This straight-to-DVD horror surprisingly stars two actors on different career paths; Luke Wilson has pretty much been in free-fall since he starred in his last chiller, Vacancy, whereas Samuel L. Jackson is enjoying big screen outings, one being the biggest in the form of Avengers Assemble. Therefore, the only logically reason both of them agreed to headline Meeting Evil is for the money.
Wilson stars as John Felton, a recently fired employee. He returns home to his wife (Leslie Bibb) and kids and they soon argue about money issues. John is subsequently left alone in the house, giving him some time to think. Soon after – and not so co-incidentally – the mysterious Richie (Samuel L. Jackson) shows up asking for help. Following some unusual events, Richie leads John on a murderous spree, trying to show him the way forward in his life – but why?
Although it could be argued the director is making a statement, that achieving the ‘American Dream’ is not what it’s all up to be (the unfinished big house with the white picket fence, obese 2.4 children, apparently loving housewife), a film such as this is far too lightweight to be thought of as being that deep.
No matter how ambiguous or misleading it tries to be, the film is straight-forward in its narrative of one man’s killing and another man’s running. The ending also attempts to be poetic once the ‘revelation’ of Richie’s motives is revealed, but by then you don’t really care too much.
Directed by Chris Fisher, it is evident that his main forte is TV shows from his use of obscure camera angles to hide the film’s low-budget production (you can also never escape that feeling with anything shot in New Orleans now – ask Nicolas Cage). Focusing as much attention on its two leads doesn’t really help either as there are only so many close-ups you can take of Luke Wilson and Samuel L. Jackson.
Ultimately, Meeting Evil succeeds in displaying itself as nothing more than a TV movie. Still, an extra star must be given just for seeing a portly Jackson in a sheriff’s outfit – even he seemed as if he enjoyed wearing that. But you can’t really be scared of meeting his type of evil though, can you?