People really seem to hate WHERE THE DEVIL HIDES (aka THE DEVIL’S HAND). If you take the time to read what other people thought of the film, you would realize they all have valid points. I sat down to watch the film and I’m going to tell you I didn’t hate it. In fact, I’ll go a step further and say it was a decent film. Sure, it has loads of problems and had it been an R-rated picture, it could have been a million times better. As it stands, the movie is an excellent time waster. It features solid acting, enjoyable score, engaging story, and it builds an interesting atmosphere for a film set in an Amish commune. Sure, it suffers from the PG-13 syndrome but who gives a shit, it’s a decent picture that mixes the slasher film with something a bit more supernatural.
When six girls are born on the sixth day of the sixth month, it’s been told that one of them would be revealed to be the Devil’s hand on their eighteenth birthday. Jacob Brown (Rufus Sewell) is the father of one of the girls and he will not allow Elder Beacon (Colm Meaney)to kill these girls and possibly prevent them from fulfilling the prophecy. Eighteen years later, the girls are on the eve of their eighteenth birthday and someone is out there killing them off one by one. The elders believe the prophecy is coming to fruition while others think it’s all lies by the Beacon to instill fear in his followers. But for Mary Brown (Alycia Debnam Carey) who has begun having “episodes”, this could all be very real for her, or it could just be a medical condition.
The sooner we realize this, the better off we will all be. There’s probably only going to be six to ten great horror films released each year. There are hundreds of them being dumped onto shelves each month and most of them will suck. So seeing a film like this, you have to keep in mind most of the stuff on the market is far worse. With that in perspective, what we have is a decent slasher film set in an Amish community with supernatural overtones. The cast is really great, especially Colm Meaney who is such a whacked out bastard and a brilliant character actor who never gets the recognition he deserves. Rufus Sewell fits into the same category but his role here doesn’t really give him a chance to show it off. The real discovery is Alycia Debnam Carey who plays the sympathetic Mary with heart and amps it all up just when it’s needed.
The film was scheduled for release in 2012 so there are some obvious problems in the film and it feels as if much is missing from the story. I’m sure there are chunks of this lying somewhere on the cutting room floor we will never get to see. The death scenes aren’t real graphic but the one with the horse was pretty fucking nuts. Director Christian E. Christianson may not be a master but he’s on the right track and growing along the way. WHERE THE DEVIL HIDES offers up a unique setting, decent effects, and solid performances. It may not be a classic but it’s a great time waster and worth a rental fee.