UK Release Date: 16th January 2014
Runtime: 89 minutes
Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Writer: Lindsay Devlin
Starring: Allison Miller, Zach Gilford, Sam Anderson, Roger Payano
Synopsis: A newly married couple are shocked to discover that they are to be new parents, especially when strange things begin to happen involving the unborn child.
Rosemary’s Baby for the found footage generation? It’s clear that Devil’s Due had fairly lofty ambitions that it was never going to match. Hot on the heels of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, this is already the second found footage horror of 2014. And like its predecessor, it’s an unoriginal, achingly boring, waste of time.
Zach McCall (Zach Gilford) and his new wife Samantha (Allison Miller) travel to the Dominican Republic for the honeymoon. They are picked up one night by a mysterious taxi driver (Roger Payano) who takes them to a strange, underground party. When they return home, Samantha is pregnant, and there is something very strange about her unborn child.
The problems with Devil’s Due are so fundamental that, however well made the film was, it was never going to work. Found footage was wrong. The plot was wrong. Everything was wrong.
| “Your body is going through a beautiful transformation.”
Directing duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett do an efficient, if unremarkable, job behind the camera. Under their guidance, Devil’s Due feels from start to finish like a painfully safe movie that draws only from the established, solid box of tricks.
Their only saving grace is a refreshing refusal to adhere to the “quiet, quiet… LOUD” trope that is annoyingly prevalent throughout modern horror cinema. The film goes for chills over jumps and is occasionally successful, but they’re scares you’ve seen done better before… and, as is commonplace nowadays, all of the major set pieces are heavily spoiled in the trailer.
Devil’s Due is nearly elevated above its tedium by the two engaging central performances, but Zach Gilford and Allison Miller never manage to rise above the bland material they are given to work with. They have the air of potential complexity about them, but it’s as if they’re just waiting for the script to give them a morsel to chew on. It never so much as comes close.
| “You were born from death!”
By far the worst part of Devil’s Due is its climax. Just like the Paranormal Activity sequel it follows into multiplexes, the film cannot put enough of a lid on its own craziness for it to actually work as horror. It’s so insane and overblown that the audience just laughs.
Pop or Poop?
Unoriginal horror films aren’t exactly rare, but is is uncommon for them to be quite so startlingly plagiarised as Devil’s Due.
Decent acting performances and competent direction aren’t enough to save a film that is lumbered with a terrible script and a concept that Hollywood grew out of 30 years ago.
And for the love of God, no more found footage! Please!
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.