Magazine article Screen International

Devil's Due

Magazine article Screen International

Devil's Due

Article excerpt

Dirs: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett. US. 2013. 89mins

Without ever really delivering grim gore or terrifying thrills, the impressively sustained Devil's Due ticks enough genre boxes to amount to an astute by-the-numbers horror film that will no doubt find a welcome audience of horror fans starved of chills post Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, but will likely be regarded with minor disappointment by hard-core fans expecting more from the much-hyped filmmakers.

While there are moments to cherish in Devil's Due it rarely feels original or even genre-challenging enough to really mark itself as a fresh look at the horror film.

Yet another addition to the heavily-mined 'found footage' style horror film - though it does at least try to offer a different spin on the genre - Devil's Due tinkers with the Rosemary's Baby concept with a young couple finally coming to realise that their pregnancy is not quite as blessed as they might have wished.

There will no doubt be a strong initial audience for this rather mild-mannered horror number - there is no real gore and the jumps are all rather old-fashioned - especially on the back of a suitably stylish trailer and slick New York 'devil baby' street campaign, but numbers will likely drop heftily after the first week. But despite a lack of star names, the film at least offers mainstream date-night entertainment in amidst the plethora of Oscar-touted releases.

The premise of the 'video footage' structure is clear from the start as Zach McCall (Zack Gilford) creeps into his house on the eve of his wedding to Samantha (Allison Miller), recording his every move - including, rather preposterously, his climb up the drainpipe - as he tells her that he wants a video memory of their marriage.

After a fairytale wedding they head off to the sun-kissed Dominican Republic for plenty of honeymoon fun and games. Their last night take a dark turn when a palm-reading psychic warns them that "he has been waiting" after reading Samantha's hand, and things get even stranger when a taxi driver whisks them off to a subterranean bar when they drink so much they can't recall the events of the night.

We see their video footage - but for some reason they never look back at their holiday film - of strange occult images, heaps of bones, an insistent chanting, candles and a muffled sound. …

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