Devil’s Due is not a terrible movie. Why am I beginning my review this way? Because I am a terrible writer and it’s my website, so I can do what I want! Sorry for my mini rant but I am done with found footage flicks. 2013 brought us the best this sub genre had to offer (VHS-2, haters gonna hate but that movie rocked the shit!) and we should all (as horror fans) ban together as one and bid fare thee well to this tired, played out approach to telling stories…..If only it was that simple. Ah well maybe 2014 will bring us another “VHS-2” and I can enjoy getting motion sickness in a theater again. On with the review!
Zach and Samantha ( Zach Gilford and Allison Miller) are newly weds and like any newly married man Zach has an obsession with recording every waking second of his life. After a mysterious “lost” night on their honeymoon, Zach and Samantha head back home to start their new life together and not watch any of the footage Zach shot (apparently he is just obsessed with filming everything then NEVER WATCHING WHAT HE FILMED! If he had he might have saved them a whole lot of hassle!). Not long after the newly weds settle they learn Samantha is pregnant. Slowly Samantha starts to exhibit strange behavior: Mood Swings, night terrors and compulsively eating raw meat in the middle of the supermarket. Yah know, standard pregnant woman behavior. Slowly the creepy factor starts to elevate and it becomes clear that Samantha baby might be… Blah, Blah, Blah. You’ve seen the trailers and trust me when I say the plot it what you’re thinking it is.
If Devil’s Due had come out four years ago chances are it would have kicked my ass. The problem is this movie offers nothing new. Not a damn thing and I’m not even talking about the obvious Rosemary’s Baby comparison. Nothing wrong with paying homage to a classic, but the problem with Devil’s Due is not that it’s too much like Roman Polanski’s horror masterpiece. It’s just too much like every other found footage flick out there. You know exactly where everything is going because you’ve seen it a thousand times. Because of this the movie tends to drag. It’s not a slow-paced movie, but you know exactly where it’s going so any attempt at building tension is just like pissing in the wind.
Milford and Miller are solid actors. In fact the whole cast does a superb job and deliver better than average performances. Sadly the POV approach ruins any chance for the film makers to establish their characters and I could give two shits what happened them. Zach is going to investigate a potential cult so what does he bring along? Weapons? Police? Back-up? If you answered none of the above you are correct! He was only concerned with equipping his button cam and leaving his possessed wife alone with his 5 foot, 100 pound sister! You could chalk this up to poor judgment on the characters part, but we all know it’s this damn sub genre to blame. I for one am tired of turning a blind eye to piss poor writing that’s only purpose is to justify the filming format. It’s almost an insult to horror fans. I guess we will eat whatever slop is plopped down in front of us because we just want to see gross stuff! I know your thinking I’m looking too into it and maybe I am, but just because I like my movies in the horror genre doesn’t me I can’t appreciate solid writing.
Now that I have shit all over this movie I should probably tell you why Devil’s Due is not a terrible movie. It really has some outstanding special effects. The closer to the due date ( Hey! I just got the title!) the creepy Samantha gets. At one point she has almost super human powers and they are highlighted as she unleashes them on three unsuspecting teens. Radio Silence really knows how to build to a climax. The ending is a big and gory. Featuring excellent special effects that would make Michael Bay cream his jeans. Sadly it wasn’t enough to save this movie from life at the bottom of the $5 bin at Wal-Marts.
Radio Silence is a film making collective made up of Chad Villela, Justin Martinez, Tyler Gillet and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin. Who had what duties while making this movie I have no idea. I have only seen one of their works prior to Devil’s Due ( VHS segment 10/31/98, the best of the lot) and really had high hopes for this group. Sadly an unoriginal script with flat scares and a predictable ending wasn’t what I had in mind. Still I do believe these guys have great film making in them. I just hope they leave the found footage unfound and try something new.