A Cinematic Mistake of Biblical Proportions

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The idea for this atrocity should never have been born...

Julian Martell, Staff Writer

Release Date: January 17, 2014

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett

Stars: Zach Gilford, Allison Miller, Roger Payano,

Our Rating: D

Within the horror film genre, there are certain classic films such as The Exorcist (1973), Poltergeist (1982), and Carrie (1976). Films that have made their mark in history as the best of the genre. One other such film is Rosemary’s Baby (1968) which was, and still is, one of the foremost examples of the “antichrist pregnancy” plot line that Devil’s Due tried, but failed to deliver with convincing-enough originality.

The film begins with the police interrogation of a young man named Zach McCall (Zach Gilford). After being asked some questions, Zach tells the police his story. The scene flashes back to more or less a year prior, and the film then depicts Zach’s diary-esque video camera recordings of his wedding day. After viewing the festivities, the camera then documents the honeymoon trip to Costa Rica of the newlywed Zach and Samantha McCall (Allison Miller). At one point during the honeymoon, the couple comes across a very pushy cab driver (Roger Payano) who brings them to an underground club. There, Sam is subjected to a ritual (presumably Satanic in nature) while she is passed out from alcohol consumption. A month or two after returning home, the couple discovers that Sam is pregnant. However, it becomes blatantly obvious later into the pregnancy that there is something very wrong about the baby.

Warning: if you intend to read to the bottom, some details of this film’s plot will be revealed. If you have not seen this film and do intend to see it, please read to the bottom before spending your money.

There is absolutely no gentle way to say that this film was nothing more than a severe disappointment. Starting with the completely unoriginal plot: a perfectly normal young couple with their whole life ahead of them go off and do some stupid things because hey, they’re only young once. Then, they get their entire future screwed over when they just so happen to meet a guy who claims he’ll show them something awesome, which he does, and then BAM. The cool dude turns out to be a devil-worshipping cultist, and he only befriended them to walk them, blindfolded mind you, into a trap. And what does the cult do? Why, they offer up wifey to the devil as a vessel for, wait for it…the Antichrist.

So, the wife spends her pregnancy getting possessed by her demonic baby at night and causing a mega-ton of creepy stuff to happen while the husband sits curled up in fetal position in the corner, severely weirded out by his wife’s behaviour and only starting to suspect what’s really going on. By the time, he finally decides to man up and do something about the whole predicament, it’s too late. In the moment that the wife goes into labor, things go from “bad” to “total poopstorm” in less than .7448 seconds. Poor husband is forced to watch helplessly as the possessed mommy dearest dies giving herself an amateur C-section, and the crying newborn baby is removed from her corpse and taken away by some cultists. By the time the movie is over, you have the exact same question floating around in your head as with any other “Antichrist pregnancy” movie: What happens to the baby? Well, instead of tying up that loose end, the film gives you an epilogue of yet another newlywed couple documenting their honeymoon with a video camera getting into a cab and being driven by the very same cab driver that picked up the McCalls earlier in the movie.

Plot ranting aside, the film was shot in the very same first-person, “found footage” format as The Blair Witch Project (1999), Cloverfield (2008), and, most infamously, Paranormal Activity (franchise duration: 2007 – please make it stop).

Now, on the other hand, I do have to give some credit to the actors. The performances they made for the characters that they had were actually pretty good. Watching the film felt like seeing actual footage from a couple’s life. The only thing that saved this film from being a total flop was the acting. After all, if one were to think about it, nearly all horror movie plots end up happening to good, perfectly normal people that really haven’t done anything terribly wrong in their lives.People pity those victims not because of the horrible deaths they died, but because they had so much to live for.

Plainly and simply, Devil’s Due is only worth a look if you’re only concerned about the acting. If you’ve had enough of bad horror movies, don’t give this film a second glance. If you’re just starting to watch horror movies, shame on you for even considering this movie, and by extension, go pick up a classic like the ones mentioned above.

To finish it off, as Movie-Master Yoda would say, “If into the theater showing Devil’s Due you go, only pain will you find.”