Devil’s Due

devils-due

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: 20th Century Fox

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Lindsay Devlin

Review Rating: 6.5

A newlywed couple find themselves dealing with an unplanned pregnancy with sinister overtones.

I would swear I’ve mentioned here before, that I generally despise Found Footage Horror flicks. Despite knowing that, I had some hope for Devil’s Due, which was promptly squashed in about the first 15 minutes of film. To give the movie a little credit, it did start off interestingly – the husband Zack is being interviewed in the police station, covered in blood and dirt, attempting to explain the inexplicable what happened to his wife.

After that little wraparound bit, we go all the way back to the beginning of what story there is. We have here your typical white American couple, Zack (Zach Gilford) and Sam (Allison Miller) McCall, joyously getting married and preparing to start their new life together. Zack seems to want to record everything that happens for posterity, which is a noble undertaking, unfortunately he generally sucks at actual camerawork. So Zack and Sam are married and off to their honeymoon to go ziplining and touristing in, wait for it, Peru. Who does that anyway? Inevitably, this suspicious cabbie (Roger Payano) takes them to an underground club scene, where Zack’s button camera manages to record bits of terrible happenings to our couple once they’ve both passed out. None the wiser, Zack and Sam return home, only to learn soon after that hey, Sam’s pregnant. Suddenly, calm vegetarian Sam is scarfing raw hamburger in the grocery store, sleepwalking like a monster zombie, demonstrating raw strength that would make Jason proud against her own loved ones, and in general having hysterics at the drop of a pin. Loving husband Zack is concerned of course, but seems at a total loss as to how to help his wife. Hidden cameras strategically placed ‘round the house are producing jump scares and demonstrating the lack of awareness as to how in danger Sam and Zack really are. And who put in those cameras anyway? Semi-familiar strangers are staring at our couple from across the street, in the back of the First Communion ceremony where the Priest (Sam Anderson) dies, and in general being a scary presence reminder that there is some sort of ambiguous and sinister plan going on. It all culminates on a raging stormy night, with Sam apparently finally having gone completely batshit possessed insane, and Zack makes the mistake of asking Sam’s sister to come sit with her while he tries to investigate these suspicious strangers who’ve been watching our couple. With Zack distracted over here, Sam is over there struggling against forces beyond her control plus the suspicious strangers, and the prize is her baby. In the end, Zack and Sam are completely defeated, the baby (we never even learned the gender!) taken, annnd we’re back at the police station where Zack is finishing up his story. Poor innocent Sam is dead and of course the police aren’t having any of this story about suspicious cabbies and child-stealing cults. Cut abruptly to – hey this is Paris, clearly, we can see the Eiffel Tower, and yet another white newlywed couple on their honeymoon. And that damned suspicious cabbie, the same guy, offering to take them to an underground party scene that is out of this world, that is where the movie leaves us.

So many elements are left out of the story itself, or left up to audience assumption, it gets irritating. At the very least, Hostel had reasons for the horrific slaughters they perpetrated. And that’s another thing I just can’t get around – innocent newlyweds should not take to wandering the streets of Peru looking for New-Orleans-Mardi-Gras-like partying, that’s just stupid. This apparent cult of monster-baby-snatchers could have been devil worshippers, apocalypse-mongers, hell even cannibals looking for veal; we simply don’t know, and I would’ve liked to! The idea that this cult travels the world (Peru, Paris, where else will they pop up?) encouraging devil children to be born and then stealing them, seems a perfectly fine sendup for a Horror movie, why couldn’t we dive into that a bit more? Because we needed to focus on the atrocities being inflicted unawares on our McCall couple, that’s why. *le sigh* Well, they did leave it open for a sequel. Maybe this time it’ll be twin antichrists!

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