Movie Review: Devil’s Due

devilsdue

Stars: Allison Miller, Zach Gilford, Sam Anderson, Roger Payano

Rated R for language and some bloody images, Running time 89 minutes, Horror/Suspense

Compare to: Rosemary’s Baby (1968), The Last Exorcism (2010)

As good as I believe many “found footage” films can be, there’s always been the potential to use this gimmick, more or less, as making a cheap film still be on a similar playing field as the big budget boys.

And while the plot is strikingly similar to Rosemary’s Baby, I don’t believe this film was destined to be a waste of everyone’s time as something like The Last Exorcism 2 was, Devil’s Due unfortunately falls in the same realm as another “Ooh does that get you? No? But the camera shook and that scream was really loud!”

Sigh…Samantha and Zach have just tied the knot and are taking their honey moon to a place more exotic. Everything is as great as one could imagine and they finish it off with one drunk night at a club. But once the two return to the states, Samantha’s pregnancy begins to complicate their lives as she doesn’t seem herself while Zach begins to suspect there’s more to this baby than simply arriving unexpectedly…

"I can feel him gnashing, sweetie!"

“I can feel him gnashing, sweetie!”

That synopsis took way too long to write for a movie with such a simple plot. The whole thing goes the way lazy Horror movies do. Everything is good. Perfect, one could say. Then there’s the strange occurrence that starts it off. Then the characters begin to try and live their lives normally until they can’t ignore the problem anymore and then we all know that it’s too late for them.

I want to give this movie an F and be done with it but it wasn’t hate-worthy; it’s just bland, unoriginal, and unentertaining. Miller and Gilford, who play the doomed couple do a decent job as two people dealing with supernatural phenomena beyond their control but we’re not talking about anything award winning stuff here, just two actors doing the best they could with what they were given.

A blessing in disguise! Heavily disguised.

A blessing in disguise! Heavily disguised.

Past some decent performances, we just go through the motions of the terrified innocents that have to just deal with this bad juju without any hope of saving themselves. I mean, even if the friggin’ couple are going to die awful deaths, can we see the husband try to figure things out for himself thinking he can fix it?

Normally I wouldn’t offer “improvements”- a story is what it is and should be taken as that- but when all you’ve got is this guy not picking up on the signals that his wife is possessed (or at least that something is wrong with her), you start to lose interest for why you should care for the idiot.

In these type films, there’s always got to be a reason as to why the handheld camera is being carried around. Our reason in Due is that the mushy gushy guy wants to record every single little special moment. Okay, cool. So why is not until the baby is about to be born that he goes back through the footage to realize his wife was possessed during a séance? But by then it’s too late.

Do things ever go well for priests in these movies?

Do things ever go well for priests in these movies?

While normally I would be annoyed by it, I actually became entertained by all the black chicks in front of me telling each other what they would do. It was usually bouncing back and forth between punching somebody or running away.

How is the Paranormal Activity series keeping things relatively fresh while this stand alone movie became stale in the first forty minutes? Just watch the Devil Baby prank that was meant to promote the movie and save your money.

Positives- Decent performances, handheld sub-genre offers little hints at what’s going on with subtle clues in background.

Negatives- Predictable, boring, lazy, handheld stuff may make some feel nauseous, demonic subject matter may too much for some.

Grade: D

Sidenote: A couple favorites, Gaslight Anthem and Alkaline Trio make their way into the soundtrack. Too bad it’s this movie.

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