After premiering last summer at the Charlestowne 18 movie theater in St. Charles, the first feature film of Fox Valley residents Aaron Hawkins and Chris Shern is now streaming online.
The horror film “Evil Lurks” is now streaming on Tubi as well as on Apple TV and is expected to stream on other platforms in the future. Hawkins, a 1993 Batavia High School graduate, co-wrote the script with Aurora resident Chris Shern, who also fronts the band Invisible Cartoons.
When Hawkins first discovered that Tubi was streaming “Evil Lurks,” he was overcome with emotions.
“I just happened to see it on there,” Hawkins said. “I jumped and I almost accidentally threw my phone across the room. I was pretty excited about it.”
The movie was released by Hawkins’ company, Crazy Rock Films, in association with SSH Man Productions and Kissing Kastles. Shern also is a producer on the movie and worked on sound editing along with appearing in the movie. Hawkins also has a small role in “Evil Lurks.”
Shern also was excited to see it on Tubi, noting that the platform focuses on a lot of independent filmmaking, especially in the horror genre.
“That’s a big deal,” he said. “I’m an independent filmmaker. I love being an independent filmmaker. At this point in my life, I like a sense of control of what I’m doing. The opportunity is the thing that I focus on.”
The fact that the movie is streaming online also is an early birthday present for Shern, whose birthday is on Jan. 10.
“That is the best birthday present I could get,” he said. “We started working on the movie in 2018. It’s now there for the world to see.”
“Evil Lurks” is the story of a troubled woman who seeks help from an unscrupulous hypnotist, which in turn triggers a series of events.
Both Hawkins and Shern are fans of the horror genre.
“The movie brings in what could and what does happen in the real world,” Hawkins said.
" ‘Evil Lurks’ is all around us,” he said. “Everyone can have that dark place where something they’re doing is affecting a lot of people that they care about.”
The official extended trailer for “Evil Lurks” was named best trailer at the Hollywood Blood Horror Festival in 2020. It also received the best trailer award at the Rome International Movie Awards.
That made Hawkins feel good.
“It created a lot of buzz within the horror community,” he said.
Along with being a writer and director, Hawkins has played different characters in a number of short films and has been a background actor in TV shows and movies such as “Chicago Med” and “Captive State.”
“Evil Lurks” was filmed in the area. The movie’s first scene was filmed on River Street in downtown Batavia.
“We filmed a news reporter scene there,” Hawkins said. “Each time we filmed, we had a little audience behind us watching us, which was pretty cool to see.”
Both Hawkins and Shern hope the film generates a discussion.
“I hope people have conversations about what do all these elements mean,” Shern said.
Hawkins said watching “Evil Lurks” more than once can provide some of the answers to questions people might have.
“There’s Easter eggs (hidden references) in the movie,” he said.