To describe the final flaw in its entirety would be a massive spoiler for the movie’s last act. As such, I will be somewhat vague, and I apologize if it does not make total sense. This issue is one of the thematic content not quite hitting the mark. The film deals with love, jealousy, and sacrifice for the greater good. In order for this to properly resonant, two of the characters should have already been together. Keep the other background details the same, but have them be dating for some six months or so. Make their relationship the seed that sparks this whole camp revival trip. Bam! More time is spent on this crucial relationship, allowing the audience to care and invest in them. This gives the ending more weight than it currently has. As it stands, because this relationship is, at best, a day old, the themes of love and sacrifice aren’t entirely felt.
Despite all those problems, Nexus of Evil winds up being pretty good. To begin with, the lore of the wolf and its reasons for attacking are very interesting. The backstory is doled out in enough pieces as the movie progresses to remain engaging. Also, Smith does an excellent job of fleshing out his characters. Vincent’s history, which is, of course, tied to the demon wolf, is fascinating and brimming with authentic emotion. Joel’s wife died, and the movie does a good job of making this a core part of his identity, not just a tragic event in his past. Jenny’s empathy for her friends is on full display, and all the campers have distinct personalities. The audience wants to see everyone make it out alive, which is quite a feat.
“…the lore of the wolf and its reasons for attacking are very interesting.”
Plus, the movie moves. Once Nexus of Evil establishes the basic set-up and characters, it wastes no time getting to the mayhem. Some of the kills are offscreen, but enough of them are shown that gorehounds won’t be disappointed. The crosscutting between a potential victim and the creature’s blood-red point of view amps up the dread considerably. Smith’s eye for composition is quite strong, as he, and the director of photography, Ian Sterchi, really draw one’s attention to even the small things in the frame that prove to be important.
Nexus of Evil has a number of flaws that might turn off some viewers, such as mixed acting, plot holes, and the thematic elements not entirely ringing true. But, if you can stick with it, then you’ll find an atmospheric little film filled with strong, engaging characters that is swiftly paced, replete with fascinating lore for its original monster. A mid-credits scene hints at a sequel, and quite frankly, issues and all, I kind of hope there is one.
"…hints at a sequel, and quite frankly, issues and all, I kind of hope there is one."