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Film / The Field Guide to Evil

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The Field Guide To Evil is a 2018 anthology horror film produced by Legion M. Eight film makers from different countries bring stories or folk tales from their country to the anthology. The stories and filmmakers come from Hungary (Peter Strickland), Austria (Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala), Germany (Katrin Gebbe), Greece (Yannis Veslemes), India (Ashim Ahluwalia), Poland (Agnieszka Smoczynska), Turkey (Can Evrenol), and the United States (Calvin Reeder).

The segments are:

  • "The Sinful Women of Höllfall" centres around an isolated community of women in the 19th century, where two of the women fall for each other resulting in a sin that an evil entity won’t forgive.
  • "Haunted by Al Karisi,the Childbirth Djinn" is about a pregnant teenager who’s taking care of her disabled mother-in-law, until she starts mistreating her. The consequences for the teenager and her baby will be terrible.
  • "The Kindler and the Virgin" is the haunting and surreal tale of a man who needs to feed upon three hearts of freshly deceased corpses to acquire some unexplained power. But all is not as it seems...
  • "Beware the Melonheads" revolves around an American family that moves to a cabin in the woods, but when their son meets an “imaginary” friend, things take a dark, creepy turn.
  • "What Ever Happened to Panagas the Pagan?" follows a group of people meeting with a goblin: due to their intoxicated state, they begin bullying and torturing the hideous creature.
  • "Palace of Horrors" is a highly stylised, black and white tale of British explorers getting in contact with an Indian god: a meeting that will bring despair on them.
  • "A Nocturnal Breath" follows two siblings who own a farm and, due to their sinful behaviour, one of them becomes possessed by an ancient spirit.
  • "The Cobblers’ Lot" tells the story of two brothers who fall for the same woman, ignoring how dangerous she can be.


  • Animal Espionage: In "The Cobbler's Lot", Princess Boglarka sends her pet raven to spy on Tivadar on his quest to see if he succumbs to the temptations of the loosestrife pool.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Strongly implied between Xaver and Anni in "A Nocturnal Breath", and almost certainly the reason for Anni's possession by the drude.
  • Bullying a Dragon: In "What Ever Happened to Panagas the Pagan?", a gang of drunken revelers start bullying and tormenting the local Christmas goblin.
  • Cannibal Tribe: "Beware the Melonheads" is based upon legends of a cannibalistic tribe of children with oversized craniums said to dwell in the American north woods.
  • Chromosome Casting: There are no male characters in "The Sinful Women of Höllfall" (even the monster the Trud manifests in a female form). The setting seems to be an isolated all-female religious community, but the details are not made explicit.
  • Demonic Possession: "A Nocturnal Breath" is about an evil spirit called a drude that possesses the body of a sinner. At night, it exits the body—leaving its human host in a deathlike trance—and travels the countryside spreading disease.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: "Beware the Melonheads" is based on legends of a Cannibal Tribe of children with enlarged craniums supposed to dwell in the north woods of America. A family rents a cabin deep in the woods to relax and refresh their family ties. When the young son says he has met a strange boy in the woods, the parents dismiss it as his imagination. And then the son goes missing...
  • Driven to Suicide: In "The Cobbler's Lot", Botond lies to Princess Boglarka and tells her that Tivadar died in the forest. The distraught Boglarka immediately grabs a knife and slits her throat.
  • Enchanted Forest: In keeping with the fairy tale nature of the story, Tivald is required to travel trek through the deepest, darkest forest in the kingdom in order to locate the loosestrife pool and complete his Engagement Challenge in "The Cobbler's Lot".
  • Engagement Challenge: In "The Cobbler's Lot", Tivald goes to the king to ask him for Princess Boglarka's hand. The king initially attempts to dismiss him, but, on seeing that he is serious, he assigns him a task. Tivald must trek through an Enchanted Forest to the loosestrife pool, and return with a single strand of loosestrife. If he succeeds, he will be permitted to marry the princess.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: In "A Nocturnal Breath", Xaver's dog Wachter is able to detect the evil drude when it is possessing a mouse. Wachter goes mad, barking wildly, and Xaver has to drag him off before he tries to eat it.
  • Eye Scream: In "Haunted by Al Karisi,the Childbirth Djinn", Songul has a nightmare in which she sees her mother-in-law about to stab her infant son through the eye with a hairpin. Later, she returns to the house and finds the bloodied hairpin lying on the kitchen counter...
  • Familial Cannibalism Surprise: "Beware the Melonheads" ends with William feeding Arnold his father's flesh to complete his transformation into a melonhead, with Arnold no longer even recognising who his father is as he eats the offered flesh.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: In "What Ever Happened to Paganus the Pagan?", the goblin attempts to mingle with drunken revelers who are dressed in pagan costumes of animal skins and horns. His masquerade does not last long.
  • Garden Garment: In "The Cobbler's Lot", the three nymphs who seduce Tivadar are wearing only strategically placed wisps of pond vegetation.
  • Genuine Human Hide:
    • In "The Kindler and the Virgin", the Kindler skins the belly of the dead virgin. He later explains to the court that he intended to make a drumskin from it and present the drum to the emperor: who would become undefeatable once it was sounded.
    • At the end of "The Cobbler's Lot", the king orders his new shoemaker to skin the bodies of the cobbler brothers and make him sandals from their hide so he tread on them forever for all the trouble they caused.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: What happens to Gentry in "The Palace of Horrors". Henry, who was behind Gentry and only saw the king in shadow, goes mad for several months and remains mentally fragile for the rest of his life. Gentry never exits the king's chamber.
  • Grave Robbing: In "The Kindler and the Virgin", the Kindler robs the graves of the freshly dead: cutting out their hearts and eating them in a quest to gain infinite knowledge.
  • Hellgate: In "What Ever happened to Paganus the Pagan?", the small Greek island is home to a gateway to the underworld known locally as 'the World Below'. It opens once a year at Christmas to allow the goblins out to play tricks on mortals. After capturing a goblin, Paganus ventures into the World Below, and is enraptured by the blue flame, and remains there when the gate shuts
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: "What Ever Happened to Panagas the Pagan?" takes place at Christmas.
  • Human Resources: In "The Kindler and the Virgin", the Kindler believes that he if he eats the hearts of three freshly dead people, he will gain all of the world's knowledge. He obtains the hearts via Grave Robbing.
  • In the Back: At the end of "A Nocturnal Breath", Xaver sucks the drude out of Anni before it can go out on its nightly rampage: trapping it in his own body. As he leaves, Anni shoots him in the back, killing him and destroying the drude.
  • King in the Mountain: At the end of "What Ever Happened to Paganus the Pagan?", Paganus is shown seated asleep and covered in cobwebs in 'The World Below'.
  • The Krampus: The Greek equivalent of Krampus—goblins released from the underworld at Christmas to mingle with drunken revelers and play tricks—feature in "What Ever Happened to Paganus the Pagan?"
  • Laughing Mad/Madness Mantra: After being driven mad by what he saw in "The Palace of Horrors", Henry wakes up in a hospital in Calcutta, compulsively singing a hymn and laughing uncontrollably at those times when he cannot sing.
  • Little People Are Surreal: In "The Palace of Horrors", the jailer of the dungeons of the palace is a dwarf, which just adds to the surrealism of palace when combined with bizarre nature of the prisoners and the black-and-white filming.
  • Loss of Inhibitions: In the first segment, Kathi is drawn to her beautiful, free-spirited friend Valerie but is stifled by her religious upbringing, feeling guilt for her urges and living in fear of the sinister Trud which is drawn in by sin. After apparently tricking and killing the Trud, Kathi finds herself freed from all guilt and inhibition; her very first move is to approach Valerie fully nude and invite her to a tryst in the woods.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: At the end of "The Sinful Women of Höllfall", after luring the Trud into her bed and apparently killing it, Kathi is freed from all guilt and inhibition and approaches Valerie fully nude, inviting her for a tryst in the woods.
  • Masturbation Means Sexual Frustration: In the first segment, Kathi is seen masturbating while dealing with her attraction to Valerie. Later, she does it to lure the Trud (a creature drawn in by sin) to her bed in an attempt to kill it.
  • Monster Organ Trafficking: In "What Ever Happened to Panagas the Pagan?", the goblin bleeds an incredibly intoxicating wine that, according to legend, can send the drinker mad.
  • Not-So-Imaginary Friend: In "Beware the Melonheads", Arnold meets a boy named William in the woods: dressed in dirty clothes and with his head hidden from view. His parents assume that William is a new imaginary friend. Unfortunately for them, William is all too real.
  • Our Genies Are Different: In "Haunted by Al Karisi, the Childbirth Djinn", the eponymous djinn manifests as a goat and passes judgement on a pregnant teenager, later possessing the girl's invalid mother-in-law to wreak vengeance on her.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: In "What Ever Happened to Paganus the Pagan?", goblins are minor demons from Greek mythology. They dwell in the Underworld and only allowed to travel to Earth one day a year, Christmas, where they play tricks on drunken humans, like a low-power version of The Krampus.
  • Parental Neglect: Arnold's parents Chris and Macy in "Beware the Melonheads". His mother Macy is always drinking wine and on her phone discussing business, even when she is supposed to be watching Arnold. His father Chris is slightly better, but is more concerned with being a 'cool dad' than actually noticing what is going on with his son.
  • Plaguemaster: "A Nocturnal Breath" is about an evil spirit called a drude that possesses the body of a sinner. At night, it exits the body—leaving its human host in a deathlike trance—and travels the countryside spreading disease.
  • Questioning Title?: "What Ever Happened to Panagas the Pagan?"
  • Resurrection Revenge: In "The Cobbler's Lot", Princess Boglarka returns from the dead to take revenge on the two brothers: Botand for driving her to suicide, and Tivald for being unfaithful.
  • Revenant Zombie: In "The Cobbler's Lot", Princess Boglarka returns from the grave to kill the two brothers: Botand for lying to her and driving her suicide, and Tivadar for being unfaithful.
  • Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny: In "The Sinful Women of Höllfall," Kathi is very attracted to Valerie, but after their first sexual encounter fears she's being stalked by a nightwalking creature called the Trud, and is shown desperately scrubbing herself in the river to try washing her "sin" away. After luring the Trud into her bed and apparently killing it, Kathi is freed from all guilt and inhibition and approaches Valerie fully nude, inviting her for a tryst in the woods.
  • Shoot the Dog: In "A Nocturnal Breath", Xaver is forced to shoot the farm's only cow after she is bitten by the drude, and then burn her body. Later, he holds his beloved dog Wachter in his lap and slits the dog's throat after it too has been bitten.
  • Sibling Triangle: In "The Cobbler's Lot", brothers Tivald and Botand are both in love (or, at least, obsessed) with Princess Boglarka (and her asphodel slippers). Boglarka favours the younger and more talented brother Tivald, but that not does prevent Botland from attempting to claim her for himself.
  • Skinny Dipping: In "The Sinful Women of Höllfall", Valerie bathes naked in the river while Kathi shyly watches and refuses to join her.
  • Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: In "The Sinful Women of Höllfall", the Trud is monster that is attracted to sin. After Kathi's sexual liasion with Valerie, the Trud appears in her bedroom.
  • Trip Trap: In "Beware the Melonheads", Chris trips over a tripwire set by the Melon Heads and slams his head into a rock: leaving him easy prey for the cannibal children.
  • The Unreveal: The true form of the King in "Palace of Horrors". Gentry sees it and Goes Mad From the Revelation. Henry only sees the King in shadow and goes mad for several months. The audience doesn't really see anything beyond vague hints.
  • Woman Scorned: In "The Cobbler's Lot", Princess Boglarka does not take kindly to learning that Tivadar has been unfaithful to her with a trio of nymphs, and does not let being dead prevent her from taking her revenge.