Directed by Michael Legge
2010 – 90 Minutes/Widescreen
DVD Provided by Sideshow Cinema
Article written by Douglas A. Waltz

Alice Marsh loses her husband in an auto accident. Time passes and she feels the need to move on. Move to a new community. Move to a new house. The whole ball of wax. She finds an old stone house that was built in the 1700’s that the townspeople refer to as the Evan Straw house. The realtor admits that many believe the house to be haunted. Alice laughs it off and moves in anyway.

That’s when things start to go wrong. Alice has encounters with an unseen force and it’s not very friendly. She is referred to a psychic, Leocardia Tomas. Leocardia makes contact with the spirit, but it likes her less than Alice, even pulling the psychic’s hair in one encounter. Leocardia realizes that she is out of her depth and brings in one of the foremost ghost hunters in the world, Peter Yakov. Peter is exceptional because he can actually see vortexes and spirits, and communicates with them directly. Peter has been doing this for a while and knows what to expect from the spirit world. But Peter never met Evan Straw before. In the realm of the unknown, never assume.

EVAN STRAW is the newest film from independent writer/director Michael Legge. Mr. Legge has made a career of comedies and satires. Combining a rapier wit with slapstick, Legge knows how to get a laugh from his audience. That’s what worried me about this movie. It’s Legge’s first foray into serious filmmaking. No funny jokes. No bizarre kooky characters. This is a straight up ghost story made to make you feel those little hairs stand up on the back of your neck. You can tell that Legge did his research. With the plethora of ghost programming on television today, EVAN STRAW takes what we see on reality television and makes a movie that slides neatly into that realm, while being an excellent film in the process.

One of the interesting parts of the movie is the musical score. There isn’t one. There are a couple of little stingers used during key scenes, but even those are used sparingly. It makes the proceedings seem more real and the actors do an excellent job of acting just like the people you see everyday. No one in the cast has a better grasp of this than Lorna Nogueira in the lead role as Alice. Lorna delivers a complex performance that can be heartbreaking to watch. The woman lost her husband in a car wreck. At one point she even mentions that she was always telling him to buckle up when he drove and she tries to laugh it off, but you can feel her pain in the memory. Alice is in every second of the movie and we experience her contact with the supernatural on a realistic level. She draws us into the story and we end up battling the spirit of Evan Straw right alongside her.

Any fan of shows like “Ghost Hunters” will love EVAN STRAW. The DVD includes theatrical trailers for other Side Show Cinema productions and a behind-the-scenes featurette that shows how Director Legge immerses himself in the making of his films. There is one shot of him on a chair, camera in one hand and microphone in the other, getting a shot for the movie. For his first serious film, Legge shows that comedy isn’t his only strength. The DVD is available directly from the creator at the link provided above