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Samuel Galli Interview: A talk with the director of one of the most unique movies of the year

We talk with the director of ‘Our Evil’ Samuel Galli.

It is rare that a movie can completely surprise audiences. Brazil’s Our Evil is a film that is almost impossible to place in a category. Half thriller, half blood soaked horror movie, chances are it is unlike anything most movie goers have seen. AiPT! spoke with director Samuel Galli and who was happy to speak about what into the making of his movie.

AiPT: How would you describe Our Evil?

Samuel Galli: Our Evil is a Brazilian spiritual horror noir movie. It explores the questions of “why are we here?” and “what do we have to do here?” The answer for our main character is “a supreme sacrifice in the name of something greater than himself.”

AiPT: What was the inspiration behind Our Evil?

Galli: I’m a spiritualist, so I wanted to make a hitman movie with touches of spiritual things.

AiPT: The plot makes a huge shift in tone. Were you afraid of confusing your audience?

Galli: Our Evil is a very low budget movie. A small movie with a big heart and soul. I did it with my own money, so I made it thinking 100% on what I wanted. I didn’t even know if we would get the movie finished. I was not thinking about the market etc., I did it be cause I love cinema. It is not a product, it is light, shadow, sound and silence from the bottom of my heart. Like the main character, it was a big sacrifice for me to make this movie.

AiPT: There is a particularly violent scene involving Charles and a woman he meets. It does a great job of making the viewer feel uncomfortable but were you worried you had gone too far?

Galli: It was pointless to make a cheap copycat of other movies, so I was very aware that I had to take a lot of risks. The scene you mentioned is one of those risks. Some people can walk out, but those who stay will be rewarded at the end. The fact is, what’s important is that you produce an effect.

AiPT: Our Evil is beautifully shot. The use of reds in particular stands out. Which directors inspired you?

Galli: Color is a very important tool to suppress limited production design. For example, the restroom scene when Arthur meets Charles. It is a very simple restroom, but the red tells you he is in hell and meeting the real evil. Also, I love Lynch and Argento.

AiPT: The story is slow and personal. How important for you was it to go this direction instead of making another typical horror movie?

Galli: I didn’t have a lot of tools to make dynamic shoots, etc., so I used the slow pace to build the mood and make something different and uncomfortable.

AiPT: Our Evil may be too artsy for horror fans but have too much horror for arthouse fans. Who would you say is the audience for your movie?

Galli: Yes, this is one of the risks that you mentioned. My choice was to deliver something unique. I was not concerned with pleasing a lot of tastes, I was concerned with making something respected.

AiPT: Our Evil has great atmosphere. The pacing, lighting, and writing all help set the mood. How difficult was it to get everything just right?

Galli: It demanded a lot of work and passion, so I had total control of everything. And most importantly, I was very aware of all of the limitations, so I transformed this into something good, to tell the story.

AiPT: Would you say Our Evil is more character driven or story driven? I think a strong argument can be made either way.

Galli: Yes. I think Our Evil is a mix of genres and could be seen in both ways.

AiPT: What future projects do you have?

Galli: I’m writing a lot and planning the best next step with my managers and agent.

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