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Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Writer: Lindsay Devilin
Cast: Allison Miller, Zach Gilford, Sam Anderson, Roger Payano, Vanessa Ray, Bill Martin Williams, Geraldine Singer, Julia Denton, Colin Walker, Madison Wolfe, Joshua Shane Brooks, Aimee Carrero, Robert Belushi, Donna Duplantier, DeMaris Gordon
Synopsis: After a mysterious, lost night on their honeymoon, a newlywed couple finds themselves dealing with an earlier-than-planned pregnancy. While recording everything for posterity, the husband begins to notice odd behavior in his wife that they initially write off to nerves, but, as the months pass, it becomes evident that the dark changes to her body and mind have a much more sinister origin.
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language and some bloody images
It was only a matter of time before the "found footage" subgenre of horror would do it's own rendition of "Rosemary's Baby"
Maybe "Paranormal Activity" has ruined the "found footage" subgenre of horror flicks for me, as it seems like I'm all too familiar with all it's scare tactics to ever really be scared by them these days. However, I have enjoyed various other films before like the original "Nightmare on Elm Street", the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", and "The Blair Witch Project" just fine; in spite of not being scared by any of those movies. Does that mean "Devil's Due" could potentially be another one of those kind of horror flicks? Let's find out.
The film essentially follows a young newly wed couple that goes off on their honeymoon. Like most newly weds, they're completely in love with each other, and full of life. Not a care in the world, as they prepare to start a new life together. Things couldn't be more perfect if they tried. Sure, the girl has a mysterious past, but that doesn't mean anything right?
Anyways, like all movies of this ilk, the husband seems to obsessed with capturing every single freaking moment of their lives on film. Insisting that he doesn't want to miss a precious moment, as they start their new family together. Aw isn't that sweet? He even puts up various cameras around his house.
Each one set in various locations, as the film shifts between them periodically. One moment, you might be seeing a cam that shows what the protagonist sees; via camcorder, or hidden cam that the husband wears on his shirt. The next, you might end up seeing that same scene shift to a full view cam to show the protagonist's facial reactions. It's a nice novelty approach to the "found footage" concept, but all it really does is come off as gimmicky and stupid.
Sure, I can understand that the filmmakers were merely trying something new, but what they fail the realize is that the whole point of the "found footage" genre is to create the illusion that everything the viewer sees actually happened. However, whenever the film shifts camera angles during various scenes, all it really does is remind the audience that this is nothing more than a movie. In fact, this film might have been scarier had it been shot like a regular horror movie; versus using the "found footage" concept.
As for the rest of the story, the title itself is something of a dead giveaway for what happens to our newlywed couple next. Due to an elaborate series of events, the couple find out they're having a baby. But not just any baby. No, this baby is allegedly one of the Anti-Christs, and various satanic followers begin to stalk our young couple until the day of their new master's birth. I won't say much more, as I would hate to spoil most of this film for my readers.
However, I will say that the multiple camera aspect becomes even more gimmicky, when we see the mother start to become more possessed by her unborn child. In one particular scene when she's outside, we see her attack a bunch of teenagers, whom coincidentally had a camcorder with them for no other reason than to allow us to see what happens. Again, I can see what they were going for, but it's scenes like these that just make the film more of a joke than anything else.
Having said all that, the plot isn't really half bad though, as it had a very nice buildup. I especially liked how movie used a lot of it's settings and atmosphere to create the tone. And, the acting isn't half bad either, as everyone played their parts rather well.
The only gripe I have about the story is that a lot of the supporting characters were vastly underdeveloped; even for a "found footage" movie. However, it's never enough to ruin the film, but it's worth bringing up.
Overall, I can see why some people would like this film, as the story itself is very well told. Plus, it has some good acting performances, and the direction wasn't that bad either. Sure, the supporting characters weren't that great, but it's forgivable. Sadly, as I pointed out before, the multiple shifts in camera angles ruins the movie, and makes it seem a bit too gimmicky than actually coming off as scary. In the end, I'd have to give this movie a two out of four. It's worth a rental if you're into horror films like this, but I wouldn't pay to see this in theaters.
© 2014 Steven Escareno