Movie Review: Kathryn F. Taylor's THE EVIL GENE

"FBI Agent Griff Krenshaw (Richard Speight Jr) is sent to a top-secret prison and research facility where the U.S. government has segregated federal inmates possessing the so-called "evil gene," a rare genetic defect that triggers violent, psychotic breakdowns in those who carry it.  As Griff attempts to investigate the death of the facility's head researcher, he becomes convinced that there's an evil force at work in the prison... and it isn't human."

Good evening Boils and Ghouls, tonight's tale of terror is titled THE EVIL GENE and is written and directed by Kathryn F. Taylor.  Having read the synopsis for this movie, I went into it with a really open mind and minor expectations.  The plot seemed like a pretty interesting topic and I was invested fairly quickly.  The film starts with a pretty tense scene and continues into a really intense conversation between a detective and his boss about the current situation at hand. The detective is assigned to investigate a death deemed to be an "unlikely" suicide of a "Dr. Mowgli". I get easily sucked into shows like "Criminal Minds" and pretty much any "Law and Order" type programs so I found myself sinking my teeth into the movie early on.  I appreciated the type of music that was chosen, especially during this scene, as it was dark and ominous and it was able to thicken up the already intense drama.  

As the detective begins to investigate this so-called suicide, he begins to notice some strange things around the prison and he is unsure if things may or may not be figments of his imagination. We come to find out that within this prison there is testing that's being conducted on the inmates to study their mentality and behavior when exposed to certain prescriptions as well as testing through placebos.  There is a very short lived but powerful scene that I enjoyed where we caught a glimpse of how violent and crazy a cartel kingpin inmate is. After our detective speaks with a priest working in the prison, it is explained that Dr. Mowgli was being "tormented" by something "unclean" and non-human.  With that being said, our detective continues to experience some really unsettling situations within the prison; some real and some he is unsure of.  You can tell he is slowly beginning to question his own sanity and at this point I find myself really enjoying this plot more and more!  Even though this is a completely different plot, the vibe of it reminded me of the film LAST SHIFT, only that film really left me feeling scared.  As the film goes on, we witness a really strange and actually inciteful interview with an inmate that leaves the detective feeling a bit more shook up than he already was resulting in him falling further and further down the rabbit hole.  When the shit hits the fan with the detective, it does so in a way that I was not expecting. With this revelation, the detectives are forced to act very quickly and it makes takes the movie in a totally different direction all while still maintaining the same plot.  The EVIL GENE is real and it's quite apparent that our detective is completely losing it.  Though the film isn't really scary, I found myself feeling really tense with the action taking place.  

The only acting I really had trouble believing was the acting of the previously interviewed inmate.  I am not sure if he just played crazy really well or if his acting was just incredibly silly, but either way I still enjoyed it.  As our detective further investigates the EVIL GENE, he is joined by Father Warren, the priest who I mentioned earlier.  At this point the situation begins to spiral out of control with talk of demons resulting in a huge mistake involving the inmates. I really was not expecting religion and faith to play a big role in the plot; however, it did add a bit more flavor to the tension and I really enjoyed that.  Another thing I noticed and really enjoyed was the prison set.  It was very creepy and gave a feeling of complete hopelessness. The cinematography was fantastic and everything was shot with a slight darkness to it which flowed really nicely with the entire film.  I did not see the climax coming and I loved that because I hate predictable movies as it sucks all the fun out of watching them.  I don't want to give any major spoilers but I will say that there is a pretty decent plot twist. 

Overall, I really enjoyed THE EVIL GENE.  I recommend watching it alone and in a dim lighted room, as that's what I did.  Like I said previously, the film wasn't really a traditional "scary movie" but more of a psychological thriller and I can see it gaining a wider audience because of that factor.  The movie also isn't very long which may have hindered it in some ways as I felt as though there were times when the film was rushed a bit but; however, on the flip side we didn't have to worry about diving too deep into unnecessary character back stories which I appreciated.  Like I stated before, I did enjoy this movie and would recommend it to fans of M. Night Shyamalan movies and crime investigation shows.  

Signing off, this is Devin. Stay creepy all you wide eyed weirdo's! 

THE EVIL GENE is now available digitally on iTunes, XBox, Google, Vudu, Amazon, DirecTV, Dish and more.  Also available on DVD from Walmart and Family Video.