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Dead Northern 2023 Review – It Be an Evil Moon
In a bid to develop a new hair growth formula, scientist Freddy Campbell (Ian Ray-White) develops a secret serum using pickled wolfsbane. However, the strange concoction transforms Freddy from a meek man into a monstrous werewolf hungry for flesh.
It Be an Evil Moon comes from the mind of Ben Etchells, who in his directorial debut creates a gnarly indie horror steeped in furry madness and bloodthirsty delight, showcasing the true mania of werewolf movies. The film balances its eccentricity thanks to the equal measures of off-kiltered humour that continuously tethers itself to dark comedy, and due to its rather impressive practical effects, particularly concerning the epic lycanthrophic metamorphosis of Freddy.
Shadowing the cracking exposition of a scientist-turned-werewolf is the film’s unmissable appeasement to classic British wolfman horrors. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), American Werewolf in London (1981), Dog Soldiers (2002) and Howl (2015) all ooze that quintessential British feel of traditional monotony to terror, with a dose macabre comedy and folkloric undertones. Whilst It Be an Evil Moon in no way mimics the conventionalities of these films, what Etchells does do is extract that same magnetism to conjure a narrative heaped with rural, gothic, sinister connotations.
Whilst credence is deservedly owed to Etchells for his witty take on werewolf mayhem, it would be beastly to forgo a mention to the vibrant performances throughout. The maniacal and certainly ‘eccentric’ character of Freddy is played by Ian Ray-White, who executes the grisly persona with a savagery that makes for a lasting viewing experience. Seconding the spirited performances is the film’s way with tonality, both visually and narratively. It Be an Evil Moon exudes a bleak richness that makes the thrills thrive against the mundanity of Freddy’s initial settings and situation – think Sightseers (2012) or Prevenge (2016).
It Be an Evil Moon takes heed of the classic werewolf tragedy and inspiration from the gloomy yet brilliant portrayals seen within British horror and creates a tale saturated with horror excellence.
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