'The Devil's in the Details' is the first feature film from director Waymon Boone, the former lead singer for a rock band from a couple of decades back. Boone opened up a production studio and mostly made commercials and music videos until this release, which is a solid first film that goes for the gut in the form of action, suspense, and adrenaline, rather than story structure and character development. If you can pull this aspect off and make your audience sit on the edge of their seats, I don't see any problem if that's what you set out to accomplish, which Boone did.
Don't be surprised if you have a difficult time following this story as everything is told out of order with many flashbacks. This is the major downfall of this thriller. For the first half of the movie, nothing seems to make any sense as we're thrown into a mix of scene segments that will cause you to say, "Hey, wait a minute. This doesn't seem right." However, Boone does a decent job after the 1st half of the film is over in trying to resolve some of these situations.
This thriller, which is part 'Saw' and part 'Shutter Island' will have you asking questions until the final credits as we focus on Thomas Conrad (Joel Mathews), a former soldier who has been home for a short while from his recent tour in the Middle East. Conrad has spent the last several months in rehab and therapy for his drug and alcohol problems, which have caused him to be away from his wife (Jenna Lyng) and his daughter Chloe (Ava Acres). He has been talking to a military psychiatrist Dr. Bruce Michaels (Ray Liotta), who is a former Navy Seal, and throughout the entire film, we see segments of their talks that in some way give us clues and relate to what's happening in the story.
The main event that caused Conrad to go off the deep end is something that he won't discuss and has forced himself not to think about, however, we see that he and his army buddy Hutchen (Albert Thakur) were on a mission looking for insurgents when Hutchen was killed, leaving Conrad to blame himself for his friend's death, however Dr. Michael's knows that's not the whole story. When Conrad is done with his rehab, he comes across an odd man named Bill Duffy (Emilio Rivera). We cut to Conrad waking up in a strange room with no windows, suspended from the ceiling with tons of scary torture devices surrounding him.
Duffy and his crony Corbin (Jake Jacobson) want Conrad to assist them in a major drug and money situation as they know Conrad has some connections in this area. Duffy holds up a phone to Conrad's ear in the torture chamber from time to time to hear the screams of his wife and child and is told that they will be killed if he doesn't help them.
Boone has done a phenomenal job with this story as it involves a small cast, only a couple of set pieces, one of which we are seen for most of the duration of the film, and a small budget. His out-of-order storytelling is a trick to throw us off course, much like his characters in the film. Mathews turns in a decent performance, but it's nothing to write home about, and Liotta is great with what he is given. Emilio Rivera plays the sinister villain with ease, as he's as creepy as he is frightening.
While it has the aspects of a gritty cop drama, 'The Devil's in the Details' does a solid job keeping you guessing, even if it's due to puzzling edits and story structure. Boone rarely leaves a stone unturned here, leaving a satisfying mystery in our thoughts. If this is a sign of things to come from the director, then count me in for more.
'The Devil's in the Details' comes with a great, yet odd 1080p HD transfer that is presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. It's odd in that this flick is very gritty and violent, which I thought would have a harsh and crisp image to it. However, it has a softened quality about it, bringing the objects and people on screen to a smoother image. That being said, the detail is actually very good here as we can see every bit of the frightening details in Conrad's room of torture.
The colors aren't over-saturated and deal with mostly darker colors, mainly in the browns, blacks, and greens. The blacks run deep and inky here, and this color is used as a sort of character in the story, weird as that may be. The flesh tones are natural and smooth as well. I didn't notice and edge enhancement, aliasing, or any artifacts. This is a solid video presentation.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix that sounds very good. The dialogue is crystal clear and always easy to understand. Conrad's screams are terrifying and loud. The sound effects of dream like noises and ominous sounds come across the surrounds very nicely and are startling loud at times. The directionality is spot on and tries to get into our head and make us think, that something is very wrong with our characters. The score is decent and adds a bit of suspense to the movie, but is mostly a slow moving piece that builds tension. There were no cracks, pops, or hissing throughout this solid audio presentation.
'The Devil's in the Details' might not be the most original story you've seen, but it's definitely done very well and will keep you guessing till the end. There are some solid performances as well as some great camera work here. You'll definitely want to show this movie to others to see if they can guess what is to come before the movie ends, and it's great to see their expression throughout. The video and audio presentations are solid, and the one extra is okay, but there could have been more, especially some words from the director. If you're a fan of twist endings and want something a little different, then I recommend purchasing this title if it's the right price for you.