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Review: Horror-comedy ‘Another Evil’ never finds its genre

Mark Proksch, left, and Steve Zissis in "Another Evil."
(Dark Sky Films)

“Another Evil” may not be just another haunted house movie, but after watching this tedious DIY dramedy-thriller you may wish it were more standard issue.

Writer-director Carson Mell adds a kind of “What About Bob?” twist to this tale of a schlubby painter, Dan (Steve Zissis of HBO’s “Togetherness”), whose mountain vacation house suddenly becomes possessed by, well, something. Enter a cavalier ghost hunter (Dan Bakkedahl), who deems the intrusive spirits as a good thing, easier to embrace than evict.

Skeptical, Dan brings in another supposed expert, Os (Mark Proksch), who sounds the paranormal alarms, dubbing the cabin’s ghosts “E.F.D.s” (Evil Fully Determined) and calling to “annihilate the specters.” Dan is game and, leaving his wife (Jennifer Irwin) and son (Dax Flame) back in Los Angeles, rejoins Os at the mountain retreat for a stretch of ghost hunting, boozing and bromance.

That Os — chatty, needy, newly divorced — will prove more annoying to Dan than any would-be phantoms is the semi-comic hook here. But Mell never quite knows how to mine this conceit to best effect. The result: a tonal mishmash involving silly demon-trapping bits, supernatural speculation and lots of yakking that derails the film’s potential tension and credibility.

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A third act that veers into more conventional thriller territory falls short as well, wanly concluding this unsatisfying experiment.

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‘Another Evil’

Not rated.

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Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.

Playing: The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, Los Angeles, Fri., 10:30 p.m.; also on VOD

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