Wickedly Evil review – glimmers of zest in Irish heist-gone-wrong comedy-horror | Film

Some none-too-bright ne’er-do-wells are trying to lie low in an out-of-the-way bungalow near Dublin, having committed a heist that has gone slightly pear-shaped. One of their number is badly wounded, the lad who has the money has vanished, the woman next door knows one guy’s real name (because he told it to her), and the livewire of the group has kidnapped a witness and stashed her in the boot of their getaway car. Naturally, said witness turns out to be the treasured daughter of a ferocious local crime boss. What more could go wrong? Plenty, because in addition to being a heist-gone-wrong, this is also a horror movie, with comic aspects.

This all sounds potentially very entertaining, if hardly original, and it’s a shame Wickedly Evil can’t live up to the reliable genre thrills promised by the premise. The influences would seem to be a respectable roll call of the likes of Reservoir Dogs, Shaun of the Dead and Clerks. But the production values are student level. Whether that’s due to talent hampered by a lack of time and money, it’s difficult to say. You can be the best chef in the world, but if you’re working with spit and sawdust, it’s be hard to cook up a Michelin star-level meal. (Though to be fair, John Waters is somehow always tastier the less money he has.)

Wickedly Evil’s script has occasional glimmers of energy and zest, but to discern them, you have to be watching like a talent agent: trying to see whether there’s any potential buried here. Luckily, there is another audience that will absolutely adore this film: the friends and family of the cast and crew, who will have no trouble seeing the bright spots and overlooking the less credible elements.

Wickedly Evil is on digital platforms from 13 November.

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