Hallow-vent Calendar - Day Nine: Here Comes the Devil

Welcome to our Hallow-vent Calendar; a horror-film-filled daily countdown to our favourite spooky celebration, Hallowe'en. For Day Nine, David Ames watches the aptly named Here Comes the Devil...

The goal of my October list this year was to sit down and treat myself to a slew of indie or lower budget horror films. I was hoping to find a great list and to plough through them with days and nights of wonderment and fun. It was a good run but it only took me eight days before I found a movie that was less than good. Today I sat down to watch Adrian Garcia Bagliano’s 2012 Mexican-America movie Here Comes the Devil.

The film’s premise is actually pretty solid. A couple goes on a day trip in which their two children go missing. In the morning, the children return but something is different. Something is wrong with them. What follows is the parents’ quest for the truth as to what really happened to their children, complete with murder, demons, and at one point, levitation.

All of those aspects sound pretty awesome. If you combine them with some gratuitous nudity and sexual content, it seems as though this film should be a homerun. I will also say that the sex scene at the beginning was actually shot well, as was the ensuing murder. In fact, the opening fifteen or so minutes were pretty solid, but then it takes a harsh turn to cheeseville and the film begins to take on the feel of a Spanish soap opera. The acting is okay, with a great performance by Barbara Perrin Rivemar (who plays a family friend and babysitter), and some of the effects are pretty decent. When we are finally shown the demons, their faces look pretty cool, and there is some genuinely unnerving moments toward the end.

Sadly, those were few and far between in a mess of a film that doesn’t seem to know if it wants to be about demons, sexual violence, or the dangers of female pubescence and awakening sexuality. All of those topics would have been wonderful themes to see in a horror movie and have been visited in a myriad of other films such as The Exorcist, Ginger Snaps, Teeth, It Follows, etc. This film, instead of taking one of these topics, accrues all three and shoves them together into a disjointed mess.

All of this aside, the film could still have been an okay, low-budget movie if not for some of the choices by the director, or maybe the cinematographer. I’m not sure who chose a near constant quick zoom for anything important but that, coupled with random, percussive music in the “intense” parts of the film actually played less like suspense and more like bad 60’s and 70’s martial arts movies.

October is always good to me and this year has been no different. Although I didn’t hate Here Comes the Devil, I have to say that it wasn’t very enjoyable. It’s not the worst and it has potential, but someone left about halfway through the production and the film ended up coming across like a paper written by a freshman in college: no direction or flourish.

Image - IMDb

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