When the Devil Comes Knocking… – Fear No Evil (1981)

Fear No Evil, a movie about the Antichrist might draw comparisons to The Omen by some following so soon upon its heels and yet director and writer Frank LaLoggia not only chooses a subject that will immediately bring forth thoughts of horror but manages to do his own thing in crafting his vision.

Featuring Lucifer himself, archangels, zombies, flashbacks and visions galore among numerous other offerings, LaLoggia’s story is one packed full of very effective special effects, an incredibly spooky atmostphere and some genuinely creepy moments. Best of all would be his choice to play the Antichrist, Canadian actor Stefan Arngrim who would deliver a strong performance as both a confused teenager and budding devil. While there were times that certain scenes would not flow as well as one would like, the picture would be both quite tense at times and very suspenseful thanks to LaLoggia’s sure hand and cinematographer Fred Goodich’s trained eye, the two delivering some frightening scenes as they chronicle the young Andrew who starts to come into his power as the son of Lucifer. LaLoggia would also pepper the movie with a bit of sex and a little nudity, more often than not being part of the horror that was taking place upon the screen, effective in propelling Arngrim’s character forward. Those aforementioned special effects would play into almost every part of the film making for a few scary instances and surprisingly so given that the budget for the entire affair was not overly large.

Throughout the film there would be a very moody score, playing up the more horrific aspects and yet when that was not present, the soundtrack would feature some great tracks by the likes of the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, Talking Heads and Patti Smith among others. It would be very unexpected when first heard by the audience and yet it worked better than one would have thought, especially given the teenagers that would make up the bulk of the cast and one of the main settings being high school.

With Andrew finally coming into his power as the Antichrist, the final act of the film would see the man creating as much havoc as possible, raising the dead and killing more than a few people. It would lead to a confrontation between him and two archangels who come into play during a finale that was both dramatic and insane and yet all that one could ask for in a movie such as this. For a directorial debut, LaLoggia would render a solid job with Fear No Evil, one with a few flaws but a horror film that would altogether end up being slightly scary, a little nasty and thoroughly mesmerizing.

3 out of 5

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