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Devil's Due


Stars: Allison Miller, Zach Gilford, Sam Anderson, Roger Payano, Vanessa Ray, Bill Martin Williams, Geraldine Singer, Julia Denton, Robert Aberdeen

Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

The increasingly overrated The Blair Witch Project has a lot to answer for, most notably for providing moviemakers with a new genre i.e. ‘found footage films’ which enables movies to be made on the cheap using digital/video filming.

While it is a highly effective approach, particularly for horror movies, found footage has potential disadvantages. But by the time co-directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett had finished serving up their by-numbers but nonetheless effective collection of shockfilm tropes, cinematographer Justin Martinez’s bouncing hand-held VCR camera had induced in me a growing feeling of nausea which, in truth, added extra impact to the tale of terror.

Zach Gilford explains his intention of recording every moment of their lives to Allison Miller when she agrees to marry him with “I thought, I want to start a family history” and what follows comprises the majority of the movie, with a notable exception being when Miller suddenly starts to devour raw meat straight from the pack in a supermarket, caught on the store’s CCTV.

The story’s simple and direct. The couple goes on honeymoon to the Dominican Republic where they mysteriously lose a night and the memories of Miller’s diabolical impregnation just vanish.

Suspense and shock intensify when Miller finds she is pregnant, despite having been on the pill, and one set of hideous happenings (recorded by Gilford) is followed by another, including Miller dining al fresco on the entrails of a recently slaughtered deer, before all hell breaks out at the climax…

Unfamiliar actors add impact to a capable shocker that (given the passage of time since the original was released) gives Rosemary’s Baby a fairish run for its money.

Alan Frank

USA 2014. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox (Fox 2000). Colour.
89 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 10 Jan 2014