filmmaker, Demián Rugna, won the highest award, the award for Best Feature Film, becoming the first Latin American film to win this mention. “When evil lurks“, which was part of the Official Selection of the Catalan festival, also took the Blood Window Award for Best Film.