“Root of All Evil” (2016): Sarcastic Skeptics Get Their Comeuppances in Halloween Horror Short

Filmmaker Alex DiVincenzo’s Halloween-themed horror/dark-comedy short Root of All Evil is impressive, but even moreso when considering that it was made in less than two days and had to adhere to a strict set of rules. This is because the short was created as part of the Providence (Rhode Island) 48 Hour Film Project, in which it won six awards: Best Film, Best Ensemble Cast, Best Costumes, Best Use of Prop, Best Special Effects, and Most Lifelike Severed Body Part.

Alex DiVincenzo (The Horrors of Auto Correct; Trouser Snake) wrote, directed, and scored Root of All Evil after he and his group were assigned to work in the “nature horror” genre. The story concerns a small gathering of adult twentysomething friends who are dressed in costumes. They are ready to start eating candy and drinking alcohol, but Jessica (Jaquelyn Fabian), dressed as a witch for the night, insists that everyone should first pay proper respects to her Halloween Tree that is on the table in front of them. With no small amount of skepticism, and a dash of sarcasm, the others join her in doing so. They quickly learn, in gory fashion, that they should have taken Jessica’s wishes less lightly.

Alex DiVincenzo directs with a confident approach, and shows that he is effective at both lighthearted and quite dark humor, as well as suspenseful horror pacing. Jordan Pacheco’s grisly special effects are guaranteed to make even seasoned horror viewers cringe. Neil Guliano’s cinematography is solid, as well. The actors – all but one of whom have 20 or more IMDB credits to their names –  are deserving of their Best Ensemble Cast award; congratulations to Jaquelyn Fabian, Topher Hansson, Jordan Pacheco, Anacaren Delgado, Acei Martin, Allie Marshall, and Jamie Dufault.

Root of All Evil has a Tales from the Darkside vibe to it, and is well worth adding to your Halloween season viewing list. You can watch the short for free at https://youtu.be/k7LMN-PndeM. For more information on Root of All Evil, follow Lockbridge Productions on Facebook.

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Joseph Perry
Joseph Perry fell in love with horror films as a preschooler when he first saw the Gill-Man swim across the TV screen in "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" and Mothra battle Godzilla in "Godzilla Vs. The Thing.” His education in fright fare continued with TV series such as "The Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits," along with legendary northern California horror host Bob Wilkins’ "Creature Features." His love for silver age and golden age comic books, including horror titles from Gold Key, Dell, and Marvel started around age 5.

He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Horror Fuel, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right.

A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.