Distributor: 20th Century Fox
BBFC Classification: 15
Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett
Starring: Allison Miller, Zach Gilford, Sam Anderson, Vanessa Ray, Geraldine Singer
Satanic cults, pregnant newlyweds and found footage are the three main ingredients of Devil’s Due, and if those things are enough to get you excited then you may need to question where your life is going. The whole found footage thing has become very old very quickly and, like most stylistic trends, has nothing new or exciting to offer unless a writer or director is willing to take a chance and actually do something other than the obvious and generic. In 2014 we already had Delivery, a film that tried to tap into the Rosemary’s Baby-style paranoia of pregnancy and slavishly followed every cliché in the found footage book (or pamphlet, such would be the amount of worthwhile content) until an admittedly decent ending, but why do filmmakers feel the need to make us sit through at least an hour’s worth of utter drivel delivered by horrible and unlikeable characters until a closing scenet that, had it been on the end of a solid build-up, may justify some of the tedium before it but more often than not, it doesn’t?
Zach and Samantha McCall (Zach Gilford and Allison Miller respectively) are a pair of newlyweds who go for a night out on their honeymoon and are taken to a nightclub by a very insistent taxi driver. Naturally, they drink and have a good time but wake up the next morning back in their room with little recollection about the night before. Shortly afterwards Samantha announces she is pregnant, despite having been on the pill, and the couple prepare for the happy event but Samantha begins to experience some very odd symptoms, their regular doctor is replaced without notice and who is the strange man that stares at the house from across the street?
So nothing that you haven’t seen before in Rosemary’s Baby, The Omen or any multitude of occult-based thrillers that are centred around the impending birth of the Antichrist. There are also the obvious connections to the Paranormal Activity franchise, what with the insistence on filming absolutely everything with an annoyingly shaky handheld camera when there is absolutely no reason to do so, apart from the obvious budgetry ones, even though this film was made on a estimated $7 million. You would have thought that with $7 million of money to play with they could have afforded some better actors and a decent scriptwriter because, at best, Devil’s Due only reaches the level of being generically boring and quite irritating.
There’s an attempt at an Amityville Horror-type demonic attack on a priest that is the only moment in the first half of the film to offer anything that would count as a thrill and there’s another about an hour in where somebody gets flung into the air by an invisible force and lands on a car windscreen, all viewed through the victim’s POV, which is quite an effective little stunt but that is as far as it goes when it comes to getting the adrenaline going. Really, there’s not a lot else to say about Devil’s Due other than it is symptomatic of a genre/style/trend that has long gone stale, if there were any real value or merit there to start with. Avoid.
Special Features: Deleted scenes, theatrical trailer.
UK Release Date: 16th June 2014