Directed by Chris Fisher
Meeting Evil is a rollercoaster thriller that stops a bit short at the end.
John (Luke Wilson) is having a bad day: he’s late on his bills, his marriage is superficial, and he is no longer employed. While sulking in his backyard, John encounters Richie (Samuel L. Jackson), a well dressed man whose car has stalled and needs a push. John injures his leg, and Richie offers to drive him to the hospital. Their trip quickly turns from bad luck to sinister as Richie seems to always be one step in front of John.
This film prompts some serious questions: What type of film am I watching? A typical serial killer, joyride film? A surreal mindbender? Meeting Evil keeps the audience largely in the dark regarding the big picture, but is interesting enough to keep watching. At one point, Richie says to John, though it’s moreso directed at the audience, “Stop trying to figure me out. I got my own ideas.”
Along the way, John and Richie bump into Tammy, John’s ex-mistress, who subsequently becomes mixed up in the plot. The audience is able to identify with Tammy as she’s more or less normal compared to the unpredictable Richie and the grumpy John. As the film moves into the final act, Tammy makes an exit and is never seen again, which is rather disappointing.
Despite a great possible twist and building tension, the film concludes in a lackluster fashion. Many questions are left unanswered; yet, the ending events leave the audience with a sense of finality. The result is a feeling of emptiness that lessens the effect of the film’s excellent climb.
This film features several notable performances. Luke Wilson and Samuel L. Jackson deliver per usual. Leslie Bibb, John’s wife, and Peyton List, Tammy, deliver key supporting performances that allow this film to be effective.
Meeting Evil is not able to bring it all together in the end. The audience has likely lost some interest and is full of questions.