(2014) (Allison Miller, Zach Gilford) (R)
- QUICK TAKE:
- Horror/Thriller: A young married couple comes back from their honeymoon and is surprised to discover the wife is with child ... and that child may be the Antichrist.
- Samantha (ALLISON MILLER) and Zach (ZACH GILFORD) have just gotten married and are headed to the Dominican Republic for their honeymoon. On their last night, they throw caution to the wind and allow a mysterious Cab Driver (ROGER PAYANO) to take them to a remote dance club where they drink way too much and wake up the next morning back in their hotel suite and have to scramble to make their return flight home in time.
Once back in the States, they are surprised to learn that Sam is pregnant despite being on birth control. Initially overjoyed at the news, their bliss soon turns to fear and dread when Sam begins having very painful contractions, nosebleeds, blackouts, and odd fits of rage. At the First Communion of their niece, the family priest, Father Thomas (SAM ANDERSON), is overcome with dread to the point where he bleeds profusely out of his nostrils and has a stroke all while Sam is a weird catatonic state.
Seeking answers, Zach finally watches the video footage he shot on their honeymoon and is shocked to see snippets of what looks like a Satanic ritual that was performed on Sam during that night they can't remember. Soon, hooded men begin skulking around outside their house. Piles of ash are placed inside and outside the house. And Sam's mental state continues to deteriorate until Zach has no choice but to take action.
- OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
- For films not screened for the reviewing press, we only provide a few paragraphs of critical analysis.
This one's a close call. "Devil's Due" is a film that does deliver some decent scares and more than a few chills. The film stars Allison Miller and Zach Gilford as Samantha and Zach, a young newlywed couple who are surprised to find themselves dealing with an earlier-than-planned pregnancy soon after returning from their honeymoon. Never mind that on their last night in the Dominican Republic, they mysteriously can't recall a stretch of several hours while partying hard in a weird underground dance club.
At any rate, it soon becomes clear to both of these Einsteins that this is no ordinary pregnancy. Sam has frequent nosebleeds, blackouts, and fits of rage. Soon, she and Zach begin to sense that their house is being watched. Sam, a vegetarian, also begins to crave red meat. Things take a highly disturbing turn at the First Communion of Zach's niece in which the priest starts flood-bleeding from his nose and strokes out.
There are indeed some scary and legitimately unsettling moments and sequences in "Devil's Due." Unfortunately, the film has two mammoth problems. The first is it's unnecessarily one of those shaky-cam "found footage" movies that rips off the "Paranormal Activity" movies and its pretenders to the nth degree. The dolt of a husband is the guy who operates the camera most of time, wanting to capture every moment however major or minor to bore and annoy his son one day. As such, you're also always asking the screen thinks like: "Dude, why are you filming THIS?!" and "Fool! You're being attacked by an ancient sect of Devil worshippers! Wouldn't it be a LOT easier if you weren't operating a camera RIGHT NOW?!" And never once does anyone ever tell Zach, "Please erase that," like when Sam suffers a huge nosebleed at a family get-together or when she bashes in the car windows of a motorist who almost hit her in a store parking lot.
Two, there are some big, HUGE plot holes running throughout! First and foremost, Zach films pretty much everything. But it takes MONTHS for him to actually watch the footage he shot on his honeymoon -- footage that contains snippets of a Satanic ritual performed while he and Sam had blacked out. Late in the film, Zach summons the courage to infiltrate a local rundown home he believes is the home base of the aforementioned sect. What does he choose to bring with him to the house. A 44 Magnum? An Uzi? A phased-plasma rifle in 40-watt range? Nope. The video cam! There's also a dog in the film that is no help whatsoever. He occasionally senses paranormal activity and barks. At other times ... eh ... he can't be bothered.
I'll give this "Devil" its due. It's dumb and derivative. But it did give me the creeps in spots and held my interest throughout. I give it a 5 out of 10. (T. Durgin)
Reviewed January 16, 2014 / Posted January 17, 2014
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