Twenty years ago, there lived a deranged teenager by the name Carl Bryce, who killed his parents. Carl’s body was never found, and his story has created an urban legend that the place he lived at with his parents is cursed, causing madness to everyone who trespass the area. The graduation student Mark is working on writing a study on contemporary myths, and gets an interview with the psychiatrist who once treated (or, at least tried to treat) Carl Bryce back in the day. Intrigued by this urban legend, Mark gets his friends to join him in his research on the old Bryce estate. Of course, once they’re there, they soon figure out that someone or something is after them.
Evil Remains (aka Trespassing) is a 2004 horror movie directed by James Merendino, with a premise we’ve seen several times before and lots of times after: a group of college students finding themselves in a situation with an unknown killer at their heels. Slasher movies present this formula with hardly any variation: it’s either a murderer on a revenge-fueled killing spree (or some other motive), or it’s something supernatural. Going in for a movie of this kind, you mostly know what’s in store for you. The film obviously references well-known classics, stirring little snippets of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Evil Dead, Halloween, etc. into the pot, in typical low-budget style. Its attempt at combining slasher with haunted house kind of works, though, especially with the use of an old plantation house. The same house was also used in the 2005 horror film Venom (which was made by the I Know What You Did Last Summer director Jim Gillespie).
While neither story nor characters offer anything in terms of originality, and production value is considerably limited, it still manages to grant the viewer enough mystery and a little atmosphere to make the experience compelling enough. While the acting and characters are nothing to write home about, it’s still familiar territory for those who have trodden through the familiar paths of the typical teen-slasher before. I think I’ve made it evident by now that this is nothing new, nothing spectacular, and clearly low budget, but take it for what it is and it’s actually decent enough for a quick watch.
Overall, Evil Remains aka Trespassing is a fairly subpar horror slasher, filled with the regular tropes, but it’s not entirely without value. Works well as an easy popcorn flick, just don’t expect any kind of masterpiece or memorable experience.
Writer and director: James Merendino
Original title: Tresspassing
Country & year: USA, 2022
Actors: Jeff Galpin, Maryam d’Abo, Will Rokos, Daniel Gillies, Jeff Bryan Davis, Clayne Crawford, Estella Warren, Ashley Scott, Brandon Martin, Linley Thomas, Adela Johnson, Virginia Lamoine