Amazon Prime Video has released a trailer for upcoming horror movie Evil Eye, produced by Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Jason Blum.
Adapted by Madhuri Shekar’s audio play of the same name, Evil Eye examines themes of myth and reincarnation through an Indian-American lens. The cast stars Sarita Choudhury (Mississippi Masala, Jessica Jones), Sunita Mani (Mr. Robot), Omar Maskati (Unbelievable) and Bernard White (Silicons Valley).
The trailer shows Palluvi (Sunita Mani), a young woman, meet a handsome man, Sandeep. Palluvi calls her mother, Usha (Sarita Choudhury), to let her know she has met a potential suitor. Usha immediately wants to know if they are astrologically compatible.
This contrasts to Palluvi’s father (Bernard White), who calls astrology “unscientific nonsense.” Usha, a spiritual woman, tells Palluvi to keep wearing a protective bracelet with an Evil Eye charm. Though often referred to as ‘the evil eye’, many around the world believe it deflects envy-induced harm. It soon becomes clear that Usha is skeptical about Palluvi and Sandeep’s relationship, with the trailer hinting at Usha’s previous romance with flashbacks to a violent and bloody relationship.
In the present, Usha tells her husband she believes her ex is still dangerous, saying “I don’t think he ever went away.” Could Sandeep be the reincarnation of her ex? This seems to be what the film hinges upon, with Usha driven to the ends of her sanity. Splatters of blood and bodies plunging into water foretell perilous consequences; Usha believes that her daughter is in danger and that she alone must save her.
An important step forward for South Asian representation
The news comes after Chopra Jonas recently signed a two year production deal with Amazon. Speaking to Variety, she referenced poor representation of her ethnic background. “As a teenager, I didn’t see representation of myself […] outside of the stereotypical caricatures of South Asians.” Helmed by a South Asian cast, Evil Eye is a refreshing entry into Western cinema. If the trailer is anything to go by, Evil Eye looks set to avoid any over-used stereotypes of South Asian people; it promises a modern, creative take on the typical South Asian family in the West.
Refreshingly, the movie is set from the mother’s perspective. The dynamic between Usha and her daughter’s lover also looks fascinating. “My quest really is to be able to tell female stories, work with creators from around the world and create a cross-pollination of storytelling,” Chopra Jonas stated. “Amazon is such a great partner to do that because their reach and outlook is so global.”
When will it premiere?
Directed by Elan Dassani and Rajeev Dassani, Evil Eye will premiere on Amazon Prime on 13 October. The film is a part of Welcome to the Blumhouse’s eight movie anthology. Four of the movies will release this year, counting down to Halloween. Jason Blum (Split, The Purge) is well known for producing successful horror films and has worked with Indian filmmakers on Netflix series (Ghoul, Betaal) in the past. His experience working with South Asian creatives is significant; hopefully it signals that he will avoid using harmful stereotypes.
Intense family ties, an ethnic minority cast and a female led horror? Evil Eye is definitely one to watch.
Words by Rosh Ilyas
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