- Street Date:
- April 29th, 2014
- Reviewed by:
- Bryan Kluger
- Review Date: 1
- May 15th, 2014
- Movie Release Year:
- 20th Century Fox
- 89 Minutes
- MPAA Rating:
- Rated R
- Release Country
- United States
The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take
I really wanted to like 'Devil's Due'. It had a lot going for it, but ultimately failed for a variety of reasons. I'm a huge fan of the horror genre, found footage movies, and possession films, and 'Devil's Due' has all three of these aspects rolled into one. We can add to that the two directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the filmmakers who are part of the team Radio Silence and made the best segment from the first 'V/H/S' film entitled '10/31/98'.
After the release of their segment from 'V/H/S', the filmmaking pair were offered several horror movie projects, most of them focused on haunted houses. However, after going through several scripts and projects, they both decided to take on the possession genre with 'Devil's Due', which plays out like a terrible found footage homage to 'Rosemary's Baby'. Olpin and Gillet even said one of their favorite films growing up was 'Rosemary's Baby' and jumped at the chance to make their version of that.
But there comes a time when you should throw in the towel once you realize you don't have a good film on your hands, either because you're just rehashing the same thing we've seen countless times before in these types of movies or because you concocted a final product from a lazy script and sub-par actors. In this case, both of these factors plague the film. It's one thing to pay homage to a movie that you loved as a kid, but it's a different thing to literally have the same things and basic characters show up in your new "original" movie. Packed with ridiculous cliches, bad acting, terrible dialogue, and a premise that has been over-done the past few years, 'Devil's Due' adds nothing fresh or original to either the possession/devil baby genre nor the "found footage' angle.
The movie starts out with a young guy named Zach (Zach Gilford) who is covered in blood and dirt and sitting in some sort of police station as he is getting questioned about a crime. His lone line of dialogue is, "I didn't do it." Now we cut to the real film, which is a flashback about what might have happened as we see Zach and his girl Sam (Allison Miller) enjoying their honeymoon someplace tropical. Here we see the normal dumb relationship of two newlyweds partying and very much in love as the couple use the camera and film themselves on the beach amongst other places.
A persuasive taxi driver convinces them to go to a club where they are seemingly drugged and things get weird to say the least. This is where the found footage aspect becomes strange also as it goes in and out for no reason other than to make it scarier to us, which if you're over the age of five, it won't scare you. But we see Sam taken to a basement of some sort by a bunch of men and put into the center of some satanic pentagram. A bright light flashes and some invisible force seems to have its way with Sam. We cut to a few weeks later with Sam and Zach having no memory of what happened, but now Sam is pregnant even though she uses birth control.
From here, the same things that happen in 'Rosemary's Baby', happens here. Sam gets visions of scary apparitions, strange marks start to appear on her body, a few very creepy people enter their lives and begin to spy on the couple, super strength, and cravings for raw meat, much like Rosemary had. But this time around, it's all with a handheld camera with night vision and a shaky cam vibe.
Coming off a short film like '10/31/98', I expected something truly terrifying, but what we received was something that teetered on the edge of silly and over-the-top. Most of all, it just felt lazy. With the opening text of the film that states the possibility of numerous baby antichrists, the filmmakers definitely left it open for a sequel, but let's hope that doesn't happen if this is what we can expect of future films.
The Video: Sizing Up the Picture
'Devil's Due' comes with a 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Being a 'found footage' film, you can expect some flaws as this is made to look like it was made with run-of-the-mill home video cameras, which it partly was. The detail is sharp to an extent, but still has a lower end image that you would get from home video equipment. There are some instances of aliasing, motion blur, and artifacts. There is a bit of heavier video noise too in the darker scenes.
During quick closeups, you can make out some of the makeup blemishes and imperfections in the actor's faces, but it doesn't last long. It's a fairly flat image that doesn't stand out. The colors also don't pop off screen either and have a very vague tone about it. Even the scenes on the sunny beach looked a little pale. However, during the more action packed scenes, the directors seemed to have color-graded the image to show us something sinister was happening. It's not the best video presentation I've seen, but it's not the worst. I feel like this could have looked better if more time was spent on it.
The Audio: Rating the Sound
Unlike the video presentation, this audio track is surprisingly very good. And with this being a horror movie, I'm glad they got this aspect right. There is a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix and sounds robust, full, and lively. I only wish the movie itself were this good. The dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to understand and is free of any pops, cracks, and hissing.
The sound effects are stellar here and pack a punch throughout. The loud bangs, vibrating noises, and eerie satanic noises pour through the surrounds often and will rattle the walls. They really did a phenomenal job on this. The dynamic range is very wide here with every noise perfectly balanced. This is an excellent audio presentation.
The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff
Audio Commentary with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler, Gillett, Chad Villella, and Justin Martinez. - These are the members of Radio Silence as I mentioned above. All four guys discuss the making of the film for the most part. At other times, they really don't know what to say and just becomes a drab conversation between the friends. This is one commentary you can skip.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 17 mins.) - Nine deleted scenes in all, including an extended ending. There isn't that much to see here.
Radio Silence: A Hell of a Team (HD, 13 mins.) - Interviews with the filmmakers of Radio Silence. They all sit together and discuss their careers, how they met, and their love for horror. I like these guys and you can tell they love horror. There is some on-set footage interspersed here as well.
Director's Photo Album (HD, 13 mins.) - A slideshow of behind the scenes images and production stills.
Ashes to Ash (HD, 1 min.) - 'Found footage' of a dead bird. Literally.
The Lost Time (HD, 4 mins.) - Some more 'found footage' involving two kids who discover something creepy.
Roommate Alien Prank Goes Bad (SD, 3 mins.) - Is a clip that you have seen on the internet numerous times involving a prank with an alien.
Mountain Devil Prank Fails Horribly (SD, 4 mins) - Yet another clip from the internet that you've seen before. I think these clips are from Radio silence and acted as short films early in their careers.
Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2 mins.) - The trailer for the film.
HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?
There are no HD exclusives.
I know the filmmaking team Radio Silence has it in them to make a scary-as-hell horror movie. Unfortunately, that's not the case with 'Devil's Due'. It's lazy, ridiculous, and full of cliches and circumstances that we've seen countless times before it. It's just better to watch 'Rosemary's Baby' instead of this. The video presentation isn't that great here, but the audio is top notch. There are a couple of fun extras on this disc, but the rest are forgettable. Feel free to skip this one all together.
- Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy
- 1080p/AVC MPEG 4
- English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
- French: Dolby Digital 5.1
- Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
- Russian: DTS 5.1
- Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1
- Hungarian: Dolby Digital 5.1
- Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1
- Turkish: Dolby Digital 5.1
- English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Estonian, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Turkish, Ukrainian
- Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailer
- Radio Silence: A Hell of a Team
- Director's Photo Album
- Ashes to Ashes
- The Lost Time
- Roommate Alien Prank Goes Bad
- Mountain Devil Prank Fails Horribly
- Audio Commentary with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillet, Chad Villella, and Justin Martinez
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