Devil's Due: Film review - shock tactics are combined with subtlety and humour
(15) Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, 89 mins Starring: Allison Miller, Zach Gilford
The antichrist is back in Devil's Due, a self-reflexive horror film that is clever and entertaining without ever being especially frightening. The film-makers come from the low-budget world (they co-directed a segment of the anthology shocker V/H/S), but here they have the might of a Hollywood studio behind them. They scavenge ideas shamelessly from such films as The Blair Witch Project, Rosemary's Baby and The Omen, but pay enough attention to character and plot to get away with it.
Zach (Zach Gilford) and Samantha (Allison Miller) are a newlywed couple who go on honeymoon to Santo Domingo. They film each other every step of the way. (One of the conceits of Devil's Due is that it is almost entirely comprised of found footage shot on home-video cameras, surveillance cameras and cellphones.)
Samantha has a very creepy encounter with a palm reader. On their last night, the couple are whisked away by a sinister taxi driver to an underground party. No sooner do they return home to US suburbia than Samantha discovers she is pregnant.
The film-makers combine the usual shock tactics – priests collapsing, pregnant women devouring raw meat, satanic rituals – with at least some subtlety and humour. This is a drama about a young couple adjusting to marriage as much as it is a Grand Guignol horror picture. It is very derivative – but it has been made with diabolical amounts of energy.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Doctor Who film will definitely happen, leaked Sony emails reveal
Glastonbury 2015 tickets: How to make sure you’re successful in Sunday's re-sale
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling